On April 13th, I attended Conan O’Brien‘s “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television” Tour at the Orpheum Theatre (coincidentally where my high school commencement ceremony was held) in downtown Vancouver. The tall, pale, bearded and awkwardly-charming redheaded personality sure treated us to one heck of an evening – filled with non-stop laughter, great music (nice guitar and piano-playing skills) and even greater dancing.
Accompanied by his band (LaBamba was there! He’s my hero!), Conan introduced many special guests throughout the duration of the show, including Andy Richter and one of the members of his writing team (whose name escapes me at the moment), and of course, some trademark characters and gags such the Masturbating Bear (now known as the Self-Pleasuring Panda), Triumph the dog and the Walker Texas Ranger level. Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Conan comedy show if there wasn’t some randomness, which in this case was brought out in the gigantic inflatable bat from Meatloaf’s tour. What I really like about Conan is how he maintains a personal connection with his audience at all times, which is demonstrated by how he personalizes his comedy to the environment he’s in (the Vancouver jokes about the Olympic mascots slumming in the parks and downtown ‘hot-spots’ were vastly popular with the crowd) and how he points out certain members of the audience – like posing for the snap-happy photographer multiple times, scanning the crowd for groupies and acknowledging the ‘woo-ing’ man.
He made sure to express his gratitude to the fans for their continued support through this whole ordeal and, even with the inevitable shots at NBC, his appreciation for everyone who helped lead him to all the wonderful opportunities he’s had in the past twenty or so years of his career. Conan O’Brien really has a gift for making people smile (which I think is one of the greatest gifts a person can have) and he is also a shining example of class and perseverance. I can’t wait to see him reinstated back where he belongs on our television screens very soon!