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I'll have to open with a simple statement, Conan is the King of Late
Night. This is a man who's been on the air for more than two decades,
with a career spanning from writing for The Simpsons to hosting the
Emmys, twice. The show follows of course the historical talk show
format, but that's about the only conventional thing about it.
On TBS I feel Conan's much more free to experiment and to express
himself, not always to critical acclaim, but certainly to great
amusement, showcasing ridiculous gags and segments that often involve
cheap costumes, fake infomercials, and props.
Guests are varied, and unlike The Tonight Show, it's not the usual
A-listers with boring stories about their dog or diet. While Conan's
historical reputation still attracts movie stars to TBS, guests are
usually the more interesting middle tier of actors with stronger
followings but less popularity.
While on most talk shows people tune in for the guest, Conan is one of
the few programs where I tune in for the host. Many times I won't even
know who the person being interviewed is, but Conan's effortless humor
makes it worth my while to stick around.
His signature style is foolish and self deprecating, but no part of it
is dumb. Conan is silly comedy for non silly people, fighting the
American standard of Roasts and fake laughter (Cough, Jimmy) with
original, heartfelt jokes that aren't shy of hitting back at the
One overarching reason I'd give to watch this show, beyond the host's
intelligence and humor, is that Conan is a class act. Throughout the
years I've seen him pay tribute and homage to many comedians, actors
and celebrities, and every single time I believed him. If he mourned
the death of a colleague, it was because he cared about it, not because
it would bring ratings to the network, and that's especially clear in
many instances where he paid tribute to comedy greats who the major
talk show hosts couldn't care less about like Sid Caesar or Garry
Shandling. When Letterman played his last show, Conan told his viewers
to switch to his channel and record his slot for later. He's a man of
character, which is very hard to come by in Hollywood.
If I could boil down three reasons to watch this show they'd be its
wit, its humor and the lovable Andy Richter.
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