Conan O'Brien's after-party details: Irish wake for his final 'Tonight Show'
Looks like the Sundance Film Festival can't take all the celeb glory this weekend -- I've just learned that Conan O'Brien threw an epic after-party on Friday night for his final turn at hosting "The Tonight Show." So epic, in fact, the theme was a traditional Irish wake.
Jameson Irish whiskey and ginger ale flowed for hours on L.A.'s Universal City set, where O'Brien toasted loud and long with cohorts Andy Richter, musical director Max Weinberg and the show's band, including trombonist Richie "LaBamba" Rosenberg, as well as more than 200 crew wearing "Team Conan" and "I'm with Coco" shirts.
"We didn't rehearse today because we don't care. We've all been drinking," O'Brien joked during the show ...
Will Ferrell and "30 Rock" funnyman Jack McBrayer joined the departing staff for the bash, posing for photos and taking in an acoustic guitar performance Conan gave the studio audience after cameras stopped rolling.
O'Brien thanked the bleachers for "being the best audience in the world," and also for camping out in the rain that plagued L.A. on Friday.
Steve Carrell made a surprise appearance during taping, and guest Tom Hanks called the host's run a "noble experiment." (Check out O'Brien's ideas for his defunct set in the video clip above!)
"In our house, you will always be the host of 'The Tonight Show,'" Hanks imparted to O'Brien.
Get more on Conan's last hurrah from Company Town, and tell me -- is the departure too soon? Would you throw back a Jameson and ginger with him? Do you think Jay Leno can really come home again? Leave it in comments.
[For the record: A previous version of this post incorrectly applied Richie "LaBamba" Rosenberg's name to the entire band, instead of keeping it where it belonged, firmly attached to the trombonist. Thanks to commenter Steve for the catch.]
-- Matt Donnelly
Photo: Conan O'Brien appears on the final episode of "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" on Jan. 22, 2010 in Universal City. Credit: Paul Drinkwater / NBC via Getty Images.
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