Conan O'Brien Bows Out in Style
This morning, I watched Conan O'Brien's last "Tonight Show" on my DVR -- after my regular morning viewing of Fox News' "RedEye W/Greg Gutfeld," which is what usually passes for latenight-TV viewing in my house.
(If you missed the big goodbye, it is on Hulu.)
So, I'm not and never really have been a foot soldier in the Late Night Wars. I watched Jay Leno's self-titled primetime show exactly twice -- when it premiered, and when he had Rush Limbaugh on (really, couldn't miss that lap in the electric car).
I've seen O'Brien's work off and on over the years, mostly in clips (including the animated "Pale Force," which I loved), and in the couple of times I've met him, he seemed like a warm, charming, nice guy. The last conversation we had was a brief one about the deleterious effect of California sunshine on fair Irish skin and the necessity of strong sunblock.
So it was with professional interest that I kept a weather eye on the recent latenight upheaval, but I didn't get emotionally involved.
Then I watched O'Brien's final "Tonight." First of all, the clip package made me wish I'd tuned in sooner. I may have to haunt YouTube for some of the best bits. Then during his final goodbye ... well, I got a bit misty. There may have been a catch in the old throat.
I especially liked what he said to young people about cynicism, that it was his least favorite quality, and that if you work hard and are kind, amazing things will happen.
For that alone, I hope he gets another high-profile gig as soon as possible -- whether it be on Fox or somewhere else -- and keeps spreading that message of hard work, goodwill and good humor.
As I said on Twitter during the heat of the controversy in mid-January, go toward the love, my pale Irish brother. Go toward the love.