A lot of change is coming to Conan as the TBS talk show shifts to a half-hour program beginning in January. Most notably, music performances will no longer be a regular part of the show. Last night, the final hourlong episode aired, as the show is now on hiatus before the new format rolls out. During the show, Conan O’Brien paid tribute to Jimmy Vivino & The Basic Cable Band, his longtime house band that has also been cut from the show.
Taking on a serious tone, O’Brien spoke about the band for a few minutes, calling them “most versatile, loyal, and joyously effervescent band in the history of television” and relaying how important they’ve been to the show and to him on a personal level:
“There are many, many changes coming up that I’m very excited about, but to be really honest and very frank, there’s one change on the horizon that makes me quite sad. In January, when our show transitions to the new half-hour format, our band will not be with us. Since we began this journey 25 years ago, my band has been a daily source of joy in my life. These remarkable musicians have given their talent, energy, enthusiasm, and incredible showmanship for over 4,000 hours.”
The band then played a cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s blues classic “Killing Floor,” so watch O’Brien’s speech and that performance above.