In 2015 David Letterman was preparing to leave the late-night scene after 33 years behind the host’s desk. Conan O’Brien was asked if he would write a tribute to his hero, that would be published by EW. Conan penned a piece about the legendary and revolutionary host who pioneer late-night television that was published just before Letterman’s final late-night sign-off.
Interestingly, readers weren’t the only ones to find Conan’s tribute touching. Apparently Letterman himself was moved by the piece, as O’Brien revealed on Stephen Colbert’s show on Friday night. He told the host of the gift Letterman sent him at the studio lot. O’Brien speculated that is was a vintage Porsche, however, as the massive truck pulled up after barely making it through the gate, he realized that he couldn’t have gotten it more wrong. In fact, Letterman gifted him a horse.
“Look at the expression on my face,” O’Brien said after Colbert showed a photo of him atop the horse. “That’s a man who doesn’t know what to do with a horse. Turns out, I look into it, you’ve got to feed them, you’ve got to board them, you’ve got to treat them humanely. Everyone I tell says, ‘It’s from David Letterman!’ Oh, and guess what the horse’s name is? Dave!”
O’Brien kept the horse for two years but with costs mounting, his wife found a rather curious solution to the problem: they donated the horse to an equine massage center.