Say what you will about pop culture and the manufactured distraction of the "Late Night Wars" but it really was a shitty way for NBC to deal with low ratings that, from my point of view, were entirely their own doing.
Watching the last week of shows, I felt sad about the situation -- and while Conan kept telling people not to feel sorry for him I couldn't help but feel sorry for his staff (190 people all got their pink slips because NBC thinks Leno is a better bet for late night).
And, as often happens with this kind of public circus, I got wrapped up in it all. When Conan sat at the Tonight Show desk for the last time and actually said nice things about the company that was currently kicking his ass to the curb, I got teary-eyed. In fact, just re-reading his closing remarks, I got teary again, especially over this:
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. As proof, let’s make an amazing thing happen right now.
Is that amazing, or what? He followed it with a monster of a jam session, perhaps a nod to the band which played even as the Titanic went down.