On Thursday I blogged that Conan O'Brien's frustrating experiences with NBC (which yanked his show away after 7 months, having promised him the program 5 years ago) were literally turning him into Letterman (who's had plenty of his own reasons to be bitter at NBC). But after watching Conan's farewell show on Friday I have to change my mind on that.
His goodbye was gracious and, okay YEAH I'm gonna SAY IT, inspirational. I'm paraphrasing here, but he basically expressed genuine gratitude for working at NBC the past 17 years and getting to host The Tonight Show for any length of time at all (which is every comedian's dream); he seemed overwhelmed and touched by the outpouring of support he'd received at rallies and online; and he capped it off with this: "All I ask is one thing, and I'm asking this particularly of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it's my least favorite quality. 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. I'm telling you, amazing things will happen."
Ironically, his ratings for this past week, when he was allowed to do whatever he wanted and be as creative and crazy as possible, jumped by at least 50%, rendering NBC's reason for canceling the show completely moot.