Best goodbye by an anchor or host

While wondering “what ever happened to Louis Rukeyser” (he died in 2006), I found this video of his final appearance on “Wall Street Week”. Starting at 1:40, he tears into the Maryland Public TV executives who fired him and staunchly defends the show’s ratings. He even mentions he’ll start a show on another network. What other final episodes by a show host or anchor stick in your mind?

There’s Christine Chubbuck.
Maybe not the best.

Johnny Carson’s last night on The Tonight Show is the standard to be beat. Never anyone classier.

I’m gonna have to go with the end of Ted Koppel’s final episode of Nightline;

I kinda like the marijuana broad who recently left with “Fuck it. I quit.”

I think she might have been in Alaska.

You are right. Here’s the unedited footage.

I can’t remember a single detail of it but the last night of “Overnight” is it. I used to work 11pm to 8am and having that on was my “background noise”. She really impressed me more than any journalist before or since. That last episode/night I was caught by surprise as Linda Ellerbee started her usual closing remarks. All of a sudden it dawns on me that this is the end; it was almost as if I had lost a friend. Can’t name one story or repeat a single line, but the emotions I suddenly felt are still fresh in my brain. And so it goes.

Probably my favorite because it’s the freshest, or overly sentimental, but I loved Colbert’s goodbye to “We’ll meet again” with all his friends. That was fun and very memorable.

Does Howard Beale count?

Walter Cronkite. I remember what a huge thing it was at the time. Cronkite was an icon. And this was back in 1981 when there was a lot less television on the air.

Conan O’Brien was pretty damn classy, considering what had happened.

“Charlo Greene, the Alaska marijuana advocate who quit her day job as a television reporter last year, is cotemplating an unofficial mayoral candidacy, she announced Sunday.”


How about The Two Ronnies? Normally they ended each show with one saying “And it’s goodnight from me.” and the other saying, “And it’s goodnight from him.” but on their very last show, with Barker clearly not long to live, they just said, “Goodnight.”

I really enjoyed Craig Ferguson’s final show, and I’m looking forward to Letterman’s final show as well.

Chet Huntley’s final sign-off from the Huntley-Brinkley Report on NBC is quite memorable. Chet almost always came off as a quite solemn guy, but at times like this, when he let his emotions out, show what he was really like underneath.

Note that this was mid-1970, so the reference to better news in the future reflects the troubles the US was going thru at that time: Vietnam, Kent State, etc.

Chet died in 1974, just days before his Big Sky ski resort opened in Montana. His widow later married William “Cannon” Conrad.

Here’s a post I did on Huntley’s last report several years ago.

**Best goodbye by an anchor or host **


No Bud Dwyer yet? He went out with a bang.

The one I thought of first was Jack Paar’s mid-broadcast walk-off in response to the censors cutting a joke of his, saying, “There has to be a better way than this to make a living.” (He did return a month later after the censors gave in; he started his return monologue with, “As I was saying…”.)