I had a chance to chat with Brian Williams during NBC’s party at the TCA press tour on Sunday night, and as a throwaway of a closing question, I asked him what had been asked of virtually everyone else that day: do you think Conan O’Brien should stay?

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that, throwaway or not, he nonetheless gave me a serious, thoughtful answer.

“Oh, I hope to God he stays,” replied Williams. “We feel, I think, like east coast Irish-Catholic brothers. We came up and followed prominent people into our jobs and kind of came up at the same time. We talked about it a lot on the air. Conan’s got a great New England, almost blue-collar for a Harvard kid, work ethic. He drives himself hard, and I have just always found us to be kindred spirits. I love his sense of humor, and I hope to God he can stay with us.”

Hope may be dwindling, but Williams remains a class act.