David Letterman once gave Conan O’Brien a horse as a thank you gift, because of course

When a friend does something nice for us, it’s not out of the ordinary to want to give them a token of our affection. But you know what is out of the ordinary? When your “thank you” turns out to be a horse. Like, an actual, living, large horse. But that’s exactly what David Letterman once gave Conan O’Brien: a horse.

The epic exchange between the two late-night TV hosts happened back in 2015. The reason? O’Brien penned a tribute to Letterman when he was about to retire from The Late Show so Stephen Colbert could take over. You know what they say: No good deed goes unpunished. And indeed, O’Brien did not go unpunished.

Here’s how it went down.

"As he was departing this stage I wanted to write an appreciation piece, O’Brien told Stephen Colbert on Friday’s episode of The Late Show. "I said how much he meant to me and to all the comedians of my generation. And then word came back that Dave appreciated what I had written and that he’d be sending me something my way. And I was excited. I thought this is gonna be like, an amazing bottle of wine, chocolates, Hummel figurines that are hard to find — this is gonna be something really extraordinary."

Then the actual gift showed up.

"So, it’s the next day, and it’s an hour before the show," O'Brien continued. "And I hear there’s a truck that’s trying to get onto the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles. And it’s having a hard time getting on the lot. And I said, 'What do you mean?' And they said, ‘Well, it’s too wide. The truck is so big it can’t get on the lot, and it’s carrying the gift from Dave.' My mind starts to go nuts. ... I’m thinking he’s giving me a vintage Porsche — my mind went there."

Of course, it wasn’t a vintage Porsche. It was a horse…named Dave.


And the story only gets better.

When O’Brien went to ride the horse, he was told not to — because it had thrown off two previous riders. So basically, Letterman gifted O’Brien with an ornery horse named Dave. Lesson learned.

So, did O’Brien keep the horse? Watch him tell the full hilarious story below.


"Dave is a genius, but he’s an evil genius — he knew exactly what he was doing," O’Brien told Colbert.

Letterman always gets the last word.