... He's back.

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LIVE-BLOGGING CONAN'S DEBUT

Conan returns: A running blog

By NICK TAVARES
STATIC and FEEDBACK Editor

What follows are the moslty sober ramblings of my friends and I during the series premier of Conan O'Brien's new talk show, Conan, spit out as quickly as I could type. It was fun in the moment, and it is preserved here for posterity. Enjoy.

9:54: Well we're an hour shy of the first episode of Conan, so in case you haven't seen it yet, might I recommend watching his "Show Zero" episode? Four minutes and 30 of awesome.

10:00: Twenty Four Bit compiled some memorable moments in Jack White's history on Conan's shows. If you didn't know that I had to change my pants when White was named Conan's first musical guest, then you don't know me very well. Seriously, though, check out "Let's Build a Home." Amazing.

10:07: Buddy Jon Couture has called me out in the Twittersphere. I am indeed in his living room, and his cat Newton is kind of getting upset that everyone's on a laptop. Deal with it, cat.

10:13: Just for fun, here's the opening of Conan's first night on the air in 1993, hosting Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

10:22: This party is off the hook, y'all:

Photo taken by Jon Couture when I wasn't looking.

10:26: TBS is leading in with Family Guy reruns, and they've got a counter running in the corner until Conan is on. Unlike most networks, they know their audience.

10:29: TBS has informed me that I am only 30 minutes away from the debut of Conan. Also, they are very funny. That is all.

10:34: I don't care, Family Guy is still funny.

10:35: Honestly, the desk commercial (embedded below, on now) is the greatest promo I've ever seen.

10:43: And there was the promo of Conan dancing sans music. I'm glad the little string-pants dance wasn't claimed by NBC as intellectual property.

10:52: We've stopped nerding out long enough to get beer, chips, salsa and soda.

10:55: Five minutes before 11 p.m. is 10:55.

11:00: It's time!

11:01: The Godfather opening. My God. This is already too much.

11:02: Yes, Conan, Don Draper is very good looking. Sweet Jesus, I'm losing my mind here.

11:04: Between The Godfather, Mad Men, the clown, the crying wife, Larry King, and all the violence, that was as solid an opening as you'll ever see. Sad to hear a new song, though. That seems weird.

11:07: "Thank you, and welcome to my second annual first show." Also, in case it was still a mystery ... he's kept the beard.

11:10: Digs in at himself, pokes fun at everyone's favorite last-place network, NBC, and Brett Favre's penis. I think Conan is right at home, folks.

11:11: Eleven minutes in, and the Masturbating Bear returns! This man knows what we want!

11:15: It looks like half the cast of Glory Daze was on Saturday Night Live circa 1988.

11:19: Andy is back on the couch, and the moon can move. But the best thing about Conan's new set? It doesn't have any of that residual Jay Leno stink on it? AMIRITE PEOPLE? Oh kay!

Andy: "It's got that realistic lunar wobble!"

11:20: Conan's "Ex-Talk Show Host" Halloween mask. Wow.

Andy: "Kind of an Asian Val Kilmer."

11:22: Ricky Gervais is endlessly entertaining.

Gervais on Conan: "He's sort of got a look for radio, but his voice is rather annoying..."

11:26: From the mighty Matt Berry: "The theme song kind of reminds me of the Beatles' 'Good Morning, Good Morning.'"

11:27: And our first guest from the entirely rigged contest... I've already forgotten her name. Some old lady with the Nutcracker. Ha!

11:31: Matt: "Gah, skinny Seth Rogen is frightening."
Me: "I really think there needs to be the disclaimer of buff Seth Rogen is about to enter."

Seriously, though, Seth Rogen is the perfect first guest. Funny, relevant, and can roll with the punches.

11:32: More banter!

Me: "I think half of Seth Rogen was left on the set of Knocked Up."
Matt: "That's actually what Katherine Heigl adopted. Not a chinese baby. Seth Rogen's ass fat."

11:36: See? Seth Rogen + Weed Story = Funny.

Matt: "I'm predicting a Conan/Jack White duet. 'Same Boy You've Always Known,' mayhaps?"
Me: "'The Union Forever' would be better. 'Cause you can't be loved! For there is no true love!'"
Matt: "That would freak people out so bad!"

11:40: Matt: "Hey, it's a Glee girl!" *Takes a leak*

Stay classy, Matt, stay classy.

11:43: Oh God! Conan in high school!

11:46: Matt: "I believe Conan just said 'We'll be right... Jack White... asjdfkasjd;fas'"
Me: "Honestly, if I ever missed the very beginning and I didn't already know the band, I could never tell who his musical guests were."

True story: In 2002, I spent at least three weeks trying to find out who his redheaded, Weezer-like guest was one night. It was Ben Kweller, who had played "Wasted and Ready."

11:49: Conan has a guitar! Jack White! Yes! They're playing the classic "Twenty Flight Rock," which was actually the first song Paul McCartney played for John Lennon when they met. Lennon was impressed that Paul could remember all the words.

11:51: Matt: "I can't wait to see Jack White in The Tourist."

11:52: Matt: "I believe they have Conan's guitar set at Craig Finn's volume level."
A Hold Steady reference! What more could you want, folks, right?

11:53: I am very impressed by Conan's Eddie Cochran voice. That rocked. Damn.

11:58: Matt: "Jack White interview? This is unexpected."
Me: "I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not."
Matt: "Not at all."

Also, I have that record, Conan's And They Call Me Mad?, recorded at White's Third Man Studios in Nashville. It's amazing.

12:00: Hey, the same ending song!

Matt: "Leave it to George Lopez to start off the most important show of his life with a reference to an internet phenomenon that's already wacked out."

Also, this gem from my friend Ryan: "I've never seen George Lopez before, but after three seconds, I'm done."

And so are we, folks. I have to be up at 6 a.m. tomorrow, so, goodnight to you all. And watch Conan! Seriously, keep watching. I don't want to have to do this again in a year when he's on QVC.


Here was the message we had up earlier, if you're curious:

Tonight, at 11 p.m. EST on TBS, Conan O'Brien returns to late night with the first episode of the appropriately titled Conan. And to mark the occassion, I'll be live-blogging the proceedings as much for your entertainment as mine.

Until we get rolling (I imagine that will be around 10 p.m. or so), please enjoy this clip of Conan washing his desk, as I have so many times:

And while we're at it, here he is driving his explosives-and-popcorn-packed car off a cliff:

Fantastic. See you around 10.

Nov. 8, 2010

E-mail Nick Tavares at nick@staticandfeedback.com

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