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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Conan O'Brien bids farewell to later time spot

No more vomiting Kermit. No more, er, self-fondling bear. No more poo-eating duck and probably, no more inappropriate Asian gay boyfriend jokes for announcer Joel Goddard.

Conan O'Brien bid farewell Friday night, not to his fans or his show, but to his late night New York spot. A spot he’s held since 1993. He heads to sunny Los Angeles, California on June 1 to take over Jay Leno's infamous "Tonight Show" spot -- a move that he promised fans, won't make him "grow up."

“That’s just not going to happen,” he said to a roar from the crowd. “This is who I am, for better or worse.”

And really, thank God for that.

Even if this doesn't mature Conan or his show's comedy, still, an hour earlier switch means certain bits and characters just won’t work. Can’t let the kiddies get a taste of La Bamba sporting a thong – or Maxy having another one of his Conan fantasies. But I’m confident that the heart and soul of the show – and what has given Mr. O’Brien such a supportive fanbase – will remain the same. The silliness of his general being, the awful-yet-hilarious impressions and the goofball interviewing that makes him such a treat to watch.

For his last show, Conan ended on a high note – recapping the moments that made the show great. (I secretly hope they put those “Best of ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’” on DVD or something.) From releasing scared, wrinkly Abe Vigoda back into the wild – I nearly died laughing – to bringing past-sidekick Andy Richter back on stage one last time, the night was full of hilarity. And what would a Conan send off be without a little leprechaun, also known as Will Ferrell in tight green briefs and a green hat.

Putting the funnies aside for a moment, Conan spent his last moments on set, or what was left of his set (he promised pieces of the “late night” stage to members of the audience), to say goodbye. Even though the show hopefully won’t change with the location and the time difference, Friday night was still an emotional farewell to the “Late Night” program that once was. Conan handled everything like a champ, thanking those who helped him get to where he is and expressing great gratitude in those who “took a chance” on our Big Red. It was a perfect send off. And it just goes to show that at the end of the day – joking aside – our favorite late night ginger is all class. After all these years and so much fame, he’s still humble and you still feel like he’s a genuine, non-douchey human being. (Hey Carson, take notes.)

Check out some fine Conan moments:


-- Sara Boyd, sboyd2@greenbaypressgazette.com

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4 Comments:

Breaking news: Andy Richter will once again be sidekicking-it when Conan assumes the "Tonight Show" reins. Check it out: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29371842/

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At February 24, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

nice post sara. also telling was how he thanked letterman first and not leno. it just proves who his inspiration was and i dont think he'll change because of it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 24, 2009 at 11:22 PM  

I totally agree. I think there's a respect and a reverence with Letterman that may not be there with Leno. Not that Leno's not good but I don't think it's a secret he's not the biggest risk-taker when it comes to comedy. Still, it was classy of Conan to give him gratitude for Leno's longtime support. It's just, Conan and Letterman are of the same mold.

-- Sara

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At February 25, 2009 at 1:54 PM  

No, you can come out and say it: Leno sucks! He always has and always will. Leno is "comedy" for mouth-breathers and grandmas. There is nothing sharp or witty when it comes to Leno's brand of comedy. I also think it's a dick move for him to be moving to 9:00 or whatever it is(still leading into Conan) - just go away!

By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 26, 2009 at 12:21 PM  

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