The milestone episode marked the ending of Daly’s longest commitment to a TV show in his 20 years as a broadcaster, and the host and producer found a beautiful way to honor his late parents in its closing moment.
45-year-old TV host Carson Daly’s late-night show came to a closure after a 17-year run, and he took some time on the last episode to dedicate all of it to his late mother and stepfather, who both died one month apart in 2017.
Daly took to Instagram to share a picture of the TV screen displaying the emotional message he dedicated to Pattie Daly Caruso and her husband Richard Caruso.
“Dedicated to my mom & dad who I miss & love the whole world full. Thank you!” the onscreen message read.
“Fitting that the very last frame of my 2,000th & final episode of 'Last Call' be dedicated to these 2. I hope to God my kids care a fraction about me as I do them,” Daly captioned the post.
As proud as Daly is of what he has achieved with the show since its inception in 2002, he reportedly needed to spend more time with his family, prompting NBC to announce its plan to end the show in February.
"I am proud as hell of Last Call. The littlest, scrappiest show on late night, it's been my home and personal playground for almost two decades, and I'm eternally grateful for the opportunities, the friendships and all the lasting memories I've made along the way," Daly acknowledged during the final episode, aired May 24.
“Now, in my 40s, I’m focused on quality over quantity. I want to do more with my ‘Today’ family and continue hosting and producing ‘The Voice’ and explore new opportunities.”
It’s not just friends he made during his run on the show. Daly even met his current wife Siri working on the show, on which she served as a young writer’s assistant. The two married in 2015 and share three children ages 4 to 10.
"My 20s was about finding a good job. My 30s was about taking on as many of them as I could,” Daly told Today ahead of the “Last Call” finale.
“Now, in my 40s, I’m focused on quality over quantity. I want to do more with my ‘Today’ family and continue hosting and producing ‘The Voice’ and explore new opportunities,” he added.
NBC already has a replacement for the time slot Daly leaves behind, and YouTube star Lilly Singh will be occupying it from September with her “A Little Late With Lily Singh.”
Daly has been a cheerful presence in American television since at least 1997 when he was “discovered” by MTV, but there is a lesser-known aspect of him that he recently opened up about to raise awareness on an important topic.
"Fun fact: I assumed recent weight gain was a side effect from an anti-anxiety drug I started. Turns out it’s just working. The calmer/happier me is in a better mood & appetite increases," he tweeted on April 4.
Daly’s mention of his struggle with anxiety is part of his ongoing mental health advocacy. He has previously used his platform to help reduce the stigma around mental illness.