Rainy I'm With Coco rallies and redheaded propaganda war notwithstanding, Conan O'Brien struck a deal for a $45 million exit-strategy with NBC, meaning his last show will be this evening. He knew it was over, quipped O'Brien, when NBC came over to drop off his CDs and pick up its lava-lamp. Ba-dum-bum.
O'Brien will be back in some form as soon as his contract allows (September 1), but the real tragedy of this whole truncated Tonight Show is the loss of one of the most beautiful, design-focused show-opens in television history. Check it out:
The glittery neon and Art Deco metallics of Los Angeles architecture have never looked so good, and the Tonight Show team manages to hit a wide range of highlights—the Getty Center, the Hollywood Bowl, the geodesic Cinerama Dome, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel—all without playing to L.A. stereotypes. Even the swooping curves on the set and nice stained glass behind O'Brien during his monologue are a sweet shout out to the city's Streamline Modern history. We hope whoever handles his production design is following him to his next gig, but until then, maybe O'Brien can donate the show open to local preservation group the LA Conservancy?