Team Coco provides full coverage of Coco, and showed it over the weekend by uploading Conan O'Brien's commencement address to the Dartmouth College class of 2011. Jokes ensue.
Last night on TBS, late-night neighbors Conan O'Brien and George Lopez paid a visit to each other's talk shows, in chronological order. First, Lopez guested on Conan. Then O'Brien guested on Lopez Tonight.
Logistically, it's an easy cross-promotion to pull off, as they not only work for the same network but also work on the same Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif. It's a walking commute. And as O'Brien told Lopez, that walk on the lot sometimes make him feel uncomfortable, as tours stop to point him out and expect him to offer an extra dose of entertainment. Earlier, on his show, O'Brien also teased Lopez for his behavior in the front row of NBA playoff games.
But more than that. If anything, the cross-promotion really served to remind everyone that Lopez has a beef with Erik Estrada. Can it be healed? Do we need it to be healed?
Roll the clips.
Watching Beardyman jam with Reggie Watts and Tim Minchin at the 2010 Montreal Just For Laughs festival was a true highlight, but American audiences got their first true glimpse of the Beardyman experience last night on Conan.
Beardyman showed his prowess by letting the panelists (in this case, actress Melissa McCarthy) pick the title of a song -- "Ladyfingers" -- and then asking the audience to shout out two genres of music -- he heard bluegrass and jazz.
Beardyman's official U.S. tour dates this weekend include a stop at the Electronic Daisy Festival in Orlando, Fla., on May 28, followed by the Detroit Electronic Music Festival on May 29. He may also make a stopover in NYC. So keep your ear to the ground (or your eyes on my site) because you need to see him perform live.
I saw it in March with a packed house in Austin, Texas, during the SXSW festival.
Lots of cheers from the audience at footage they hadn't seen before from following Team Coco. It's funny, engaging and shows a side of Conan O'Brien that few people outside of Team Coco have ever seen before.
My full review will come out when the movie does.
For now, though, sit back and enjoy the official movie trailer. Roll the clip!
As part of today's presentation by TBS and TNT at the upfronts, the Turner networks announced that Conan O'Brien and his late-night crew would return to New York City for one week of Conan shows at the end of October.
The shows from Oct. 31-Nov. 3 will be held at the Beacon Theatre. Yes. It'll mark his first anniversary since joining TBS, and also mark his first time doing his late-night talk-show in NYC since he hosted Late Night for NBC. No word in the announcement or on the Beacon site about when tickets will become available and how they'll be distributed. But I'll be sure to tell you as soon as I find out.
An additional trip will find Conan traveling to Chicago sometime in 2012. Anyone want to bet me that it'll be in June? Several members of Team Coco filmed a TBS special in Chicago last June hosted by Andy Richter as part of the Just For Laughs Chicago festival (which is sponsored by TBS).
It's a bit jarring to see Conan O'Brien without his beard, which is weird, because he only had it for about a year since his break from NBC (and then also during the WGA strike).
On Conan's first full night back to being clean-shaven, he welcomed Steve Martin to his TBS late-night show. Martin delighted with stories about his new bluegrass album, making a movie about competitive bird-watching, and also granting O'Brien's wish to compete in "Dueling Banjos." Of course, there was a catch. A funny, offbeat catch. The whole chat and performance is in this clip. Roll it!
The Internet reminded me that today is Pete Holmes' birthday. Happy birthday, Pete! You know what else the Internet, and specifically Google and iPhones, can tell us? Everything.
There is a beauty in having any information at your fingertips at any time, but there also was a beautiful thing about the old-fashioned process of learning. In this recent clip from Conan, Holmes spells it out for us. Roll it!
Pee-wee Herman is not just all about balloon tricks, although he did show Conan O'Brien last night what he can do with a balloon.
He also got Conan, Andy, La Bamba and more to join in his re-telling of the story of Ash Wednesday and Lent, but in his own words. Oh, and he arrived onstage via water skis. And introduced his new device for avoiding phone calls. You can see Pee-Wee Herman on Broadway, on HBO, on Saturday March 19, or if you're at SXSW, you can see and listen to him in conversation on Sunday, March 13. I even moved my own SXSW panel later that day just so we all could see him!
