Monday, April 26, 2010

Loco for Coco

I heart Conan O’Brien. When my then-boyfriend introduced me to The Late Show with Conan O’Brien in the early 2000’s, I was doubtful. How funny could this pasty white Harvard graduate possibly be?

Wicked funny, I discovered. Conan’s comedy was fresh and smart. He genuinely fit the overused descriptor “out of the box” and appealed to me in a time when my comedy palette was growing more and more sophisticated. I couldn’t help but laugh every time he drove his desk around New York or challenged Martha Stewart to take a shot of hard liquor followed by a bite of some disgusting fast food burger. Probably because she always did it!

Conan also gave me moments that will live forever in my memory. After the tragedy of 9/11 overwhelmed the country, Conan faced a unique dilemma. When is it okay to make people laugh again? What is the place of a comedian in a time of nationwide mourning? Conan eased into it gracefully and hilariously, starting from the basics – a baby lifting a six-pack of beer. I laughed and felt grateful.

Watching Conan take over the Tonight Show was delicious. The joy continued – Twitter Tracker, Conando, puppies dressed as cats, Cody Devereaux, stunts with Hollywood stuntman Steven Ho. I attended a taping and saw firsthand Conan’s focus and commitment to making every moment of his show magnificent. This was not a self-absorbed comedian generating laughs to feel accepted. This was a professional entertainer skillfully developing his craft…and succeeding.

So imagine my excitement after the late night war finally ended when I heard Conan was going on tour! The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour – A Night of Music, Comedy, Hugging, and the Occasional Awkward Silence. His show at the Gibson Amphitheater last night was equal parts tribute, celebration, and group therapy.

Conan opened with a killer monologue in which he described the 8 Stages of Grief After Losing a Late Night Talk Show. One of the stages – 36 hours of Red Bull and Halo. He played a few tunes with his band, shared the stage with Andy Richter and former Tonight Show writer Deon Cole, and launched into a power ballad only to be interrupted by Jim Carrey dressed as Kick Ass. Seth Green, Aziz Ansari, Jack MacBrayer, Sarah Silverman, & Jonah Hill all came out to help him pull The Walker, Texas Ranger Lever. And he closed out the night with a cover of Cake's cover of Gloria Gaynor's hit "I Will Survive."

As Conan prepares for a new late night show on TBS launching in November, his live show seemed to say to his fans, “Thanks for everything. Now, let’s have some fun.” That we did, Conan. That we did.


  1. Excellent!! Did you see the encore?!

    I saw Saturday's show. Definitely a night of awesomeness!

  2. Yes, loved the encore! Loved Coco, loved everything, wish I could move into Cocoland and just laugh all day... :)