On Monday night’s episode of Conan, Conan O’Brien paid tribute to David Bowie, a frequent guest in the Late Night era, with a five-minute clip that spotlighted the humorous side of the rock legend. Bowie passed away Sunday following a long battle with cancer.
“Obviously this is a very sad day. Everyone found out that David Bowie passed away yesterday. Incredibly sad news,” O’Brien told the audience. “He was on our show several times over the years and the man was always outstanding. People are remembering today what a phenomenal musician David Bowie was and of course that was the case. He was mind-blowing talented, but in my experience, he was always an incredibly nice person, he was fun, he was always funny.”
O’Brien then shared a montage of the numerous times Bowie stopped by the Late Night, not just as a musical guest, but also as someone eager to kid around with the late-night host in the 12:35 a.m. hour. In the clip, Bowie is game to O’Brien’s gimmicks, including a photo history of Bowie’s (fake) onstage personas as well as singing an O’Brien-penned song. In one appearance, Bowie also shows off his Tom Brokaw impression.
The only thing missing from the montage were the high-caliber performances Bowie brought to the Late Night stage: A stripped-down acoustic take on Earthling‘s “Dead Man Walking” that’s perhaps more cherished than the album version itself, as well as a sterling rendition of Neil Young’s “I’ve Been Waiting for You” from Heathen. Also, Bowie in a “Secrets” sketch, where he revealed this:
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“Such a lovely man,” O’Brien said after the montage.
Over on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon also remembered the Thin White Duke. “Rest in peace, David Bowie. Great artist, one-of-a-kind singer, songwriter, actor, fashion icon, mad genius who also had one of the greatest senses of humor of anyone I’ve ever met,” Fallon said. “We’d actually emailed each other jokes now and then. He was brilliant and sharp and dark and funny.”