Early in the show, Howard told Robin that he was ready to make an announcement about his plans for the future and asked her when she wanted him to make it.
Robin immediately asked him to do it right away, so Howard obliged: "This is not going to be easy to say. And this all went down yesterday...I've never cried on the air. Maybe this will be it."
Howard explained: "Yesterday we had come to an agreement. And I was about to sign it...[but] I had a last-minute trepidation and I got nervous and I started to think about my future and where I'm at as a 57-year-old guy."
Howard said he'd decided to leave while he was on top: "I would be better off going into the sunset...I've also been talking to Boston University recently about becoming a professor there. And so I decided, with a lot of heavy heart, to turn Mel down and go off into the sunset."
After a pause, Howard revealed that this was not necessarily the announcement he was going to make: "When I make my announcement, that could be my announcement."
A Shell-Shocked Staff
Robin was not pleased: "You're an asshole!"
Gary agreed: "That was a dick move."
Lisa G was noticeably shaken: "I'm fine. Do I look that white?"
Robin looked her over: "Yes! What the heck happened?"
Lisa didn't answer--instead, she turned to Howard: "I hope you stay. I know you're happier here. We all are."
Richard Christy came in to say he wanted to strip for Howard's real announcement: "I just want to come in an be naked while you make the announcement."