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Why The World Needs More Conan O’Briens

Conan O’Brien
Conan O’Brien. [Photo/ Courtesy]

Conan O’Brien doesn’t fit into any celebrity mold — with his boulder-sized cranium and flaming orange pompadour, he awkwardly struts along a stage with his ghostly lanky frame. And we all bow to his awesomeness.

For about 16 years O’Brien was the host of Late Night on NBC, which he took over from David Letterman. Prior to hosting Late Night, he had worked for several years as a writer, first for Saturday Night Live and then for the Simpsons.

Humor and Style

His humor is always self-deprecating, sometimes inappropriate but always funny. O’Brien’s slapstick humor often seems to be at the expense of his own ego and the characters he includes in his shows border on carnival-esque performances.

Conan O’Brien
Conan O’Brien. [Phoro/ Courtesy]
One such character is the Masturbating Bear, who would come out from behind the studio curtains, jiggle his enormous dangling balls, then disappear again behind the wall of fabric.

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Another character was Walker Texas Ranger. Unfortunately, Walker (played by Chuck Norris) was never in these segments himself. Conan O’Brien would invoke Walker’s spirit with the use of a lever. When pulled, the scene would cut to a random clip from the now-canceled show, Walker Texas Ranger, with Mr Norris fighting crime in his most unusual way. The terrible dialogue and the cheesier than cheese acting were a hilarious contrast to O’Brien, who would often act austere and talk about random issues before turning towards the lever and pulling it with glee.

Goodbye Tonight Show

On June 1, 2009, Conan O’Brien took over Jay Leno’s seat on the Tonight Show, a move negotiated with NBC years prior. However, the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien didn’t last long and the final episode aired on January 22, 2010. A few weeks later on March 1, Jay Leno returned as host. These changes created conflict in the public and the entertainment industry, with most supporting O’Brien. The decisions made by NBC were seen as controversial and their perceived mistakes were mocked by the media, including Leno and O’Brien.

Despite his on-screen feud with NBC during the demise of his run on the Tonight Show, O’Brien thanked NBC for providing him with a home and an outlet for his humor for most of his adult life.

And despite the relatively somber ending, O’Brien insisted on it being a happy one like the free spins.

In his short speech, he taught us about regret, how having them is a waste of time. He taught us that counting your blessings is better than pining over lost chances. O’Brien kept himself admirably composed up until he mentioned his fans, and for just a few seconds he choked on his words and fought to compose himself.

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For O’Brien, the support of his fans and the loyalty of his audience was the most important. In what may have been the most touching part of his speech, O’Brien then went on to advise his fans not to lose hope.

Conan O’Brien



Conan O’Brien. [Photo/ Courtesy]

“All I ask is one thing, and this is, I’m asking this in particular of young people that watch. Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record it’s my least favorite quality, it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, amazing things will happen,” O’Brien said.

His last day was accepted by audience members and his fellow entertainers as a classy end to his short run at the Tonight Show.

The Laughs Continue

Until Conan O’Brien graces eagerly awaiting living rooms once more, he has been busy tweeting. Yes, that’s right. Tweeting.

His Twitter bio reads: “I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account.”

His Twitter updates have distinctly awkward, self-deprecating, yet outrageously funny O’Brien humor.

One tweet reads: “I’m confused by the new census form. There’s no box for ‘Sickly White'”

“Jewish fun fact: If you celebrate Passover on top of an overpass, you go back in time,” reads another.

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His tweets have even included a then random unknown, Sarah Killen, who now is somewhat famous due to O’Brien’s following. When this article was published, O’Brien had 877, 097 followers.

Coco Goes on Tour

Conan O’Brien is currently on his comedy tour entitled, The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, which claims to be “a night of music, comedy, hugging and the occasional awkward silence.”

Conan O’Brien
Conan O’Brien. [Photo/ Courtesy]
He’s even tweeted updates of the tour, and prior to its start wrote, “5 days to the opening of my tour. I don’t want to over-hype this thing, but attendance will cure all known diseases.”

“I’ve added shows in Atlantic City and Vegas. Bieber plays Houston tomorrow. We circle each other like cobras,” referring to O’Brien’s “feud” with singer Justin Bieber.

O’Brien’s sold out tour goes across America and a few main stops in Canada.

Reasons why the world needs more Conan O’Briens:

  1. With the exception of Elvis Presley, no one can rock a pompadour like Conan O’Brien.
  2. He’s bringing pasty back in an industry obsessed with orange spray tans.
  3. He showed dignity and grace when exiting the Tonight Show.
  4. He’s not afraid to be controversial.
  5. The string dance.
  6. He’s optimistic and he’s humble. Others may have fallen into a drunken stupor, entering rehab after their show’s end. Conan had no issue taking his comedy to Twitter and on tour. He even stated in his final Tonight Show monologue that if his next show was on a 7-Eleven parking lot, it would still be fun.
  7. He’s one of the few people in the entertainment business who’s genuine. When he says something, his fans believe him.
  8. He seems like a genuinely nice guy.
  9. According to O’Brien, he has the best staff and crew in the history of the medium. And he’s willing to fight anyone who says otherwise.
  10. He always remembers his fans. Even up in Canada.
  11. He believes he’s the luckiest person on earth and he’s grateful for his good fortune.
  12. He’s funny. And we all need more humor in this world.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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