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August 27, 2014

Conan O'Brien's Best Moments

by Jane Murphy, posted Jan 22nd 2010 4:00PM
Conan O'Brien"This is hard for me. I've been with NBC a long time," said Conan O'Brien in Thursday's 'Tonight Show' monologue. "Remember 'The Cosby Show'? I was Rudy." It was a long wait for O'Brien to assume hosting duties on 'The Tonight Show,' but the goodbye will be short and sweet -- the last show of his seven-month run will air tonight.

It's as good a time as any to review some of the highlights of Conan O'Brien's career as a host, a comedy writer and an enabler of libidinous wildlife.Conan O'Brien"This is hard for me. I've been with NBC a long time," said Conan O'Brien in Thursday's 'Tonight Show' monologue. "Remember 'The Cosby Show'? I was Rudy." It was a long wait for O'Brien to assume hosting duties on 'The Tonight Show,' but the goodbye will be short and sweet -- the last show of his seven-month run will air tonight at 11:35 ET on NBC.

It's as good a time as any to review some of the highlights of Conan O'Brien's career as a host, a comedy writer and an enabler of libidinous wildlife.

Conan's post-concussion chat with Andy Richter
In what might be considered an omen, a madcap in-studio foot race between Conan and actress/triathlete Teri Hatcher went horribly wrong last fall when Conan slipped and slammed his head on the stage. With a weekend to rest, Conan returned to the 'Tonight Show', hilariously riffing on the incident with sidekick Andy Richter (after watching the clip, you'll probably want to keep your sunglasses at home).


Conan vs. the world
There have been many late night feuds: Leno vs. Bobcat Goldthwait (remember when the The 'Cat set fire to Leno's guest chair?). Or how about Cher vs. Letterman, or Letterman vs. Leno? But only Conan has taken on major metropolitan areas. His swipes against territories both foreign and domestic are usually followed by an apology as discourteous as the initial joke. On 'Late Night' in 2006, Conan had to apologize for a Triumph segment in which the Insult Comic Dog had (surprise!) insulted Canadians (Francophone Quebecers to be exact). In September, Newark Mayor Cory Booker took to YouTube to blast Conan for a 'Tonight Show' joke about the city. In the clip below, Conan responds with a slide show of Newark's attractions, extolling the metropolis's virtues -- not!


The "Huckabee Bump"
Back on the air and flying without a staff of scribes during the Writers' Guild Strike, Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert hatched a 'Late Night'/'Daily Show'/'Colbert Report' crossover skit in 2008. The most cerebral of the late night hosts, Coco, JoJo and Dr. Colbert were suddenly three stooges of late night in the name of settling once and for all the question consuming a nation: whose show made former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee a media darling?

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Late Night Fight
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy

Conan's Class Day speech at Harvard
You probably received a copy of this speech in your email in-box in the spring of 2000 and LOLed. It was named one of the Top Ten Commencement addresses of all time by Time Magazine. Not exactly a commencement address, Harvard's Class Day takes place the day before graduation, and the speaker is voted on by seniors (the Class Day speaker the year O'Brien graduated from Harvard? Mario Cuomo). To the graduating class and their families, O'Brien meditated on success, failure, and implied that he left Harvard Yard a virgin.

Conan O'Brien FinlandConan O'Brien is the President of Finland
The Irish-American O'Brien began an unlikely love affair with the fjords when he pointed out his passing resemblance to Finnish President Tarja Halonen. He soon insinuated himself into his doppelganger's re-election campaign and, once she was elected to another term in 2006, 'Late Night' visited Halonen in Helsinki.




Conan writes of 'Late Night's crushing failure in the New York Times
'Late Night with Conan O'Brien' utterly bombs, according to New York Times guest op-ed columnist Conan O'Brien.

The Masturbating Bear/Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
Sometimes, it wasn't what Conan did, but what he allowed to happen. Both Bear and Dog, ribald 'Late Night' staples, were in danger of being put out to pasture as Conan moved closer to family viewing hours. Indeed, Conan bid adieu to the Bear in the waning days of 'Late Night'. But the indefatigable Triumph got Conan's blessing to ply his poop in Universal City. And as Conan's divorce from NBC and 'The Tonight Show' neared, O'Brien mischievously took 'Late Night's other furry rascal out of hibernation.




Conan's 'Marge vs. The Monorail' Simpsons episode
Way back in 1993, 'The Simpsons' went 'Glee' with a musical episode penned entirely by Conan O'Brien. A brilliant take-off on 'The Music Man,' it features the late, great Phil Hartman as a fast-talking newcomer to Springfield trying to sell the hamlet its first monorail. Marge is having none of it. How does Leonard Nimoy figure into this civic squabble? Catch it in reruns.


Watch 'Simpsons' full episodes at SlashControl


Conan hosts the Emmys
Before Neil Patrick Harris, there was Conan Christopher O'Brien. Confronting the fact that he was an atypical emcee, the gawky redhead replaced award show suavity with amusing self-deprecation. Hosting first in 2002, he opened his 2006 stint with a 'Lost'/'The Office' hybrid parody that became a favorite on YouTube.



Conan punks Zucker in college
At Harvard University – just a few miles from Jay Leno's alma mater, Emerson College – a band of merry pranksters turn out a publication called The Lampoon. The collegiate comedy empire has produced dozens of comics and comedy writers, including The Office's Executive Producer Greg Daniels and one of its stars, B.J. Novak. In 1985, Lampoon president Conan O'Brien pulled a prank on the school's daily newspaper, the Harvard Crimson. You probably don't remember when O'Brien was arrested for pilfering a day's worth of Crimsons unless you were the editor-in-chief of said newspaper in the mid-80s. If you were, you are now the president and CEO of NBC/Universal and your name is Jeff Zucker. Hey, what happens in Cambridge stays in Cambridge, right?

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