Watching the last episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien was kind of like saying goodbye to a friend you know you’ll see again, but they just started dating a new person (who you know will change them), and you have this deep suspicion that the next time you see them they aren’t going to be quite as awesome as they used to be.
Maybe it’s easier to put it like this (this is totally fictional): I have a best friend, he moves away from our town, meets lame people, then comes back a few months later wearing a fanny pack and shaving regularly.
In his last episode Friday, Conan explained how New York, and its people, were as much a part of the show as the jokes or skits. Just as New York had come to define Letterman before him, Conan allowed a city's creativity and imagination guide the show, instead of just wandering into the alleys of Los Angeles for obligatory “man on the street” sketches (ahem, Jay Leno).
Maybe part of the reason I connected so much with Conan’s show was because it was shot in New York, but I think it goes much deeper than that.
Freshman year of college, my roommate and I would sit up, no matter what night of the week, and watch Conan’s monologue. It didn’t matter if we had a test or a paper due, we would sit in our tiny two-person room (with three roommates!) and watch as an overzealous, over-coiffed, and over-caffeinated 6’4” leprechaun bounded around the stage making fun of George Bush, Chuck Norris and Britney Spears.
We would cry of laughter when he put on a fake moustache and played olde tyme baseball, and when Andy Richter reappeared we would howl for more. Conan O’Brien made everything better and it was because he was just like us: quirky, misunderstood, and over-caffeinated.
Here’s hoping he stays that way.
FANCY NEW FEATURE ALERT: (Almost)every time you see a highlighted word or phrase, scroll over it to expose a video, sound clip, or Wikipedia entry that illustrates (much better than I can) what that person, place or thing is all about. Try it with the Andy Richter link above! It's fun! Seriously!
Also, I didn't include the lame caption under the video.