"The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" lowered its curtain on Friday, January 22 with a gratitude from Conan O'Brien to NBC, his staff and his fans. The host opened the show with, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have exactly one hour to steal every single item in this studio." As for what he'll do next, Conan joked, "I will do nudity. HBO, when you make the movie, I would like to be played by Academy Award winner actress Tilda Swinton".
Tom Hanks and unannounced guest Steve Carell showed up as his last interviews. "I don't want to get into a whole 'Coco, we hardly knew ye' thing. But honestly, in our house, you will always be the host of The Tonight Show," Tom said.
The taping which was kicked off at 5/4c that day was closed to reporters. But Conan said that the network has allowed him to say anything he wanted, contrary to the spreading rumor that he was given a rundown of what to say and not to say.
Few minutes before closing down, Conan said, "Between my time at 'Saturday Night Live', 'The Late Night Show', and my brief run here on 'The Tonight Show', I have worked with NBC for over 20 years. Yes, we have our differences right now and yes, we're going to go our separate ways. But this company has been my home for most of my adult life. I am enormously proud of the work we have done together, and I want to thank NBC for making it all possible."
"...To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I'll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism- it's my least favorite quality and 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. As proof, let's make an amazing thing happen right now."
Conan then welcomed Will Ferrell on the stage to perform with him, "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.