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Team Coco Hits The Road
March 11, 2010 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Conan O'Brien announced a tour via his new Twitter account today. Entitled "The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on TV" tour, Conan picked 30 cities to travel to, but the demand has already been so great that additional dates are being added. The title references the fact that because of the terms of his exit agreement with NBC, he is prohibited from appearing in another television show until after September 1. Conan O'Brien's new Twitter account previously posted on MeFi. I'm guessing he's gotten the hang of it fairly quickly, given this was only announced via Twitter.
posted by questionsandanchors (63 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Would he be allowed to sell DVDs of the shows or maybe stream them online? As I'm too lazy to go to the city and too cheap to buy tickets, I fear that's my only way to get my Conan fix.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:24 PM on March 11, 2010


Too bad tickets are incredibly expensive and he went through Ticketmaster. For $700 you can get the meet and greet package.
posted by b2walton at 1:26 PM on March 11, 2010


Conan has lots of Twitter accounts.
posted by pinky at 1:26 PM on March 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Don't miss the update at the bottom of the previous post about a random person he friended.
posted by kmz at 1:27 PM on March 11, 2010


Far as I can tell, Leno's been legally prohibited from being funny on TV for years. Hasn't stopped him.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:28 PM on March 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


Oh for fuck's sake.

He signed a contract paying him millions of dollars with a television blackout as one of the provisions. Talk about faux-populism.
posted by Spacelegoman at 1:28 PM on March 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


He signed a contract paying him millions of dollars with a television blackout as one of the provisions. Talk about faux-populism.

"The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on TV" tour is a funnier name.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:33 PM on March 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


I think people love this recent Conan stuff because everybody wishes they could be him right now: Just laid off but with enough money to relish the unemployment and surf Twitter all day, and enough fame to let millions of others live vicariously through him. It's a lazy geek's dream come true. Sure, it's a constructed exercise in celebrity self-promotion, but one wrapped up in a modern-day fantasy that's surprisingly unoffensive to most of us.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:35 PM on March 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


Is it just me or is Conan more funny and relevant now than he ever was on television?
posted by Pastabagel at 1:36 PM on March 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


And none of those 30 cities are Helsinki? This could spark a diplomatic incident.
posted by Dumsnill at 1:36 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


it's an intelligent business move. this keeps him in the public's eye, making him more attractive to fox, and a better bet for high premiere ratings when the blackout is over. he and his handlers have done an amazing job of making him come out smelling like roses.
posted by nadawi at 1:37 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pinky, those other Twitter accounts were reported to be fake.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:44 PM on March 11, 2010


I walked past Conan on the street when I was eight or nine years old and I (being the daughter of Irish-American parents who love late-night TV and root for anyone with freckles or red hair or a last name beginning with "O' ") of course recognized him, though he must have just started hosting Late Night. He was the tallest and palest live thing I'd ever seen, and he was wearing a black leather jacket, and his hair was just like fire on the top of his head, and for some reason I thought that meant he was, like, the most handsome man in the world, ever.

So, that's why I love this recent Conan stuff, because I like seeing other people fawn over my oldest and dearest celebrity crush.
posted by sallybrown at 1:45 PM on March 11, 2010 [13 favorites]



Got my tickets for his Sacramento date this morning.
They really are selling fast.
Can't wait, tho for the price I paid there better be an appearance by Triumph at some point.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:45 PM on March 11, 2010


Is it just me or is Conan more funny and relevant now than he ever was on television?

Conan's show was most consistently funny during the writer's strike and in the last month or so when he knew he was getting fired. I'm not sure if it was because it kept him from relying on the same bits or if it's because in both cases he didn't care what the network thought.
posted by Gary at 1:47 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


for the price I paid there better be an appearance by Triumph at some point

Sadly, he won't be appearing. But I hear he did poop on all the tickets.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:48 PM on March 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


he's gotten the hang of it fairly quickly

Put away the MacArthur Genius Prize, it's typing 140 char and hitting send.

Ever since this Leno thing blew up, something's been bothering me. All this love for Coco -- where did it come from? Didn't NBC yank him because his ratings sucked? Wasn't he pulling the lowest Tonight Show numbers in 15 years?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:48 PM on March 11, 2010


Geez. Are you mad because someone tivo'd over your favorite episode of Two and a Half Men?
posted by bjork24 at 1:52 PM on March 11, 2010


Conan's show was most consistently funny during the writer's strike

I actually recall having thought the same thing. My point in my comment above was that I think all the producers and network BS kept him from being the completely odd fellow.