Roll the clip!
There's always a more interesting talk-show dynamic going on when one talk-show host appears on another host's show. And last night's episode of Conan was no different, as Conan O'Brien welcomed Craig Ferguson to the show for two panel segments. They seemed to get along just fine. Which is a nice change of pace from the ever-lingering "late-night wars" (Ferguson seems to be OK in everyone's book, though, isn't he?)
Ferguson is a new dad, so they joked about being a modern father, and appeasing their wives. Ferguson also joked about swimming with sharks, and inviting his French copycat onto his own program.
At the end, he almost forgot to plug his upcoming stand-up special, which debuts on EPIX on Feb. 19. Here's an extended behind-the-scenes clip with scenes and interview footage with CraigyFerg so you don't forget.
And a pull-quote for you from the interview:
"Anyone that doesn't embrace the mind-crushing ego-deflation of the early life of a stand-up comic shouldn't be in it."
Nick Offerman, who should have won at least one Emmy already by now for his scene-stealing role as Ron Swanson in NBC's Parks and Recreation, showed up last night on Conan without his TV mustache! Or as Offerman said, in "the ultimate disguise."
Roll the clip.
Some other things we learned about how to be a Manly Man, courtesy of Offerman:
Rose grilled him for much of the 40 minutes (link to video here), asking him again and again about how he failed with NBC Entertainment, and even though Zucker has described his decisions about Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien with Zucker before, they went through it all again. Why??? That's not me asking. That was Rose.
There's some initial discussion about the transition for Comcast to take over NBC Universal and the future of media, Zucker's start in news as a producer on Today, and then after some talk about the difference between being a news guy vs. an entertainment guy -- and whether New York City and Hollywood are on the same page, Rose gets back to Jay vs. Conan. From the transcript:
CHARLIE ROSE: Here is what is interesting about Bill Carter’s book, though, is that you had, speaking of gut, you had a feeling that it was not going to work at 11:30 for Conan according to Bill Carter and reflected that. And when you saw it on the air, it confirmed your feeling. And when you saw the bookings, it doubled your anxiety. JEFF ZUCKER: Look, look. CHARLIE ROSE: Look, what, is this what -- JEFF ZUCKER: You know, I think, I think that -- I think Conan is incredibly talented. I really do. I think that in the end everybody has probably ended up where they should be. It turns out Jay is a broader, delivers a broader audience, and I think Conan delivers a very targeted audience that wasn’t what we needed at 11:30 on NBC. CHARLIE ROSE: Looking at it now, you don’t think that Conan really was the right profile, forgetting Jay, for 11:30 on NBC. JEFF ZUCKER: I think it turns out he was more narrow than we needed. CHARLIE ROSE: Narrow in what means? JEFF ZUCKER: In terms of his appeal to a broader audience. CHARLIE ROSE: Narrow in what he did, the nature of his comedy? JEFF ZUCKER: All of the above, all of that. And look, he’s incredibly talented. And I think he’s actually reaching a perfect audience where he is. But at NBC at 11:30 you need to be, you need to reach more than just men 18 to 34. And you need to reach as many people as possible. And I think, you know, in hindsight that is something that we realized after the fact.
"So we're off that topic now?" Zucker joked a little while later.
Zucker later acknowledged that knowing Conan for 30 years -- going back to their days as fellow Harvard undergrads -- makes him regret that their friendship is not what it once was. Zucker also tells Rose that several years ago, he tried to lure Jon Stewart away from Comedy Central and strip his version of The Daily Show five nights a week at 8 p.m. (or even 7 p.m.)!
By the way, when you look away from the screen, a realization hits that Zucker sounds more than a little bit like Bob Costas. Wonder if he has ever done voiceover pretending to be Costas. Conspiracy theory?
