Ed. Note: Our beloved video editor Pete Schultz had the privilege of attending Conan O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television at Radio City Music Hall last night. He brings you an account of the show below — M.C.
A few months ago, the same people that approved this fall schedule decided that Conan O’Brien was no longer fit to host the Tonight Show, and replaced him with an eerily human robot programmed to put old people to sleep with middling humor. But you know what they say: When God replaces a human talk show host with a soulless automaton, he gives that talk show host a sold-out nationwide comedy tour. Last night, the tour mentioned in that age-old (and very specific) adage made a stop at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. I was lucky enough to score tickets.
Full disclosure: I am a huge Conan fan. I watched Late Night with alarming regularity. I think it was the best talk show ever. As you might imagine, my expectations for last night’s performance were extraordinarily high. Well, Coco delivered big time. I loved everything about it.
The opener was ridiculously talented Brooklyn-based comedian and musician Reggie Watts. Attempts to describe his act often come off as annoyingly academic, so I’ll spare you a block of boring text and just link to his website. Last night, he was the best I’ve ever seen him. He absolutely killed with a virtuoso performance of “F_ck Sh_t Shack” (NSFW, as you might expect).
The main event was even better. Now, I’m not going to report every last detail of the show because who would take the time to read that? Go outside. It’s summer. What I will do is give you a rundown of some of the highlights:
After two songs from Jimmy Vivino and crew (no Max Weinberg, unfortunately) and a short video, a bearded Conan was introduced and greeted with a long standing ovation. When the room finally settled, Coco gave us some insight into his post-show life, outlining the eight stages of grief a fired talk show host must face before he is finally healed. Here’s a video of this bit from the Vancouver show in a really weird aspect ratio.
Conan was later joined by old friends Andy Richter and, via video, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. We also witnessed our beloved Masturbating Bear transform into the Self-pleasuring Panda before our very eyes.
Special guests have been popping up throughout the tour and last night was no exception. Now, to say I would be excited to see Vampire Weekend would be an exaggeration. It would be more accurate to say that I would never be at all excited to see Vampire Weekend. However, most people seem to like them, so here’s a video of them and Conan playing that song that mentions Cape Cod.
More guest stars, including Bill Hader, John Krasinski, and Paul Rudd, were rolled out to pull the “Chuck Norris Rural Policeman Handle,” better known as the “Walker Texas Ranger Lever.” None of the clips disappointed, especially the now-famous clip of Haley Joel Osment coming to grips with a sad reality. Plus, Bill Hader pulled the handle in character as Stefon.
The biggest guests, however, were Conan’s basic cable competitors Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, who showed up to compete in an intense dance off that ended in tragedy. Seeing those three together on stage was pretty amazing for a comedy nerd such as me.
Did I mention that I loved this show? I did? Oh, okay. I guess I’m done with this post then.