I realize I’ve been writing quite a bit about Conan and his departure from NBC. Although they have been sparse in the past couple months, I do have some reviews in the wings. Thank you for being patient while I juggle school, the blog and all the other little details of my life that add up quickly. But for tonight, I wanted to share with you something from Conan’s last show. For his last few minutes at his desk (before Will Ferrell, Beck, Ben Harper, ZZ Top, Conan himself and the Tonight Show Band played Free Bird while Ferrell’s very pregnant real wife swayed in the background… video at the bottom), he spoke about NBC. Once again, he proved that he is a real class act. But perhaps more importantly (at least for me), he spoke to his fans:
Before we end this rodeo, a few things need to be said. There has been a lot of speculation in the press about what I legally can and can’t say about NBC. To set the record straight, tonight I am allowed to say anything I want. And what I want to say is this: between my time at Saturday Night Live, The Late Night Show, and my brief run here on The Tonight Show, I have worked with NBC for over twenty years. Yes, we have our differences right now and yes, we’re going to go our separate ways. But this company has been my home for most of my adult life. I am enormously proud of the work we have done together, and I want to thank NBC for making it all possible. Walking away from The Tonight Show is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Making this choice has been enormously difficult. This is the best job in the world, I absolutely love doing it, and I have the best staff and crew in the history of the medium. But despite this sense of loss, I really feel this should be a happy moment. Every comedian dreams of hosting The Tonight Show and, for seven months, I got to. I did it my way, with people I love, and I do not regret a second. I’ve had more good fortune than anyone I know and if our next gig is doing a show in a 7-11 parking lot, we’ll find a way to make it fun. And finally, I have to say something to our fans. The massive outpouring of support and passion from so many people has been overwhelming. The rallies, the signs, all the goofy, outrageous creativity on the internet, and the fact that people have traveled long distances and camped out all night in the pouring rain to be in our audience, made a sad situation joyous and inspirational. To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I’ll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.
As a fan and as a writer, that really affected me. With so much of my future still hazy, it’s nice to hear someone be so genuinely optimistic and grateful. He makes me want to make Just Plain Something the very best it can be. Mr. O’Brien, if you’re reading this… thank you.
Update: Apparently just a few hours after performing, Will Ferrell’s wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy, the couple’s third child. Talk about a good sign!