O’Brien Bid Goodbye
Conan O’Brien has aired his last episode on The Tonight Show, Friday, January 22. He first took a jab at the network before finally thanking them for being his employer for the last 20 years. The final episode came after two weeks of talks and negotiations, not to mention jabbing, which ultimately led to a multi-million-dollar exit deal.
Joining O’Brien in his final episode are Tom Hanks, singer Neil Young who performed Long May You Run and Will Farrell who was the guest of O’Brien on his first episode on the show.
Comedian Steve Carell made a surprise appearance. He conducted the host’s “exit interview” asking him if there was anything that triggered his decision to leave. He then asked for his company ID badge and fed it to a shredder.
The show ended with O’Brien and Farrell singing Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. The episode garnered a whopping rating of 7.0/16 share in the country’s 55 metered markets. That is very far from the second place rating of David Letterman, which is at 2.5/5.
O’Brien was the fifth host of the show, and the shortest tenure at less than eight months. He was preceded by Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson (the longest tenure at 30 years) and Jay Leno who would be replacing O’Brien March 1. Reruns of the show and coverage of the XXI Vancouver Winter Olympic Games will be featured during the gap.