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On Thursday night, Conan O’Brien hosted what he has said would be his final late-night television episode, on his last late-night television program. He began on TV as a largely unknown 30-year-old in 1993 with exactly the kind of pedigree you would’ve expected then: Harvard-taught, an alumnus of both The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live, an advocate for the weird and disruptive trends emerging in comedy to which, despite him being an Irish-Catholic Massachusetts native, he had a singular pulse.

My introduction to Conan’s work was via Late Night With Conan O’Brien, the show he hosted as the wedge between his beloved Johnny Carson and Jay Leno and which was repurposed as a day-after lead-in to The Daily Show on Comedy Central for a while. When it came time for Conan[1] to assume his seat at the top of NBC’s hierarchy, it suffered from poor ratings and a shift back to late-night along with the Tonight Show name, which Conan would fundamentally not accept. A back-and-forth ensued, and Conan eventually ceded the seat, leaving us bereft of him for a time while he popped up on tour and at music festivals – more on that later.

I understand that his is mainly a slightly-older generation of an audience, the tweeners that both lived to experience Nevermind in real time, cognizant of it or not, and also know how to navigate social media without sparking fights at a dinner table, but my friends and I – white and well-off-ish enough as we were – liked Conan better than any of the others mostly because we never knew what to expect.

Below is a list, mostly off the top of my head, of my personal favorite Conan segments, recurring and otherwise. I know this isn’t the end, but HBOMax’s app is horrendous, and anyway, it isn’t as widely accessible as he has been for thirty years otherwise. Conan, we only wish you well, as you ever wished us.

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ABC’s “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time”

What is “inessential”? Pieces of trivia are, by nature, tidbits and factoids that at best connect two seemingly disparate ideas to each other but, perhaps at their most quintessential, elicit nothing more than a “Huh, didn’t know that” from someone. There’s a reason trivia is (usually) a popular way for bars to kill time and fill people up with Miller Lite on non-sports nights; take that concept, turn the answers into questions[1], and voila: you’ve got a long-running syndicated game show.

Answer: this television figure, who died on Sunday at 80, hosted the longest-running iteration of Jeopardy! for 36 years. Who is Alex Trebek? Well, to many, he is so much more than the game show with which the rest of us will forever associate him.

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Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

If you had to choose a theme for this holiday blockbuster season, you could make a strong argument that it is delusion. I spent my vacation time away from work in the company of some of the most arrogant, excessive and stubborn characters I have ever seen on a silver screen. Some were relatively grounded; others were space cadets. American Hustle, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and The Wolf of Wall Street all displayed varying degrees of lunacy and screwiness in movies where the central characters were all tied together by the size of their kaiju-like egos.

Holiday movies tend to be a bit warmer with a focus on a hero or redeeming character. You can probably get this fuzzy feeling from films like Saving Mr. Banks, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. But it seems to me that the three most buzz-worthy offerings would rather you go running to your raucous family gathering for escape rather than go to the movies to avoid more awkward meals with your second cousin.

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