Conan and NBC have signed a deal.
I knew this was coming, and I have been more than a little opinionated this past week about this entire situation. I've been taping every episode of The Tonight Show this week, and while it has been consistently hilarious, it has also gotten very bittersweet. I'm going to be watching the episode from last night sometime this evening, and it makes me sad to know that I only have three more episodes of The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien left to watch. I know I've made it clear numerous times just how much I respect Conan, but I just wanted to write a bit of a tribute.
Just before getting into it, I was searching Conan, and Canada, and found this opinion piece, in which Matthew Hays calls for the CBC to hire Conan. It'd never happen, but if it did, I'd be the happiest woman on the planet.
I was 14 years old when I first really "discovered" Conan. He did four shows from Toronto in 2004, and I watched three out of the four. I'd watched a bit of late night television at that time, and a talk show host doing his show from Canada seemed like a big deal to me. I watched--and I laughed. I was still far from a regular viewer though, I'd say that started when I was 17 or so. Even then, as a student, I could only watch his show daily over the summer. While I was in University, Friday nights were the nights I'd sit down and watch Late Night With Conan O'Brien, at least on the nights I was home. Even if I only watched the monologue, I always got a good laugh, and he was my favourite of the late night personalities (far, far above the boring and tired Jay Leno).
I remember being thrilled in 2004 when it was announced he'd be taking over The Tonight Show. This came after he did his shows in Canada, and I was still very impressed with him. That, and I was happy because it meant he was on an hour earlier. On June 1st, I sat eagerly on the couch upstairs and watched the brilliant cold open with glee. He had been off he air for three months, and I was happy that he was finally back on the air. I had a rough summer last year, and I was often feeling a little down on the nights I was at home. Since I never had any reason to wake up early, I'd watch Conan, and he never failed to bring a smile to my face.
When I started school again, obviously I was not always able to stay up and watch the show. I rarely taped it, because I thought he'd be on for years and years, so catching it twice a week would be enough. Had I known NBC would do what they've done, I'd have taped every episode. Some nights, I'd be really stressed out from homework, and I'd tear myself away from the computer at 10:35 to watch The Tonight Show, because it was the best way to unwind for me. I don't know what I'm going to do to unwind after Friday, but I'll find something.
I'm sure Conan will find work on another network, but apparently he won't be able to start up again until after September 1st. Wherever he lands, I'll be sitting on the couch the day he starts, watching. After I graduate, I'm hoping to fly down to the States to catch a taping of whatever his new show is.
Here are some great clips:
Conan in Finland, knocking on Forss Fagerstrom's door. From Late Night
Tom Hanks gets hit by a meteor.
Conan's Na'vi assistant.
One of the many great Norm Macdonald interviews.
And part 2 of that interview.
From behind the scenes: Macdonald ruins the promos.
So here's hoping Leno crashes and burns in the most epic way possible. Surely he won't find success...so many people have made it clear they're on "Team Coco", so why would they choose to appear on Leno's Tonight Show after he helped shove Conan under a bus? I'll maintain what I've said before: I will never watch an episode of The Tonight Show that is hosted by Jay Leno.