His tweets remind me of Louis CK's. They should add him to the tour and together the two of them could blow out everyone's retinas.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:53 PM on March 11, 2010


aw rats, Rory Marinich!
posted by pinky at 1:54 PM on March 11, 2010


"The completely odd fellow he really is." I don't know what the hell happened up there.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:55 PM on March 11, 2010


Are you mad because someone tivo'd over your favorite episode of Two and a Half Men?

It's an often misunderstood fact that Charlie Sheen is actually the eponymous half man. The other half is a goat, or so I've heard.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:55 PM on March 11, 2010


Bah! The road show idea is fine, but I'm a little bummed out that he's abandoned the one-tweet-a-day thing and is now just posting the latest tour updates. I was enjoying the spartan quality of his previous posting style. It was like a joke-a-day calendar, only they weren't so much jokes as absurd little humor nuggets.

I guess what I'm saying is I miss Conan's nuggets!
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:58 PM on March 11, 2010


Here: Have a nugget, Atom Eyes. I baked it just for you.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:00 PM on March 11, 2010


The last sentence was meant to be dry in tone. My apologies it didn't come off well.

Kansas City sold out in five hours. Craziness.
posted by questionsandanchors at 2:00 PM on March 11, 2010


Austin already sold out! ARRRGH! Now I'll just have to go to Big Bend to see masturbating bears.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 2:02 PM on March 11, 2010


I notice he's skipping Utah.

That's a smart move, as it's mostly Leno territory.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 2:05 PM on March 11, 2010


stupidsexyFlanders: "All this love for Coco -- where did it come from? Didn't NBC yank him because his ratings sucked? Wasn't he pulling the lowest Tonight Show numbers in 15 years?"

I didn't know about 15 years, though I'm sure you're right. It was a ratings flop, though a lot of people think that having Leno at 10:00 hurt the ratings for both shows.

Conan is what he always has been: the favorite late-night host among people who don't regularly watch TV. NBC did what big media companies do: they chose an increase in ratings over a real consideration of how their audience and revenue streams were changing.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:07 PM on March 11, 2010


Chicago sold out in like 30 seconds, he added a second date, and it sold out again*.


*yes, the $500/$700 tickets are still available, but still
posted by Oktober at 2:07 PM on March 11, 2010


Sold out already (SF), damn.
posted by wildcrdj at 2:08 PM on March 11, 2010


stupidsexyFlanders: "Ever since this Leno thing blew up, something's been bothering me. All this love for Coco -- where did it come from? Didn't NBC yank him because his ratings sucked? Wasn't he pulling the lowest Tonight Show numbers in 15 years?"

I assume it's some combination of
1. Leno really sucks. His humor is "safe", which also seems to mean "borderline racist with a conservative bent". At least in the few 10PM shows I saw.
2. Conan got a bum deal at NBC. The dream lost storyline appeals to a lot of people.
3. A lot of the people his comedy appeals to just don't watch late night programming.
posted by graventy at 2:10 PM on March 11, 2010


One of his dates is here in Tulsa, and the tickets aren't any more than they were to see Bill Maher. It's too bad the brady theater kinda sucks.
posted by wierdo at 2:11 PM on March 11, 2010


I mean this in earnestness--can someone explain why Conan is supposedly funny? Is my TV broken? I can't remember ever even wryly smiling at his schtick.

Again, I'm not trying to have a go here. I grew up loving Letterman; is Conan something I'd have to be 10 years younger to appreciate? I mean, I see how Conan is trying to emulate Letterman, but somehow it never seemed to click.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:13 PM on March 11, 2010


can someone explain why Conan is supposedly funny?

Others may disagree, but I think if you can watch Conan's Old Time Baseball sketch and not even wryly smile at his schtick, your sense of humor is broken he won't appeal to your sense of humor.
posted by sallybrown at 2:20 PM on March 11, 2010 [20 favorites]


3. A lot of the people his comedy appeals to just don't watch late night programming.

I don't know about that; remember that Conan owned the old Late Night spot for so many years after Dave went to CBS. I think the Tonight Show was foundering because of terrible lead-in (nobody watched Leno, which hurt the news, which hurt whatever was on after the news- Conan!) and because he was playing things safer than he did on the 12:30 show, what with the Tonight Show being more of a marquis thing and all. I think it was not his idea to tone down the act for the 11:30 slot, but the corporate masters prevailed.
posted by Mister_A at 2:20 PM on March 11, 2010


"I see how Conan is trying to emulate Letterman"

How so?
posted by bjork24 at 2:20 PM on March 11, 2010


All this love for Coco -- where did it come from? Didn't NBC yank him because his ratings sucked? Wasn't he pulling the lowest Tonight Show numbers in 15 years?

