Conan O'Brien's Late-Night Farewell: Celebrities Pay Tribute to the 'All-Time Great'
The comedian, 58, bid an emotional farewell to his hosting duties on his self-titled TBS show Conan after 11 seasons.
"My advice to anyone watching right now - and it's not easy to do, it's not easy to do, but try; try and do what you love with people you love," he said during the Thursday show. "If you can manage that, it's the definition of heaven on Earth."
In honor of his final episode, several celebrities and comedians recalled their favorite memories with O'Brien on social media.
"Conan, thank you for 28 wonderful years of late night shows. Now, can I claim the title of 'palest host?'" Stephen Colbert quipped on Twitter, while fellow late night star Jimmy Kimmel honored O'Brien both on social media and on his own show.
"Tonight, two men I respect tremendously close a chapter of their brilliant careers. Conan made doing his job the hard way look easy. He & Andy are among the funniest of the many funny people I've met. Congratulations to you & your co-workers on a remarkable achievement," Kimmel wrote, referencing O'Brien's longtime sidekick, Andy Richter.
During his monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the TV host mentioned O'Brien's late night drama with Jay Leno in 2009, when Leno replaced O'Brien on The Tonight Show.
"Anyway, here's to Conan and Andy Richter and everybody involved with that show," Kimmel said. "We look forward to whatever you have planned next at HBO Max. And I also want to say, congratulations to Jay Leno on his new time slot at TBS."
"I love Conan. I don't care who knows it," the actor wrote alongside a photo from Thursday's show. "He's always been game to go all the f------ way…In comedy and kindness. What an amazing honor to be on the farewell show. Much love to him and the whole incredible @teamcoco crew and family. Can't wait to see what the next chapter brings!"
Other celebs also shared highlights from their appearances on Conan over the years, with Chris Pratt revealing that it was his very first talk show.
"This is me on Conan 11 years ago," the Guardians of the Galaxy actor wrote on Instagram. "My first talk show. I think I stood up in the middle of the interview to take my jacket off at one point. He's been a friend and supporter since day one. Much love #teamcoco"
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"It was aaaaalways a joy to go and see @teamcoco," the Game of Thrones alum captioned her post. "I'm so glad my first talk show interview was on yours! So funny, so professional and truly one of the nicest people in the industry."
Hill wrote, "Late night with @teamcoco Conan o brien was the first talk show I ever did. This is a photo from that night. This was 15 years ago and I was 22 years old. Conan was and is my favorite talk show host of all time. He was so kind and generous to me that night and every time after I ever saw him."
"From his classic snl writing to simpsons writing to his years of brilliant hosting and writing his own shows, he will go down as one of the all time greats," he continued. "Thank you Conan for getting me through so many hard times with your brilliance. I can't wait to see what you do next. All my respect and love. Ps I know the math makes no sense as I am 50."
Reese Witherspoon posted a series of clips from Conan on her own Instagram, captioning the post, "Can't say enough kind words about Conan O'Brien. What a brilliant, kind, hysterically funny and genuinely curious late night host. He always listened to my crazy stories and laughed at my weird jokes every time I can around for a visit. Thank you Conan and the whole @teamcoco for keeping us laughing for so many years!"
"Congratulations, Conan. You've been the most fun battle on late night for…decades. Thank you for raising the bar for all of us—while raising the coolest kids with the most brilliant wife. (See how I sneaked that in there, Liza? Hoping for a pizza night soon 🤗)," added Jennifer Garner, referencing O'Brien's wife Liza Powel.
Mindy Kaling, meanwhile, shared her own personal connection to O'Brien — she was an intern at his first show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
"Is this a fun fact? I used a @teamcoco quote in my high school yearbook. He was *that* important to me as young person interested in comedy," the writer and actress wrote on Instagram. "Later, when I was 19 and lucky enough to be an intern at his first show, he took the time to be nice and encouraging to me, even though I was weird and ineffective."
The mom of two continued, "Has there ever been anyone as quick-witted as Conan? I sometimes watch him and I just don't understand it. How does his mind work that fast? It's one of the great mysteries and joys of watching him, I guess! Congrats Conan! Never stop working, even if it kills you. ❤️."
Kaling's The Office costar John Krasinski posted an old photo from a previous appearance on Conan, joking in the caption, "This is a photo of the first time I was lucky enough to be a guest of the great Conan O'Brien. As is evident from the grainy image, the year... was 1973. This gentleman is without question one of my favorite and greatest inspirations. Both in what funny is... and what kindness is. Here's to @teamcoco ! For tonight and every night... thank you!"
See more tributes to Conan O'Brien below:
O'Brien will be hosting a weekly variety show for HBO Max starting later this year.