Conan Chokes up as He Bids Farewell to the One-Hour Format and His Basic Cable Band (Video)

Jimmy Vivino and the guys won’t return with the host when he shifts to half-hour shows in January

Conan O’Brien is not going to miss doing an hour-long show four nights a week for TBS, but he’s sure gonna miss Jimmy Vivino & The Basic Cable Band.

The “Conan” host got choked up on Thursday when he bid farewell to his house band of 25 years. The guys will not return in January when the late-night show reformats into a half-hour series. The abbreviated “Conan” will still shoot four days a week and air four nights a week next year.

“I have been blessed with the most versatile, loyal, and joyously effervescent band in the history of television,” O’Brien said of his friends and outgoing colleagues.

“At the most perilous moment of my career, when I was suddenly without a show and feeling pretty alone, this band came with me on a nationwide tour that is to this day one of the highlights of my life, he said.

“They are remarkable musicians and they’re even better people,” he added. “There is no better testament to their generosity of spirit than the fact that every day — every single day at rehearsal — they have generously let me play guitar with them and endured my torturously slow progress. I have no idea if I’m a better comedian now than I was in 1993, but thanks to these guys I’m definitely a better rhythm guitarist.”

Watch the touching video above, which fittingly concludes with an energetic Jimmy Vivino & The Basic Cable Band performance.

The format change will allow O’Brien to do more remote-location shoots and launch a podcast. While on TV hiatus for the fall, O’Brien is embarking on an 18-city stand-up comedy tour.

Here is Conan talking about his future plans: