Conan O'Brien announced yesterday that he will be leaving late night next year, after the longest run in late night host history at 28 years. He will be staying around though, thankfully, moving to a once a week show on HBO Max and continuing his Conan Without Borders show on TBS. My first thought was, congratulations. Conan has proven to be ahead of the curve every single time. He's an icon of staying relevant in a world where relevance has about a 5 second lifespan. But then, grief. a lot of grief. I'm holding both, because, I simply love him.

I started watching Conan at the very beginning, when he was a super young fresh faced goof, who didn't seem that much older than me, despite a 12 year age difference. It was like he saw into my brain and knew exactly what I thought was funny. He was like the cool older brother in college who would come home with his goofy friends, get me high, and make me laugh with his senseless antics.

He's made me laugh 5 days a week for the past 28 years. A reassuring face at night when I went off to college, lived overseas -(of course we could watch Conan in Ireland) when I moved to California without knowing a soul, and when I was a new mom, scared shitless up all night with a newborn, breast feeding every 90 minutes. It seems the two of us were always trying new things together.

Conan is the go to in my house when any of us, all of us, are moving through grief, hopelessness, anger, or simply a case of the blahs. He has a become a part of my formula for fun. When I am sad, I watch Conan giving his intern a driving lesson (if you've never seen this, it is 100% ridiculous).

I'm so happy for him. I've been rooting for him. He deserves all the good things. But also, I'm sad. He will be missed. He doesn't know this, but we've become really good friends these last 28 years. He's held me when I've been scared, uncertain, lonely. I think he's done that for many of us. And that's so BIG. I hope he can feel that. So to the good friend I've never met, I say thank you. Thank you a million times over.

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