Tag Archives: Conan O’Brien

Space cadet

If you watched Conan last night — or this morning on DVR like me — you saw his interview with astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield, who recently retired after his return from a six-month stint on the International Space Station.

While he was there, he conducted experiments on the impact of low gravity on human biology.

But that didn’t score him a guest shot on Conan.

No, Hadfield used Twitter and Facebook to chronicle life on the space station in video and pictures.  In fact, his cover of David Bowie has received over 18 million hits on Youtube.

Let’s add a few more.

Team Sicko

CrazyCocoSee Conan.

See Conan bowl.

See Conan dance?

No.

Conan is kicking one of his writers, right after that same writer hit a strike that helped Team CoCo ultimately beat Chris Hardwick’s Team Nerdist in a bowling challenge.

Apparently Conan hit his writers that night when he was happy, and when he was sad.  And when Hardwick commented on  the behavior (when he was a guest on Conan this week), O’Brien admitted that he does it all the time.  And that the writer “could leave whenever he wanted.”

Nice guy.

I’ve had co-workers in the past who hit for ’emphasis.’  I can only imagine what it must be like, dealing with a egomaniac boss who thinks he can pop you whenever he wants.  And does.

There is nothing funny about that.

Giddy off

Many of my childhood beliefs have been shaken, but there’s one that holds firm:

If you suffer a bruise, you show the bruise.

On this Conan and I agree.

O’Brien fell off a water buffalo — of all things — while rehearsing a bit for a visit from animal expert David Mizejewski Tuesday night. Conan hit the stage floor hard…and the bit didn’t make the live show.

But the bruise on his thigh sure did.

Wednesday night Conan dropped trou and displayed the enormous purple souvenir of his not-so-smart ride for all to see. The studio audience. The band. Andy Richter. And oh yeah…

All the folks at home watching on TV.

At first glance you might think, “Geez, Conan — will you stop at nothing to get a laugh?” But I understand that, in this case, it goes beyond comedy —

He suffered the bruise. He shows the bruise.

It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

What a trip

Shia LeBeouf — of Transformers fame —  is out to prove he’s a serious actor.  And his methods are making headlines.

He’s grown out his ‘do a la Johnny Depp, obviously.  But his decision to take acid on the set of the movie The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman is perhaps a bit hairier.

His choice was inspired by the work of Sean Penn, who supposedly sat in the electric chair when filming Dead Man Walking.

Interesting.

So acting like you are on acid isn’t a choice for a serious actor?  You actually take acid instead?

Where’s the acting in that?

Contrast that decision to the recent experience of Isla Fisher, who stars in the movie Bachelorette, which opens next Friday.

When she appeared on Conan last night, she discussed how to play someone who was constantly drunk and high on cocaine…when she had never used the stuff.

She — and all the actresses in the film — would spin in place until right before action was caused.  When the camera began to roll, they were dizzy and off balance, which simulated the feeling of being high.

Wow — it was like they were acting like drunks…instead of simply getting trashed during filming.  Someone should tell Shia.

Although…there goes his excuse to drop acid.

Drum roll, please

Last night on Conan, the house band had a new sound.

A really big sound.

Conan has added, on a trial basis, a timpani drum.  He used it to introduce both himself and his guests.

It was seriously cool.

Don’t remember what a timpani drum sounds like?  Take a listen.

Isn’t that awesome?  Wouldn’t everything — and everybody — sound more important and more exciting if they were introduced with a timpani drum?

Yes.  Yes, they would.

Which got me thinking — my blog posts should be even better if they were preceded by the sound of a timpani drum…right?

I’ll get to work on that.

Johnny on the spot

For someone who doesn’t stay up all that late, I spend a lot of time watching late night television — about three or more hours each day, thanks to my DVR.

I should really be thanking Johnny Carson.

After all, he created the late night genre as we know it. All the current late night hosts have cited Carson as a major influence.

None of them are Carson, but they all have little pieces of him in their repertoire.

Jimmy Fallon has his joy.  David Letterman his creativity.  Conan his self-doubt.  Craig Ferguson his dirty mind.  And Jay Leno?

Well, Jay Leno just has his time slot.

It’s hard to believe that it was 19 years ago today that Carson signed off after hosting the Tonight Show for 30 years:

And so it has come to this: I, uh — am one of the lucky people in the world; I found something I always wanted to do, and I have enjoyed every single minute of it.

I want to thank the gentlemen who’ve shared this stage with me for thirty years, Mr. Ed McMahon — Mr. Doc Severinsen — and — you people watching, I can only tell you that it has been an honor and a privilege to come into your homes all these years and entertain you — and I hope when I find something that I want to do, and I think you would like, and come back, that you’ll be as gracious in inviting me into your home as you have been.