Well, no, not exactly. Coco's ratings weren't great, but it was a new timeslot, and typically the Tonight Show takes a year or two with a new host to find a new groove and establish a regular audience.

Leno's 10pm show ratings were abysmal, so abysmal that local affiliates were up in arms, because ratings for their 10:35-11:35 local news hours were being obliterated due to lost viewers from Leno's show... which then snowballed into bad ratings for the Tonight show. This led NBC to cancel the new Leno format and attempt to go back to the way things were, which obviously backfired.
posted by mek at 2:25 PM on March 11, 2010


How can he go to Kansas City and Tulsa (fucking Tulsa!) and completely skip St. Louis. Goddamned orange haired freak.
posted by slogger at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2010


I try and avoid Ticketmaster like the plague, but I ponied up to see him in Denver.

The ticket fees are a bitch, but there are some things in life you really should take the opportunity to do, and I felt this was one of them.

Also, it's at the opera house, for extra cultural points.
posted by elder18 at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2010


"I see how Conan is trying to emulate Letterman"

How so?


Sleeping with Andy Richter?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


typically the Tonight Show takes a year or two with a new host

Objection! There have been so few Tonight Show hosts, and the changes have occurred so infrequently, that each new host has stepped into a Tonight Show that is part of a TV landscape utterly unlike that into which his predecessor stepped.
posted by Mister_A at 2:29 PM on March 11, 2010


Oh, and I failed to mention that the Brady Theater doesn't use Ticketmaster, (neither does the BOk Center), so I've been able to keep myself Ticketmaster free since essentially forever.

Brady uses Protix, which is great when you actually have advance notice of the on sale date. There are ways to make their site sell you tickets prior to the on sale date and any presale. Great for getting good seats.

Of course, this time, I didn't buy them until my SO required it of me, so my seats suck. Better than the poor schlubs who don't have an Amex, though. The non-Amex seats were sold out hours ago.

Oh well, at least I can go cry into my shiny new MeFi tees that arrived today.
posted by wierdo at 2:39 PM on March 11, 2010


And what's up with the Tulsa hate? If you can get past the retarded Republicans, it's actually a pretty decent place.
posted by wierdo at 2:41 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I see how Conan is trying to emulate Letterman"

How so?


A lot of the early Letterman--i.e., dropping stuff of of buildings, Larry "Bud" Melman, little skits with Chris Elliott--is, I think, reflected in Conan's material, and they share the same kind of self-depricating humor (that, say, Leno never seemed to do). See, e.g., this profile, describing Letterman as Conan's longtime comedy idol. I wouldn't think that saying Letterman has been a huge influence on Conan would be something up for much debate.

I just watched the Old Time Baseball sketch, and it is funny in places, but I think most of the laughs come from the oddity of the whole setting rather than Conan (though his razzing the hurler when he's at bat was pretty funny). I don't really see that short playing out much differently if Leno (or Letterman, or Jimmys Kimmel or Fallon) had done it.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:48 PM on March 11, 2010


This is best of the what now? Conan Blue.
posted by smoke at 2:54 PM on March 11, 2010


I should say, though, that his Stuyvesant commencement speech is really great in places (though uneven).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:56 PM on March 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't really see that short playing out much differently if Leno (or Letterman, or Jimmys Kimmel or Fallon) had done it.

I'll confess here that I don't know much about the inner workings of late-night sketch-making, but I think saying most of the laughs come from the oddity of the whole setting rather than Conan is like saying most of the hilarity of "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" comes from the oddity of its cruise ship setting rather than the choices David Foster Wallace made in conveying that setting to the reader. Conan chose that odd setting, and he chose to include the moments of the game that he did, and he reacted to the game in a particular way--all of this stamped his style onto the segment.

