I knew this day was coming, and yet I find myself no more prepared than when I first heard the news. Conan O’Brien will be ending his late-night run on June 24th. It has been a historic run for the comedian, filled with highs and lows and everything in between. Now he will be moving on to different pastures, specifically a show on HBO Max, and while I am excited that I’ll still get to see him in some capacity, my grief remains.
Grief may seem like a strong choice to some, but it might not feel strong enough to others. Conan was the first late-night host I felt a connection with. His silliness, his personality, the string dance. I felt a connection to Conan O’Brien. I still do.
It’s also hard to not see this as a further shift away from what the late-night landscape once was. I’m not overly precious with late night, and with people like Amber Ruffin carrying the silliness torch, I know it is not over yet, but Conan defined the genre for me. I’m sure I’m going through the same feelings that others did when Carson or Letterman ended their runs behind a desk. Knowing that this kind of thing happens and will likely happen again doesn’t make it any easier.
Now, we wait. We soak up the last two months of Conan’s show, which will feature a look back at his time at TBS. We thank the late-night gods that his tenure there ended better than his time at NBC. It’s the end of an era and while I haven’t fully come to terms with it yet, I’m excited to see what lies ahead.
Header Image Source: TBS