O Captain, My Captain!

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien is over. Like Cory Devereaux, it went out in a glorious burst of hilarious flames. So, why am I so sad? You see, Conan was my best friend on television.


As a teenager I was quite the night owl, and Conan’s Late Show was always there for me. His blend of awkward lankiness and confident self-effacement emboldened my younger version. He was a paragon for awkward teens, so I emulated his mannerism and tried to incorporate them into my own.

Moreover, when I made my first big trip from the suburbs to New York (THE city), the first thing I wanted to do was go see Conan. I lied about my age, and I waited in line to get rush tickets. My friends and I were among the final people to be selected: my life’s dream up to that point was being fulfilled. It was a freakin’ Lifetime movie I tell you.

When Conan was announced as the Tonight Show host I was terribly excited and proud. My friend had graduated; he had achieved his childhood dream. Over the past seven months, I have only missed maybe five shows. And you know what? They were all glorious. In those episodes he set a high watermark that will never be eclipsed in my lifetime.

But most importantly, Conan was able to live his dream, albeit briefly, but nonetheless he lived it. He was the host of the Tonight Show and no one can take that from him. Kim Campbell will always be a former PM, and Conan will always be the former host of the Tonight Show. Scratch that, he will always be THE host of the Tonight Show!

Here is an excerpt from his final show. Obama, eat your heart out:

And all I ask is one thing…and this is…I’m asking this particularly of young people that watch…please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it’s my least favorite quality.  It doesn’t lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get.  But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.  I’m telling you.  Amazing things will happen. – Conan O’Brien

See you when I finally turn my TV back on in eight months, Conan.

Your friend,