It's not as simple as "the moments Conan showed were the obvious choices to show." Sure, maybe Leno would crash an Old Time Baseball game--but would he wear a large false mustache? Would he flirt with the widowed spectator? He would likely make different choices that reflected his own style. Conan's humor feels inclusive to me in a way Leno's doesn't, and so I imagine the tone of the sketch would change from "watch me be weird with these weird people and delight in it because secretly you're weird too" to "look at these freakish people and laugh at them."
posted by sallybrown at 3:23 PM on March 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't really see that short playing out much differently if Leno (or Letterman, or Jimmys Kimmel or Fallon) had done it.

OLD GUY ALERT!
posted by mpbx at 3:24 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, Conan needs to bring old-timey baseball goth girl on tour because she is awesome and committed and strangely alluring.
posted by mpbx at 3:24 PM on March 11, 2010


Boy, things are sure working out well for a guy who didn't meet expectations. I think Conan's an extremely likable guy, but this current groundswell seems unwarranted.
posted by davebush at 3:39 PM on March 11, 2010


He signed a contract paying him millions of dollars with a television blackout as one of the provisions. Talk about faux-populism.

Sources say that O'Brien will not be benefiting directly from the tour but instead will turn over all profits to its crew members, many of whom are his former Tonight Show employees who had relocated from New York to Los Angeles. If that's the case, there's nothing faux about Coco.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:42 PM on March 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


Speaking of Conan, does anyone know who the man in this photograph is? An employee of his show, I'm guessing, based on the photo set, but he also really reminds me of someone, but I can't put my finger on it:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hardyorama/3300451705/
posted by cell divide at 3:48 PM on March 11, 2010


He's a staff member who used to write the Tonight Show blog for Conan.
posted by Gary at 4:00 PM on March 11, 2010


One of his dates is here in Tulsa, and the tickets aren't any more than they were to see Bill Maher. It's too bad the brady theater kinda sucks.

Oh, like the PAC is any better, and you know Cain's won't work.
posted by dw at 4:07 PM on March 11, 2010


We need to get Sarah Killen (Conan's friend) more Twitter followers than Sarah Palin (Leno's friend)... *ducks*
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:18 PM on March 11, 2010


I find it interesting that in Los Angeles he's actually performing at the Universal Studio (Gibson) Amphitheater....
posted by buzzkillington at 4:44 PM on March 11, 2010


I wish you had posted this earlier so I could have gotten better tickets. I'm against a wall:(
posted by cyphill at 4:46 PM on March 11, 2010


D.C. sold out fairly quickly, I gather, but not before I grabbed a pair of tickets this morning. I just happened to catch a Facebook post about tickets going on sale, and I quickly checked to see if there was a show near me.

Tuesday night, though. That's going to be a rough Wednesday morning back in Richmond.
posted by emelenjr at 6:30 PM on March 11, 2010


Until Conan came around I never fully understood what this Twitter thing was all about. And he's still the only Twitter-person I follow in Google Reader.

Anyway, got my tickets for the Vancouver show nice and early, and booked a room at the Hostel down the street. It's going to be a fun day-and-a-half.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 7:24 PM on March 11, 2010


dw wrote: "Oh, like the PAC is any better, and you know Cain's won't work."

You'll note that I didn't offer any alternative suggestions. ;)
posted by wierdo at 7:53 PM on March 11, 2010


Oh oh! I bet I know why there's a big gap in his schedule from May 22-May 30!

He attends all his Harvard reunions religiously, presumably to hook up with his old Lampoon buddies. And thats when his 25th takes place.

Also: This whole thing may be about an old Harvard rivalry:

Zucker [head of NBC] and O’Brien first encountered each other at Harvard in the 1980s, during a heated period of the Crimson/Lampoon rivalry,when O’Brien hijacked a shipment of Crimson issues they day before they could be delivered. As O’Brien once told Business Week, “My first meeting with Jeff Zucker was in handcuffs, with a Cambridge police officer reading me my rights.”

posted by vacapinta at 3:00 AM on March 12, 2010


Gosh, starting off in Eugene.

The good: TicketMaster is not handling this venue.

The bad: Only "premium" $250.00 seats left.

Well maybe I'll run into him on the street. In a good way.
posted by Danf at 10:56 AM on March 12, 2010


Is it just me or is Conan more funny and relevant now than he ever was on television?

I hate to be "that guy" but I kinda feel sorry for the fans of the newer stuff. Conan has years of great comedy. Sure, only a percentage of his skits and remote pieces are re-run worthy hilarious, but there's a lot of history here. Does MSNBC still play reruns of his show? I think now would be a good time to start packaging his original show as a rerun at an attractive time.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:38 AM on March 12, 2010


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