Saturday, January 23, 2010


We've a had a lot of fun being here these last seven months, but like everything in life, the fun has to come to an end a decade too early. As I set off for exciting new career opportunities, I just want to make one thing clear to everyone listening out there: I will do nudity.

There has been a lot of speculation in the press about what I legally can and can't say about NBC. To set the record straight, tonight I am allowed to say anything I want. And what I want to say is this: 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.

Walking away from the "Tonight Show" is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Making this choice has been enormously difficult. This is the best job in the world, I absolutely love doing it, and I have the best staff and crew in the history of the medium. But despite this sense of loss, I really feel this should be a happy moment. Every comedian dreams of hosting the "Tonight Show" and, for seven months, I got to. I did it my way, with people I love, and I do not regret a second. I've had more good fortune than anyone I know and if our next gig is doing a show in a 7-11 parking lot, we'll find a way to make it fun.

Finally, I have to say something to our fans. The massive outpouring of support and passion from so many people has been overwhelming. The rallies, the signs, all the goofy, outrageous creativity on the Internet, and the fact that people have traveled long distances and camped out all night in the pouring rain to be in our audience, made a sad situation joyous and inspirational. 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 don't 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.

This is how he left us: as classy and humble as anyone in his position could, and then some.

I spent all day watching Conan clips, from both Late Night and The Tonight Show. I even tried to put together my own "best of"/montage reel.

I was watching Conan tonight as he came close to tears giving this speech, and I have to admit that I was quite choked up as well.

I've been a fan of late night television since I was allowed to stay up late enough to watch it. And in my family, being old enough to stay up this late occurred at about the same time that you start having "real" problems. With that said, late night TV has always been an oasis of sorts to me. A place I can visit at the end of the day, alone and at peace; a place of refuge.

This might sound kind of lame, much like a lot of what I write in this blog, but goddamn, it's the truth. No matter what I would encounter in the daylight, how bad of a day I would have, whatever life could throw at me, in the end, Conan was always there to make me laugh. Occasionally I would have to deal with a week of reruns. And heck, there was even that period of several months where CoCo was off the air altogether. Don't ask me how I managed; I don't know.

So, until September I'm kinda screwed. "Ray" and "King of Queens" reruns better suffice, or it's all about bad infomercials for me and my fellow insomniacs.

I suppose I should take advice from the great one himself: don't be cynical, work really hard, and be kind. And of course, put an "ASS" stamp on all Jewish drummers I encounter.