Conan O’Brien is ending his talk show, TBS’s “Conan,” on Thursday night. Jack Black will be the final guest during the hourlong finale, which will air at 10 p.m.
Don’t fret, Conanfan types. He’ll be back in a different vehicle on HBO Max before too long. Indeed, he’s a staple in the entertainment world who has been on TV in some iteration for 28 years, and, until he stops working, he’ll probably always have some perch or another. His HBO Max series, with a format still unknown, will be his fourth go-round.
O’Brien burst onto the late-night scene in 1993, when he took over “Late Night” from David Letterman. He was in a similar school of comedy as Letterman, with plenty of absurdity and irony. Then he took over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno, which ended in disaster when NBC gave his desk chair back to Leno after only seven months, after Leno’s nightly prime-time talk show failed.
O’Brien landed on cable, with TBS’s “Conan,” in 2010, and he has also launched the travel series “Conan Without Borders” and the podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.” TBS has been a comfortable if less visible home for him, and he has thrived there. As a bonus, he has finally been able to have a live audience in recent weeks, and on Thursday fans will be there to help him say goodbye for now.