If you follow me on Twitter, you know by now that I am 100% on “Team Coco.” Conan O’Brien has long been one of my favorite late-night personalities, but up until last year I usually only caught his Late Night with Conan O’Brien on Friday nights since it was on so late. When he took over The Tonight Show, I was thrilled that I’d at least be able to catch his opening monologue a few nights a week, which always had me laughing out loud. Sadly, as you probably know by now, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien is no longer, and I admit — I shed a tear while watching its final live broadcast on Friday night.
Conan took a moment toward the end of the show to say a few heartfelt words about his experience, and he couldn’t have said it better. In case you missed it, here is what he said (you can watch the video here):
“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. I really do.
A lot of people have been asking me about my state of mind, and I’ll be honest with you — 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 — 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 one second. I have had more good fortune than anyone I know and if our next gig is doing a show in a 7-11 parking lot, we will find a way to make it fun. We really will. I have no problems.
And finally, I have to say something to our fans. This massive outpouring of support and passion from so many people has been overwhelming for me. The rallies, the signs… all this goofy, outrageous creativity on the internet… the fact that people have traveled long distances and camped out all night in the pouring rain to be in our audience, has made a sad situation joyous and inspirational.
To all the people watching, I can never ever 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, and I’m asking this particularly of the young people that watch: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — for the record, 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.“
So true, Coco. So true. I firmly believe that being a good person will take you far in life, and I believe that Conan is one of those good people. I also hope that some young people (and adults, for that matter) heard his message and will now think twice about their cynicism and lack of kindness. Life is just too short.
Thanks to Conan for some wonderful years on NBC, seven awesome months on The Tonight Show, and for being such a stand-up guy. I can’t wait to see what he does next.