Conan O’Brien was the first late-night host to pay tribute to David Bowie, who died Sunday night at 69 after a long battle with cancer. Bowie appeared on the various incarnations of O’Brien’s show many times over the years, and the host decided to focus on the “fun” and “funny” moments they spent together.
Dating back to a 1997 appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, the host showed a montage of clips that included a parody of “Space Oddity” they performed together.
Later in the show, O’Brien aired a clip from a bit they did some years back called “Bowie Secrets.” In the video, the singer delivered deadpan lines like, “You would think that being a famous rock star married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is.”
Similarly, Jimmy Fallon called Bowie someone with “one of the greatest senses of humor of anyone I’ve ever met,” revealing that they used to email jokes back and forth every once in a while.
“I was trying to think of something funny to say, but it just wouldn’t come out right,” the Tonight Show host continued. “So I’m just going to email you, David Bowie, and if you can check your email in space or heaven or wherever you are, you don’t have to email me back.” He urged viewers to download Bowie’s brand new album Blackstar and “just play it loudly and thank him.”
Over the years, Fallon has impersonated Bowie with a character called “Tebowie” that combines the music icon with Christian quarterback Tim Tebow.
On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah saved his Bowie tribute for his “Moment of Zen,” which included these words of wisdom from the Thin White Duke: “If you feel safe in the area that you are working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you are capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you are just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
And at the very end of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert presented a special performance of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” by his musical guest EL VY.