austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Then it's time to go downtown

The warm-up to the final Late Night with Conan O'Brien promised there would be surprise guests; simple logic also dictated therew ould be as the only scheduled guest was musical group The White Stripes. The first guest actually properly appearing on stage would be Will Ferrel, who showed up as George W Bush to stumble along and do a stray Saturday Night Live bit making fun of Will Ferrel, and then as always strip to this little leprechaun gear for a bit that works a lot better for people with slightly different senses of humor to mine. I did like his stumbling off stage in-character as Dubya, though.

After the first commercial break came what everybody in the world expected would be the next ``surprise'' guest because they have any ability to reason logically. Conan started out by showing one of his favorite moments, a prank played on Andy Richter back in the day, by showing Andy to NBC's new Turkish spa which, of course, you have to be naked for. Conan strips the towel off Andy and pushes him in ... to the Today set and a flustered Matt Lauer. It's always on the clip shows. This brought out former sidekick and future announcer Andy Richter, to (another) standing ovation and chants of ``AN-DY! AN-DY!'' Not that it wasn't fun, but if you were going to guess at who might show up on the last Late Night With Conan O'Brien it's impossible to not notice that neither Andy Richter nor Bruce Springsteen were among the guests the final month.

For the most part, again, what you saw on the episode was what we saw in the studio except that there was the busy work of television production and people scurrying around carrying things or sweeping the monologue area free of construction debris or the band going over notes for the commercial break song. There were some differences for editing, however: the first set of best-of clips watched with Andy Richter included a lesser-known mascots bit in which a guy dressed up as a videotape of forgotten movie Hope Floats is shot and falls over, revealing that the box didn't have a top because either they forgot that the top would be visible or they couldn't afford a top. Conan pointed out the guy in the box was former intern Jack McBreyer, who also played many sketches as a naive, easily confused, backwoods Appalachian hick for Late Night. He's since gone on to 30 Rock where he plays Kenneth the Page, so you see what kind of range he gets as a comic actor.

Also cut was a bit after Conan went to commercial break in which they showed, in-studio, an ancient commercial created for Late Night done in the style of those low-budget discount furniture commercials that pop up whenever ad rates are slackest, with Conan as a hyperactive owner/host and Andy as the guy clearly roped on stage without any thought given to whether he could act or even read cue cards and an elderly woman there to sit in a reclining chair. I don't have access to a copy of the sketch but it was well-done and it's odd that they cut it from air. Maybe they were running long, but since the show did run long how important could that be? Heck, why were they running so long they couldn't tip a hat to 30 Rock?

Trivia: Alexander Graham Bell was buried in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Source: How The World Was One: Beyond The Global Village, Arthur C Clarke.

Currently Reading: The Quest for Alien Planets: Exploring Worlds Outside The Solar System, Paul Halpern. I'm plagued by the nagging feeling that I've read this already, but as near as I can determine if I have it hasn't been since I started logging my reading here. I suppose if I haven't read it in five years that's almost as good as not having read it before but it's still a nagging feeling even if I can't pin down passages I know I've read (as opposed to incidents of scientific history that I knew about).

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