After penning what can only be described as a sensational kiss-off to the jackals who run NBC earlier in the day, Conan O'Brien had to do the impossible and actually show up for work this evening. As the curtain pulled back and Andy Richter introduced the dead host walking to the Tonight Show audience, it felt like an eternity passed before Conan and his shock of red hair emerged from the shadows. It was an electric moment, as the audience gave Coco a standing ovation, one that helped will him through what must've been the most difficult monologue of his career to date. However, Conan displayed little of the bilious contempt for NBC that leaped off the page in his letter; rather, his jokes carried the unmistakable air of someone who was trying to put on a brave face after being deeply hurt. In particular, his joke about watching Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show when he was a boy and making a vow to himself that "Someday, I'm going to host that show for seven months" was one of the more heartbreaking moments we've seen on television in quite some time. And even though tonight's monologue left little doubt that Conan is reeling, he should rest a bit easier tonight knowing that he's winning the PR war by a landslide.
Most Watched on Vulture
Most Viewed Stories
Connie Britton Leaves Nashville Fans With the Cold Comfort of a Heartfelt Coda After That Momentous Episode
Vulture’s Final 2017 Oscar Predictions for Every Category
Video Games Are Better Than Real Life
15 Stars Reminisce About the Actors Who Used to Beat Them Out for Roles
Elijah Wood’s Friend Nick Just So Happens to Be the Bachelor
Girls Recap: When She Was Good
Nashville Recap: The Queen Is Dead
Girls: How the Matthew Rhys Episode Compares to the Patrick Wilson Episode
In Get Out, Allison Williams Makes the ‘Good White Person’ Terrifying
Why Was Times Theater Critic Charles Isherwood Fired?
Latest News from VultureNeal Brennan Explains How He Pitches Black Comedians Jokes with the N-Word
The comedian takes us inside his process in this transcript of Vulture’s comedy podcast, Good One.What This Year’s Oscars Race Means for Female Protagonists
Three female-led films — Arrival, Hidden Figures, and La La Land — are competing for Best Picture this year. Sadly, that’s a record.Matthew Weiner on His Upcoming Novel, Mad Men Reunions, and Answering Questions From Fans
“How could I not acknowledge that this is a huge chunk of my life?”How First-time Filmmaker Macon Blair Found a Home at Netflix
Macon Blair’s I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore charmed Sundance. Now it’s part of Netflix’s mission to become a player in movies.Leonardo DiCaprio Is Definitely Hiding His Oscar in This Fanny Pack
What else could be in there?Foo Fighters Aren’t Breaking Up, and the Proof Is in a Surprise Livestreamed Concert and a Glastonbury Do Over
Protect Dave Grohl’s legs at all costs.Why Did Barack Obama, a Mature Adult, Want to Watch Monster Trucks?
According to Hollywood insiders, he requested a screener.Manchester by the Sea’s Fishing Boat Has Ties to a New England Family’s Real-Life Tragedy
The boat used in the movie is named after a Manchester-by-the-Sea family’s deceased daughter.Crashing Recap: On the Road
“Comedy: six letters, but a thousand reasons it makes the human condition easier.”Rhea Butcher On Transgender Bathroom Protections: ‘It’s About the Right to Exist. To Be.’
The genderqueer comedian recalls the first time she was turned away from a public restroom.
Oscar season is a time to give lots of stage time and verbal compliments to people of color before handing the trophies to white people.Connie Britton Is Rebounding From Nashville With a Nicole Holofcener Movie Where She’ll Flirt With Ben Mendelsohn
Netflix’s The Land of Steady Habits is going to be indie-riffic.Frank Ocean Debuts Radio Show on Apple Music Featuring an Interview With None Other Than Jay Z
He’s played Prince twice and interviewed Jay Z.WATCH: What Is Going on With All of Katy Perry’s Bizarre Interviews?
“Now that you’re Ed Sheeran, it’s like, put your ball sack on me.”Tracy Morgan’s New Netflix Stand-up Special Is About ‘Staying Alive’
The special comes out May 16.Fred Armisen Can’t Help But Be the Star of Old 97’s ‘Good With God’ Video
“I realize what I’m doing. The problem is, as it’s happening, it feels like I can’t control it. It’s not that I’m not aware. I hate it.”Cary Fukunaga Hung From the Ceiling to Shoot Jake Gyllenhaal Singing in Sunday in the Park With George
“He wanted it to be as present and messy as possible, without being too messy.”Get Out Proves the Vitality of Horror in the Trump Era
Jordan Peele’s horror-comedy is the first in a coming wave of thrillers that mine the terrors of everyday life.What It’s Like to Eat Sheldon Simeon’s Food With Top Chef Judge Gail Simmons
A five-course dinner at the James Beard House.Simone Biles Will Reportedly Compete on Dancing With the Stars
She’s said that her dream dance partner would be Sasha Farber.