It’s been a long, strange trip for Mr. Conan O’Brien. From his days introducing the world to the masturbating bear to becoming a quasi-folk hero after being fired from The Tonight Show and making the jump to TBS, O’Brien has been one of the most reliable faces on late night with a career that spans nearly 30 years. But like everyone who approaches their 30th birthday, there comes a time when they must quit their talk show job and move to HBO Max.
Last November, O’Brien announced that he would be leaving TBS behind for a weekly variety show on HBO’s streaming platform. And while many may have shrugged this off as an impossibility, on Monday night, he announced that his final episode of Conan on TBS would air on June 24, 2021. During his last week, special guests will stop by to help Conan say goodbye to cable and commercials, concluding with an extended final episode before he leaves for the greener pastures of cord-cutters.
Conan debuted on TBS in 2010 following a very public falling out with NBC. Along with his trusty sidekick Andy Richter, O’Brien forged a new path, ditching old characters, picking up video games, and continuing to explore the mind of Jordan Schlansky, for which we’re all grateful. In the years since, he’s managed to keep the show fresh by traveling to other countries, conducting this delightful interview with Willem Dafoe, and reducing the show’s runtime to a half-hour. Despite being a somewhat strange pick for David Letterman’s Late Night replacement in 1993, O’Brien survived to become the longest-serving current late-night talk show host in the U.S., winning four Emmys along the way. Not bad for a guy who once introduced a lever that played random clips of Walker Texas Ranger.
So long, Conan, we’ll see you when HBO Max’s algorithm deems it necessary.