While the final episode of TBS's Conan featured Jack Black as the featured guest, comedy luminary Will Ferrell joined animation icon Homer J. Simpson, as they both appeared to say goodbye to America's longest-serving late night talk show host as he closed this chapter and moves on to a streaming variety series on HBO Max. A cold open animated by The Simpsons team, where O'Brien worked as a writer before transitioning to late night, pitted O'Brien against Homer as a hostile and incompetent HR representative who was conducting Conan's exit interview, complete with a dismissive reference to one of O'Brien's episodes of The Simpsons.
Ferrell, who also appeared on O'Brien's final episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien and the final episode of The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien, showed up via Zoom. He made a joke about the Batman sex controversy that has been driving so much social media conversation for the last week or so, and then recorded a number of advance messages so that he can be sure to be on hand for the final episodes of any other shows O'Brien might do.
For Black, the show apparently attained sentience. The sketch was supposed to include the actor feigning an injury while singing an energetic farewell to Conan. Instead, Black apparently injured himself -- for real -- in rehearsal and appeared on the finale with his ankle in a splint.
At least, that's the idea.
The rest of the show was made up of Conan doing stand-up and clips from previous shows, highlighting some favorite guests and moments, including his famous open-mouthed kiss with Ryan Reynolds and conversations with folks like Jason Momoa, Steve Martin, and Martin Short.
O'Brien had a lot to live up to with his final monologue. When he left The Tonight Show, he delivered a famous monologue that told his audience to do away with cynicism, becuase he believes that "if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."
This time around, though, he wasn't just saying goodbye to the Tonight franchise, but instead to late night as a whole, since his next show will be a totally different animal. He took the time out to thank his family, his crew, and the people who helped him get started in late night, from producers who believed in him, to Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels, who put his reputation on the line to back O'Brien in the '90s.
You can see how some of Conan's fans responded to the finale below.
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And a snippet of the one time actually did get into Conan Con (the first show which means we got the best funko pop, brag!) and he sent us off with a rendition of Creep. #ConanAtLargo #teamcoco pic.twitter.com/lxesP4ie7V— amy susanne 🖕 (@sabrinaobscura) June 25, 2021
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It’s bittersweet to watch this #ConanAtLargo finale. Being that I’m only 25 I’ve grown up with @ConanOBrien in the background of life. I know this isn’t the end of Conan but this feels like the close of a chapter. Thanks for the laughs Coco! #CONAN #ConanOBrien— Austin Lopez (@austinlopez96) June 25, 2021