Though I’m sad Conan O’Brien will not be carrying on the legacy of The Tonight Show, I feel partly vindicated that once O’Brien knew he would be off the air, he lightened up again, and his ratings soared.
If feels the new time-slot (ney, audience) forced him to be more buttoned up, less silly/absurd, which really is what made Coco the beloved goofball that he is.
Seeing a new clip this week reminded me of how far Conan had come from his self-admitted low budget late night gig. Take for example, Whale Week, a week’s worth of skits from mid-era Conan in which they incorporated a giant whale costume because it was too expensive to use once:
Look how far we’ve come. Earlier this week Conan claimed to be planning unfunny but very expensive skits, including this alleged $1.5 million prank of dressing the most expensive car in the world up as a mouse, while playing a rare Rolling Stones original recording. Hilarious.
Check out the video here (as NBC has pulled it from their website). First of all, it’s funny. Second of all, it’s expensive (though prolly not $1.5 mil expensive, as you can borrow a car of the lot for the free pub). Thirdly, it’s funny-cuz-it’s-weird Old School Conan. The skit seems to reference his old absurdist one-offs I always loved (isn’t that right, Cactus Chef playing ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ on the Flute?).
Oh, Cony-cone-cone. We still love you. Can’t wait to see where you’ll wind up next. Cabin Boy 2?