Conan O'Brien is set to debut as the new host of the Tonight Show this evening, which is exciting. Though we do worry that because he's now on an hour earlier, our favorite kinds of Late Night bits might be deemed too weird or risky. Favorites likes these hallowed treasures:
An absolute staple of his show. Stupid costumes with cheesy lighting, a celebrity to join him, and La Bamba going falsetto in between each joke. They were all amazing, and this one is no exception. Who knew that Duchovny meant syphilis in Russian? People in the year 2000 did, that's who.
One of a number of 'Conan's Field Trips'. There are a lot to choose from here. Conan and Mr. T go apple picking was one of the oddest pairings, but this one was Conan on his game. All of his talents seem to come together perfectly. Charming, self-deprecating, brilliant use of props, quick wit. And the men on the vineyard play great straight men to make him seem even more absurd.
Another one of his brilliant recurring sketches. And even though it's on Conan, this sketch owed its brilliance to Robert Smigel. There were almost too many of these to choose from, but I settled on Arnold because his voice was by far the most ridiculous.
Just a great moment with a great reaction from Conan. His sheer enthusiasm is what makes it classic.
Making fun of a league in Long Island that plays baseball as it was meant to be played in the 19th century. As usual, he joins in on the fun.
Recurring characters like vomiting Kermit and Pimpbot 5000 added a certain richness to the show. But none quite had the staying power like The Masturbating Bear. On his last Late Night, Conan retired The Masturbating Bear, as it would simply not fly in his new time slot. He had it encased in Carbonite.
He does not pander to celebrities. And getting someone like Martha Stewart to eat a cold Taco Bell bean burrito and wash it down with a refreshing bottle of OE 800 is part of his genius. Martha obviously enjoyed this as much as viewers, and later on Conan took a field trip to Martha's estate
Late night hosts have always taken shots at their networks, but O'Brien figured out a way to make fun of NBC without coming off as bitter. When NBC bought Universal and became the owner of Walker: Texas Ranger, he introduced a lever that played Chuck Norris clips. It was so simple in its brilliance.
The most consistently funny aspect of Conan's show. Only hoping he continues on The Tonight Show.