I bid you a very heartfelt good night.

Tweet this

It’s no secret that Conan — and, for that matter, all the late-night talk shows — are taped much earlier in the day.

(Sorry.  I thought you knew.  Oh, and the Easter Bunny?  He’s really Russell Brand.)

Lately Conan has been taking advantage of the early taping by having members of his staff ‘live tweet’ the show during its East Coast air time.

It’s pretty fun.  They open a thread on Twitter, make comments as events unfold on the show, and reply to tweets sent in by viewers.

Last night, Conan himself decided to lead the conversation.  It was quite the event; they announced it hours ahead of time.

Then he live tweeted the show…on Facebook.

Now, I know some people use the two social media interchangeably.  Their tweets post on Facebook and vice versa.  I’ve complained about it before in this space.

But Facebook fans of Team Coco, back me up on this one:  the endless stream of out-of-context one-liners that Conan posted from 11p-12a ET last night didn’t belong on Facebook.

They were tweets, not Facebook status updates.  There is a difference, whether we like to admit it or not.

The Twitter audience is different.  The expectation in language and content is different.  The frequency, for cripes sake, is different.

I know I can hide Team Coco status updates on Facebook, just as I can hide Twitter feeds.  I can also walk away, which is what I chose to do.

I’m just surprised that an entertainer who has been so social media savvy throughout his career — and even more so when his career tanked — would make such an amateur mistake.


Xmas in a box

The late night shows debuted their holiday decor this week.

You can tell a lot about a host by his tinsel.

Dave, Jimmy and Jimmy have gone the more traditional route — the scatter of lights, poinsettias, a tree or two.  Their sets look festive in the way you might expect.  Heck, they may be using last year’s decorations.

Who would notice?

You  will definitely remember Conan’s. His approach to trimming the set this year is more akin to projectile vomiting.  His stage makes Clark Griswold’s house look dark and neglected.  Dinosaurs.  Giant sandwiches.  A robot rabbi.

It’s gawdy and fabulous, but people with pacemakers best beware.

In sharp contrast, Craig Ferguson’s stage still suffers from bad lighting and leaks from the rain.  He seems filled with the Christmas spirit, but his budget extends only to a small, lighted desktop tree — that he plugged in with a flourish — and a Santa cap for Geoff Peterson, his robot skeleton sidekick.

Funny.  After watching both shows, I realized I preferred the simplicity of Craig’s display.  It has that authentic Charlie Brown quality, whereas Conan’s feels like the need to show off…to splatter his ego and budget all over the place to prove that he is back in the game.

Rudolph syndrome, no doubt.

Chill, CoCo.

Comedy pays?

TBS sports the slogan “very funny.”

But I’m afraid, after they finish promoting the premiere of Conan’s O’Brien’s new show on November 8th, it might be “very Chapter 11.”

I’ve never really worried about a network before…but I worry about TBS.  They seem like such a small group of underdogs.  When they initially adopted the “very funny” slogan, it was more aspirational than point of fact.

And now, with “Conan” on their lineup, battling it out with David and Jay (albeit with a half-hour head start), they’re spending the big bucks to make sure this late night venture is a success.

Or, at the very least, lasts more than six months.

Conan’s got a blimp — have you seen it?  It’s big and orange and inflated like his head.  Since I follow Team CoCo on Facebook, I get what seems like hourly tweets updating me on the blimp’s location…and the sucker’s all over the place.

Conan’s doing lots of promos on TV, of course, and I even saw an ad at the movie theater where he washes his desk a la wet t-shirt contest.  It’s all creative and funny and original and makes me look forward to the show even more.

I just hope there are millions of other people just like me.  For Conan’s sake.

And TBS.

Holidaze

There’s a rumor going around that it’s a holiday weekend…?

If you work freelance like me and don’t have the structure of an office — or co-workers to remind you — things like three-day weekends can slip up on you.

A friend asked me yesterday what “big plans” I had for the holiday.  After I wracked my brain to remember which one it was, I felt compelled to justify why I had nothing special on my calendar.

  • The dog had been sick.
  • I travel for business, so I tend to stay close to home for the holidays.
  • Most of my friends were out-of-town visiting their families.
  • I’m going to see Conan O’Brien on Tuesday at Radio City Music Hall…does that count?!

I realize being freelance isn’t the only reason my holidays are often atypical.  I’m not married, I don’t have kids, and I live far away from most of my siblings…so even when they do have big family gatherings, I’m usually too far away to participate except for Christmas or Thanksgiving.

So, Memorial Day.  Sorry I didn’t see you coming.  I’ll probably still work a bit on Monday…and will be sad there’s no mail delivery.

But luckily for me, the movie theaters never close.

Party!