But his recent broadcast send-off on Friday, January 22nd, leaving The Tonight Show after 7 too short months as host, was very classy.
“Please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it’s my least favorite quality. It doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard – and you’re kind – amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, it’s true.”
Television is a very brutal, volatile business. It eats its young, and shoots its wounded. You can’t count on anything, even a signed contract. A person’s word means nothing. Over 40? Good luck. You’re ancient. And I can tell you from vast experience that faith-based media, sad to say, is no better.
But O’Brien’s inspiring words ring true: Don’t be cynical. Work hard. Be kind. Amazing things will happen.
With the way he signed-off, I’m more impressed with Conan’s character…than the enormous severance cheque ($33 million) he received from NBC to walk away.
Because no amount of money, large or small, can ever buy CHARACTER.