I just returned home from the first of two sold-out nights of Conan O'Brien's "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour" at New York's Radio City Music Hall. It was an absurdly funny two hours of self-deprecating humor!
First off I want to say Radio City is beautiful. It's been about ten years since I've been inside there and I almost forgot how beautiful that place is. Here's a crappy cell phone pic of the theater from my seat just before showtime:
The opening act was Reggie Watts. If you don't know about him, Google him now! You can't go wrong with a song titled "Fuck Shit Stack," or a song wondering about what's in women's "big ass purse" (answer: more purses.) By the end of his set, Watts had Radio City hot and ready for Conan.
After a short intermission out came "The Legally Prohibited Band" came out, warmed up the crowd with a song, then an opening video played showing what Conan's been up to since The Tonight Show. He's gotten fat, depressed, and has grown a heavy beard while waiting around the house for his next job. Funny stuff. Finally Conan come's out to a standing ovation. He talked about how great it was being back in New York after a long time. He also mentioned how awkward he was performing so close to NBC headquarters which is literally across the street from Radio City saying they would call the cops on him if he did anything that made fun of them. Of course that didn't stop him from taking a few jabs at NBC and Leno. When he did a short little impression of Leno he noted that that was really just his impression of Ludacris.
A few of his old characters made it onto the show including the Masterbating Bear, but due to confusion as to who owned the rights to the character he was renamed the Self-Pleasuring Panda. Also Triumph made an appearance via pre-taped video insulting everything about New York. Conan also did part of the show wearing Eddie Murphy's Raw suit. It was ridiculously hilarious to look at.
In the days leading up to the New York show there have been talk of many special guests and surprises. This wasn't a lie. First off, the musical guest for tonight was Vampire Weekend! They performed Walcott with Conan jamming on guitar along side them. Next up Stephen Colbert came out! He and Conan had a dance off with Conan winning after Colbert ruptured his hamstring. Then out from the back of the theater came Jon Stewart out to save his basic cable boy. Stewart was wearing what Conan called a Mexican waiter outfit. Andy Richter ended up shooting Stewart.
Video of Colbert & Stewart (not mine):
Next up came the Walker Texas Ranger lever! Even more special guests came out to help with this bit. First was SNL's Bill Hader, who pulled it as Stefon. Next up was John Krasinski from The Office. And last guest to pull the lever was Paul Rudd. Conan ended up pulling the lever one more time to show this classic:
It was a fun night all around but I'm getting tired so I'm gonna end this (I didn't even get to mention Deon Cole who did a good stand-up half way through the show). Great night, in one of the most beautiful theaters in the world, with one of the funniest men not on television. I only wish I had a ticket to tomorrow's show.