Kimmel took time out in his monologue to wish O’Brien well for wrapping his final “Conan” talk show episode on TBS after nearly 11 years. O’Brien has occupied late night television for nearly three decades.
“Before Conan, I didn’t even know bears could masturbate,” Kimmel said.
Then it was time to revisit an old grudge.
“Anyway, here’s to Conan and Andy Richter and everybody involved with that show,” Kimmel said. “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.”
For the uninitiated, O’Brien was promised “The Tonight Show” chair for years, and he replaced Leno in 2009. But Leno weirdly accepted a variety show in the prime-time slot ahead of O’Brien.
When both shows failed to connect, NBC returned Leno to “The Tonight Show” and shunted O’Brien off to a spot after midnight. O’Brien received $32.5 million from NBC in a contract settlement and moved on to TBS, where he hosted “Conan” for nearly 11 years.
The dustup was seen by many as a Leno betrayal of O’Brien.
Kimmel has always been Team Coco on the matter. He embarrassed Leno on his own show once when Leno asked him what his best prank was.
“I think the best prank I ever pulled was, I told a guy that five years from now I’m gonna give you my show, and then when the five years came, I gave it to him and I took it back almost instantly,” Kimmel cracked.