"Ladies and gentlemen, today marks a bittersweet milestone in the legacy of late night, because after 28 years and 4,368 episodes, Conan O'Brien's late night run is ending," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show on CBS. O'Brien spent the first 17 years at NBC before moving to TBS, an "amazing tenure" that "started back in 1993, when he began hosting Late Night at the tender age of 9. Following a rocky puberty, he moved on to The Tonight Show, and then spent 11 years at Conan on TBS, not to mention his brief spinoffs Conan: SVU, Conan the Tank Engine, and Conarcos. Tonight is his last show, but like a kid who keeps saying he's running away, he'll be back before you know it with a new weekly show on HBO Max."
"Conan is a dear friend and a lovely fella who has been nothing but a strength and a great source of advice for me as I took over a late night show, and I want to congratulate him on 24 incredible years — and several perfectly fine ones, as well," Colbert joked. "I hope he makes the most of his six days of retirement before starting work at HBO, and right now I've asked one of my writers, Brian Stack — who worked with Conan for many years — to come out here and share some of his memories of working for Conan," though he was mainly interested in the "ugly dirt."
"I also want to congratulate Conan O'Brien on 28 years of very funny late-night television," Jimmy Kimmel said on ABC's Kimmel Live. "Here's to Conan and Andy Richter and everyone involved with that show, we look forward to whatever you have planned next at HBO Max. And also, I want to say congratulations to Jay Leno on his new time slot at TBS."