Conan O’Brien announced that his long-running TBS talk show will officially come to an end on June 24.
The late night host previously announced that his regular show would end sometime in June of this year as he pivots over to a weekly variety series at HBO Max. However, on Monday, the host took some time out of his show to put an official end date on “Conan” and to explain how he wants his final episodes to go.
“Imagine a cooking show with puppets and you’ll have the wrong idea,” O’Brien said of what will be the fourth iteration of a television show starring him.
“Anyway, we’re going to be making this switch. Now some of you are probably wondering why am I doing this? Why end things here at TBS? I’ll tell you that a very old Buddhist monk once told me that to pick something up you must first put something down,” the host continued. “I’ll be honest with you, he was drunk out of his skull and very belligerent. I maintain you can pick up two things if you use both hands. He just got mad and started swinging at me so I ended the conversation and took his advice.”
O’Brien is ending his run as the longest serving late-night talk show host in the U.S. after getting an improbable start in 1993 as the host of “Late Night.” He would eventually get a short-lived shot at hosting “The Tonight Show” before famously parting ways with NBC and moving his talents over to TBS 11 years ago. The Emmy-winning host has since branched out into the world of podcasts, live entertainment and TV specials in which he travels to other countries.
With more than a decade of TBS history at his back, the star made it clear he wants to spend his final weeks on the network reflecting on the work he and his staff have accomplished.
“The plan is we’re going to be showing a lot of clips of our favorite moments from the last 11 years,” he said. “We’re going to have some special guests, I think we’re going to create a really fun, special environment. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
He went on to thank the network for giving him the opportunity to continue his late-night career after things seemed uncertain amid his departure from NBC.
“I just want to point out that for 11 years the people at Turner have been absolutely lovely to me and everyone here at the staff,” he said. “They gave me a home when I needed one most and I’m eternally grateful. I’m very proud of what we accomplished here.”
He concluded: “What I’d like is, I’d like these last couple weeks to be a fond look back at all the absurd madness that my team and I have concocted.”
In addition to keeping his popular “Conan Without Borders” specials going on TBS, the host is expected to preside over a weekly variety show that will allow him to continue to have a creative outlet as he finally steps away from the daily late-night hosting game.
Fortunately, O’Brien’s audience is used to changes.
He hosted the new, self-titled show “Conan” until 2019, when he reformatted the series. The show reduced its runtime to a half-hour that abandoned the host’s traditional desk and chairs set and focused more heavily on an opening monologue and interviews with guests. Around the same time, he began his podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend.”
The comedian joined his late-night cohorts in recording their shows remotely in March at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. However, in July he announced that he was moving production of “Conan” to the historic Los Angeles comedy club Largo at The Coronet in an effort to both return to production and support the theater amid the pandemic.