Though Friday’s final episode of Late Night With Conan O’Brien wasn’t exactly the blowout celebration we had anticipated — it was basically just a clip show with some cameo appearances from Will Ferrell and former sidekick Andy Richter, plus a somewhat iffy
performance from the White Stripes — it certainly had its share of genuinely heartfelt moments. In the episode’s final good-bye segment, O’Brien gave thanks to every major figure involved in his unlikely career as a talk show host, and paid homage to his predecessor (and soon, direct competitor), David Letterman, and his seemingly eternal lead-in, Jay Leno. Strangely, though, he didn’t even mention his successor, Jimmy Fallon, much less wish the guy good luck as the new host of Late Night.
This is a strange thing, especially when you consider the fact that Conan obviously knows a thing or two about replacing a beloved talk-show host, having to win over a difficult audience, and facing critics convinced that he’ll be a failure. We’re not exactly pumped up for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, but it’s definitely kinda weird that a guy giving a speech emphasizing the fact that his career is something of a miraculous fluke would not take a moment to give props to late night’s latest underdog.