Last night was Conan O’Brien’s swan song as host of The Tonight Show.
Neil Young was the scheduled musical guest, and stopped by to toast the host with a heartfelt rendition of “Long May You Run.” “Thank you for what you’ve done for new music,” Young told O’Brien at the song’s conclusion.
It might have made a great ending for the show, but Conan had one more trick up his sleeve.
After thanking his fans and crew and making nice with NBC, the new king of late night strapped on his electric guitar and joined a motley crew of musicians, including ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Beck, and Ben Harper, to pull off perhaps the greatest (and funniest) version of “Free Bird” ever performed on television.
Lead vocalist Will Ferrell, channeling the ghost of 70’s southern rock, provided the appropriate degree of cowbell, and O’Brien got to ride off into the sunset on a triumphant note.
Long may you run.
Watch a video of Ferrell and the gang below.