With the Help of Homer Simpson, Conan O’Brien Says Goodbye to His TBS Show and Late Night
Thursday night (June 24th) marked the end of Conan O'Brien's run as a late-night television host, the last 11 years with cable network TBS.
I assume like many people in O'Brien's target demographic, I actually forgot that tonight was his last show until highlights started showing up on social media after 10 p.m. The lack of top-of-mind awareness for his show most likely played a role in its reduction from a one-hour show to a 30-minute show in January 2019, just two years before its demise.
Just like his fellow late-night comedians Jimmy Kimmel (ABC) and Jimmy Fallon (NBC), O'Brien had a bit of a liberal streak in him, but in my opinion, he could still create great bits involving his staff, random people on the street or his studio audience.
Before joining NBC to host Late Nite in 1993, O'Brien worked as a writer on FOX Television's The Simpsons.
That connection provided an extra bit of comedic gold for O'Brien's TBS farewell show. O'Brien, in animated form, had his TBS 'exit interview' with Homer Simpson. In just a brief two-and-a-half-minute skit, Homer botched the name of O'Brien's cable channel and had a call-back to the most famous Simpsons episode that O'Brien wrote: the episode in which Springfield built a monorail.
The monorail episode, "Marge vs. the Monorail," was the 12th episode of Season 4 for The Simpsons in 1993.
O'Brien's skit with Homer Simpson also briefly alluded to Conan's failed tenure as the host of NBC's The Tonight Show (2009-10). I always thought Conan got a raw deal from NBC. Jay Leno was allowed to be lurking in the shadows during O'Brien's seven months as the host of The Tonight Show and, of course, re-took the reins of the show after Conan moved to TBS in 2010.
Conan ended his show in what I thought was a pretty classy manner; 15 minutes of 'thank you's' including praise for his sidekick and writing partner, Andy Richter.
Conan now moves to a different WarnerMedia platform, HBO Max, where he'll have to rely even more on social media, and word-of-mouth to stand out in the crowded realm of digital streaming shows.
Here are some videos that recap the best of "Marge vs. the Monorail," including the catchy monorail song, sung by Phil Hartman.
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