Yes. That was my reaction when I first heard that late night talk show host and comedy genius Conan O’Brien was coming to my fair city to put on a show at the Brady theater. Was Conan lost? Did OKC ban him? Did that bitter fight to survive the late night television war cost him his sanity? Before I wasted too much time thinking about the whys…I promptly went online to buy a ticket. I’m so glad I did. Turns out Conan not only wanted to be here, but if his performance was any indication, he loved Tulsa.
The show opens with comedian/music performer Reggie Watts with his loop sampler. This guy…increadible. Using only his voice through a loop machine, Reggie builds a complex song that would make any DJ worth his turntables throw up his hands and try painting. Closing out his set was the hilarious rap “F*ck Sh*t Stack”. The best use of four letter words since George Carlin’s infamous FCC list. Reggie’s bit is sure to become a future comedy classic in its own right.
Conan’s band makes their entrance as the main show begins. Trombone player Richie “La Bamba” Rosenberg leads the band in a rousing set that gets the crowd going. One sad loss is Max Weinberg. Don’t know the specifics but people tell me that Coco and Max have parted ways. I hope it’s only temporary.
Next is Conan’s video diary of how he spent the last couple of months without a job. Funny stuff.
Conan emerges and the crowd goes wild. I was prepared to see his new growth of beard. He mentions that some people don’t like it. Conan asks if the crowd likes it and they respond with an enthusiastic yes. Conan observes that Oklahoma is shaped like a hatchet and looks like it’s splitting the brains of Texas. Best description of this state I’ve ever heard. (Sorry Texans)
In a random fit of delicious madness, the crowd chants USA! USA! USA! in reaction to one comedy bit that has nothing to do whatsoever with said chant. Conan remarks that it’s the oddest reaction he’s ever gotten. Tulsa now holds a tour first!
It becomes immediately apparent that Conan is really enjoying himself. He’s not phoning this in. Conan enjoys being on that stage and feeds off the audience’s excitement. Thank goodness his right hand man Andy Richter is here too. (I thought I heard his voice in the show’s introduction.) Andy adds his own charm and wit. Having him up there also gives Conan a boost.
We discover that Conan can play guitar. In fact, there’s a lot of music in the show. Conan even does a few musical numbers that are zany and hilarious.
Conan inflates the biggest, ugliest, and probably most lame bat prop ever made. The inflatable bat really looks hideous. And the crowd loves it. THIS is Conan being Conan. And this is what we’re all paying to see.
Since Conan doesn’t have a “guest” he decides to interview the audience using the massive stage monitor behind him as a prompt for the crowd’s response. Cleverly, the audience is manipulated into asking Conan to kiss La Bamba. Conan does one better, he licks him on the cheek, then remarked that he tasted like Funyons.
Conan takes a commercial break from the show. Andy is our pitch man for Tulsa’s own Hank’s Hamburgers on East Admiral. I so wanna go there for a Big Okie burger right now.
Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog makes a video appearance. He tells the crowd that he pooped on Yale avenue.
Towards the end of the show, Conan brings out Tulsa’s own teenage music sensation…Hanson.
Now I must pause at this point to say…I’m not a fan. Don’t care for their music. I just don’t. My opinion. My blog. So there. However, on this night, two things made me respect Hanson.
One – Conan O’Brien invited them.
Two- they performed an old tune by Oklahoma native Hoyt Axton. Okay. I have to give them props for that.
This is just a taste of what went on in the show. I must say that if you love Conan O’Brien’s wit, personality, and his aversion to doing anything normal, then you’ll love his road show. I sure did.
Thanks Conan. You made my weekend Coco Awesome!
If you’ve seen a show on the Legally Prohibited from being Funny on Television tour, please feel free to share.