Sunday Snippet: Conan O'Brien

“And all I ask is one thing. And this is — I’m asking this particularly of young people that watch — please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it’s my least favorite quality. It doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”

Some time has passed and everyone seems to have moved on, so now we can really take a look back at that whole Tonight Show fiasco between NBC and Conan O’Brien. The late night talk show host walked away from NBC last year and we can learn a lot from the comedian and how he handled himself during those negotiations.

The quote above comes from Conan’s farewell speech on his last shooting of The Tonight Show. It’s important that we didn’t feel sorry for him then, even if we think he got “screwed” by Jay Leno and NBC. He’s clearly doing very well for himself, much better than the majority of the population.

Conan has since taken on a new gig, hosting his self-named late night talk show on TBS. It probably doesn’t pay as well as NBC, but it sure beats “telling jokes in a 7-Eleven parking lot,” as he once put it. Even if it was in a parking lot, he says he’d still do what he does, because he loves doing it.

We may never quite make “celebrity money” like Conan O’Brien, but it’s important that we still take his core message to heart: don’t be cynical. It’s far better to have a more positive outlook on life and on the sincerity of others. We never know quite what we are going to get out of life, but can work hard, keep our chins up, and be nice to our fellow man. And yes, amazing things really can happen.

Like landing a job at basic cable.