Last week, Conan O'Brien introduced an animated clip from Taiwan that supposedly documented a fake fight Conan and Andy Richter were having in the office. Guess who watched it? The actual animators for Taiwan's NMA (Next Media Animation)!
They quickly responded with a humorous counterattack on Conan that accused him of being cheap, abusing child labor laws while also somehow being linked lasciviously to the late Michael Jackson, and threatened to take his blimp and put Richter in the Taipei Zoo. Other fun tidbits: It appears that they think President Barack Obama is head of TBS -- or a guest on the show whom Conan treats rudely -- and they forgot to add a beard on Conan.
Monday night's Conan acknowledges this funny feud. I'll update when their video becomes available.
It just seems like lots of posts about Conan today. Promise. On last night's show, writer/comedian Deon Cole came on to do what he normally does for Conan: provide him with the black perspective. So Cole pointed out that Conan had some funny ads, some clever ads, but lacked the definitive TV ad for black viewers.
Lots to talk about today. But first, here's some behind-the-scenes footage of Jon Dore and how he constructed his stand-up set for Conan last week. You didn't know a kiddie pool was involved, did you? Also, interesting to see what Conan booker J.P. Buck will fight for in defense of stand-up comedy. The balls on that guy. Am I right?
You know. Roll it.
I don't get to see Jon Dore perform live too often, but whenever I do, his willingness to commit to something completely foolish usually wins me over. Seeing him listed on the programming schedule as the first stand-up comedian to perform on Conan O'Brien's TBS show gave me hope that Conan also was willing to take a step forward into something different and silly that invites viewers to come along for the ride, instead of simply catering to them.
Jon Dore did not disappoint last night. When he worked out his set in NYC a few weeks ago, he drew out the opener even longer, but here, he only had five minutes. This train of fools is leaving the station. All aboard!
I succeeded on one day. The day featuring an orange shirt with Conan posing with an owl and the tagline, "Wild. Nocturnal." It arrived in the mail today! I don't have plans to sell mine, but I saw that at least three of the other 1,000 owners of this Conan owl shirt already are auctioning them off on eBay. Top bid so far? $45.
You can also find many other Team Coco shirts on eBay. Hmmm.
Jeff Zucker's reign at NBC is almost over, and last night, he was supporting his wife, Caryn, who along with comedian Bob Saget produced an annual benefit show for the Scleroderma Research Foundation called Cool Cuisine, Hot Comedy, at Carolines on Broadway. See WireImage photos from the event. This is what greeted Zucker as he crossed Broadway to head into Carolines. A giant Conan billboard. Zucker didn't walk the red carpet, so I didn't get to ask him if he planned to watch any TV last night, but it seemed almost everyone else who was awake was keenly aware of Conan's debut, too. You couldn't avoid knowing about it. Not even Zucker could avoid it.
The ratings for Conan's debut on TBS were big. How big? Big enough to dominate everyone else, especially his head-to-head demographic rivals and friends at Comedy Central in Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Here are last night's ratings for selected late-night competition, which excludes the numbers for Chelsea Lately on E! at 11, Nightline on ABC at 11:35, and Jimmy Kimmel Live after midnight. I'll break it all down for you later as the viewership shakes out.
Late-night TV for Monday, Nov. 8, 2010: (Total viewers/18-49)
Conan 4.2 million/3.3 million
Tonight Show with Jay Leno 3.5 million/952,000
Late Show with David Letterman 3.3 million/1.3 million
Lopez Tonight 1.4 million/883,000
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 1.3 million/687,000
The Colbert Report 1.0 million/551,000
I'll have more to say about Conan O'Brien and his re-return to late-night TV soon enough, but for now, perhaps you'd just like to see how Conan opened Conan on TBS. He did so through a clever conceit, using a popular television thematic device called "Previously on Conan." You'll notice cameos from several of his writers, including Andres du Bouchet as the toll-taker, plus Matt O'Brien, Brian Kiley, Dan Cronin and Brian Stack as the gun-toting assassins. And some other big celebrities. SPOILER ALERTS!
Roll the clip!