“I also wanted to congratulate Conan O’Brien on 28 years of very, very funny late-night television,” Kimmel said in his Jimmy Kimmel Live! monologue Thursday night. “Conan wrapped up his show on TBS tonight. You know, before Conan, I didn’t even know bears could masturbate.” Kimmel, one of Conan's fiercest defenders in 2010 when Leno wanted The Tonight Show back, added: "Anyway, here’s to Conan and Andy Richter and everybody involved with that show. We look forward to whatever you have planned next at HBO Max...And I also want to say, congratulations to Jay Leno on his new time slot at TBS.” Earlier in the day, Kimmel paid tribute to Conan and Andy Richter, with whom he collaborated with on the short-lived ABC game show Big Fan. "Tonight, two men I respect tremendously close a chapter of their brilliant careers," Kimmel tweeted. "Conan made doing his job the hard way look easy. He & Andy are among the funniest of the many funny people I’ve met. Congratulations to you & your co-workers on a remarkable achievement."
Twelve comedians reflect on Conan O'Brien's legacy: "His comedy really shaped my comedic sensibilities and my worldview," says Eric Andre, who started watching Late Night in high school. "Every memory I have about my first time on the show is good, and that’s not always the case with every talk show," adds D'Arcy Carden. Nikki Glaser recalled her dad popping in Conan's five-year anniversary special in the VCR in 1998. Bill Hader adds: "I started watching Conan in 1993, when I was 15 years old. Conan and The Simpsons were really the first thing in comedy that I felt was mine. It was the first thing that my parents didn’t get. Before that, I would watch Letterman or Monty Python and the Marx Brothers with them, but then Conan was the first thing that they went, 'What is this?' They were really confused by it, so I think that’s why it’s so special to me. I’d go, 'No, this is my thing.' He spoke to that." Jimmy Kimmel, meanwhile, says Conan is "obviously a very smart, bright guy and also just a naturally funny guy, but what is best about Conan is that he seemed to be doing things that made him laugh. I think that’s the best thing that you can do. A lot of people worry — I think too much — about what the audience thinks, and that never seemed to be a concern of his. I mean that in the best possible way, not as an insult. He really stayed true to the humor that he appreciated, from the very beginning to the very end...I also feel I should mention Andy Richter, who I think is absolutely great and one of the most underrated people ever on TV. The chemistry they have is rare, and he really brings a huge amount to the show and could certainly host one of these shows on his own. Andy genuinely is a kindhearted soul — and manages to be funny despite that." Sarah Silverman adds that "I grew up on Conan. Maybe you grew up watching Conan; I grew up on Conan. I was on it from when I was 22 to now. I’m 50 — that’s 28 years. God, I didn’t know who I was when I first went on. The first time I was recognized on the street was from being on Conan, because after I was fired from Saturday Night Live, he had me on all the time, doing bits from the couch. I felt comfortable enough there to try things on the couch and then later figure them out for stand-up, and usually it’s the other way around. But on Conan, it was so experimental. It felt so safe."