Before Conan O’Brien handed The Tonight Show back over to Jay Leno in 2010, he asked that his legion of diehard fans stay kind and, above all else, reject cynicism. He might have gotten a raw deal at NBC, but he was eternally grateful to his home of more than 20 years.
“Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get,” he said. “But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, I’m telling you, amazing things will happen.”
Eleven years later, as O’Brien ended his eponymous TBS talk show Thursday — and vacated his role as late-night TV’s elder statesman — he reflected on his 28-year run across broadcast and basic cable, which he summed up as equal parts “smart and stupid.”
Conan‘s series finale featured previously announced guest Jack Black (who suffered an injury in pursuit of being the best last guest ever), a surprise appearance by Will Ferrell and several clip packages encompassing O’Brien’s TBS run.
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