Late-Night Hosts Pay Tribute to Conan: Colbert Tips His Hat to a 'Dear Friend,' Kimmel Congratulates Jay Leno

Conan O’Brien‘s talk show brethren congratulated him on a job well done on Thursday, as his late-night television tenure came to an end.

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ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel began his monologue with an acknowledgment of O’Brien’s last show on TBS. “I want to congratulate Conan O’Brien on 28 years of very funny late-night television,” he said. “You know, before Conan, I didn’t even know bears could masturbate.”

Kimmel also alluded to the Tonight Show kerfuffle of 2010: “We look forward to whatever you have planned next at HBO Max — and also, I want to say congratulations to Jay Leno on his new time slot at TBS.”

Colbert, meanwhile, marked the day’s “bittersweet milestone in the legacy of late night” with a lengthy desk segment.

“Conan has had an amazing tenure,” he said. “It started back in 1993, when he began hosting Late Night at the tender age of nine. Following a rocky puberty, he moved on to The Tonight Show, then spent 11 years at Conan on TBS… Tonight is his last show, but like a kid who keeps saying he’s running away, he’ll be back before you know it with a new weekly show on HBO Max — which I assume is short for HBO Max Weinberg.

“Conan is a dear friend and a lovely fella who has been nothing but a strength and a great source of advice for me as I took over a late-night show, and I want to congratulate him on 24 incredible years… and several perfectly fine ones as well,” he continued. “I hope he makes the most of his six days of retirement before starting at HBO.”

Colbert then welcomed Conan-turned-Late Show scribe Brian Stack out on stage to bid a fond and oh-so-scandalous farewell to his former boss:

Earlier in the day, Kimmel, Colbert and Full Frontal‘s Samantha Bee paid their respects on Twitter (see below). TVLine readers gave O’Brien’s last episode an average grade of “A” (watch highlights).

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