Conan O'Brien Says David Letterman Once Gave Him a Horse Named Dave as a Thank You Gift

Conan O'Brien revealed that as David Letterman prepared to retire from late night television, O'Brien penned a touching tribute for him — so Letterman gave him a horse named Dave

David Letterman doesn’t horse around with this thank you gifts.

Conan O’Brien revealed that in 2015, as Letterman prepared to retire from late night television, O’Brien penned a touching tribute for the comedian— and Letterman returned the favor by gifting O’Brien a horse named Dave.

“As he was departing this stage I wanted to write an appreciation piece,” O’Brien, 54, explained to Stephen Colbert on Friday’s episode of The Late Show. “And then word came back that Dave appreciated what I had written and that he’d be sending me something. And I was excited.”

“I thought this is gonna be an amazing bottle of wine, chocolates, Hummel figurines that are hard to find — this is gonna be something really extraordinary,” he continued.

“So it’s the next day and it’s an hour before the show,” the Conan host said. “And I hear there’s a truck that’s trying to get onto the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles and it’s having a hard time getting on the lot. And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ [And] they said, ‘Well, it’s too wide. The truck is so big that it can’t get on the lot and it’s carrying the gift from Dave.”

“My mind starts to go nuts,” he said. “I’m thinking he’s giving me a vintage Porsche — my mind went there.”

But when O’Brien went outside, there wasn’t a luxury car with excellent horsepower waiting for him — just a horse. A horse named Dave.


Knowing absolutely nothing about horses, the TV host was shocked to learn that there’s a lot of work involved with owning a horse — and it all cost a lot of money.

But eventually, O’Brien decided he was going to make the most of the situation. He thought, “You know what, Dave me a horse — I’m gonna ride that horse.” Only once he went to the place where he was keeping Dave the horse, he was told riding him wasn’t such a good idea because the horse had already thrown off two people who had tried.

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After two years, O’Brien’s wife finally found a solution: donate the horse to an equine massage school, where students can learn how to give horses massages.

“Dave is a genius, but he’s an evil genius — he knew exactly what he was doing,” O’Brien added.

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