Twenty years ago today, a magnificent human being entered my household. He wasn’t exactly invited, but it was late and cold, and I didn’t want to pull my arm out from under my bed covers to turn the channel.
And, thus, I was introduced to Conan O’Brien.
September 13, 2013 marks Conan’s 20th anniversary of being on television, and I’ve never cheered, laughed, and actively supported anyone on TV as much as do Conan. Except maybe John Stamos, but I think that’s a given for anyone with a set of ovaries.
In celebration of this fantastic accomplishment, I’ve put together a list of my 10 favorite Conan idiosyncrasies throughout the years. This was extremely difficult for me, so feel really bad, because Conan makes me laugh all day, e’ery day – and digesting this to a mere 10 doesn’t do this Irishman’s comedy genius justice. YouTube or TeamCoco that shit for more.
Conan still does this sketch, with some Twitter tweets in there, too, but it never fails. This is probably due to my obsession with all things celebrity, but – my GOD – it’s tickles the hell out of my fancy.
The Masturbating Bear
When I first saw this bear, I didn’t really realize what was going on. What an itch that guy has! All the time! Ah, to be young again. Unfortunately, Conan lost this sketch standard after all the NBC bullshit, because Jay Leno can’t keep his massive fucking chin out of showbiz. And now the world is rid of the Masturbating Bear. FUCK YOU LENO.
Walker, Texas Ranger Lever
I’ve lost count of how many calories I burned watching Conan pull this lever. Between the insane clips (did anyone realize how awfully amazing Walker, Texas Ranger was?), Conan’s reaction, and the way he played with the audience for more, I could literally watch an entire hour of him just doing this.
If They Mated
The most immature and gut laughing recurring sketch Conan has ever done. I remember waiting on the edge of my bedroom carpet, hoping he would have an “If They Mated” segment on the show. It never failed to pull out the weirdest gut reactions from the audience – and propelled the strangest sounds from me trying to stay quiet in my room, “sleeping,” even though I was silently dying of laughter. Hand over the mouth, not so effective.
So good, it deserves three. One of Conan’s most recent sketches from his TBS show, and it’s fucking hilarious. I’m not a big gamer, myself, so I feel connected to Coco on this one. His commentary, his lack of knowledge, and his shitty playing skills makes this one of his best segments, ever. It’s Conan in his sweet spot, just improvising and making fun of anything. LOVE.
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
FUCKING BRILLIANT. Everyone should thank Conan for employing Triumph (voiced by Robert Smigel) and giving him a sound stage. If you haven’t watched Triumph at the Star Wars premiere, the VMAs, the Republican National Convention, or in Chicago with Jack McBrayer – just to name a very tiny few – then you haven’t laughed properly yet. GO.
The String Dance
This sorta replaced my favorite “Keep cool, mah babiesss” line Conan would always say after the audience would applaud him in before the monologue, but the String Dance is all that and a bag of FUNYONS. It’s a signature, and a damn good one at that.
On my bucket list of things to touch.
In The Year 2000…
“The future, Conan?” says (insert celebrity name here). This sketch was, literally, before its time – until it was actually the year 2000 and they just kept going with it – and became one of the most beloved. It was just…soooooooo silly. The camera panning work, the giggling – gimme it. All day.
Conan On The Streets
Anytime Conan takes a camera with him and goes somewhere just to mess around, he’s in his zone – the Cone Zone. I would watch a show dedicated purely to Conan going to random places for 6-10 minute segments, and this show could last 4 hours. That would be 4 hours well spent. And I’d DVR them. AND I watch them again, later that night. Because my life is full and happy. But seriously, this shit is always gold, and it only deepens my love for Conan and my goal to meet him someday.
Congrats, Conan! Here’s to 20 more years of TeamCoco!
I’ll be watching you….