11 memories of Conan as he moves on up

Posted by · 9:12 am · June 1st, 2009

Conan O'Brien on Late Night with Conan O'BrienYou may have noticed our coverage of the late night transition from “Tonight Show” legend (what else can you call him now?) Jay Leno to former “Late Night” host Conan O’Brien last week.  It was a bittersweet moment.  I’ll miss the Leno days if only for reminiscence, but it is unquestionably the next generation’s turn.

I did my Conan remembrance back in February but Entertainment Weekly has used the occasion of the pompadoured funny man’s taking of the “Tonight Show” helm to showcase a list of 11 (it’s the new 10) memorable moments from his 16-year stint as the king of 12:30.  Many of the classics are on the list, of course: The Year 2000, apple picking with Mr. T, and the biggest “Oh yeah!” moment for me, calling up scenes from “Walker, Texas Ranger” with a lever next to his desk.  But one of the all-time funniest moments concerned the 2002 release of “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones,” and since it’s the only movie-related moment (and certainly the funniest), I’ll offer up the mag’s blurb:

Conan himself wasn’t in this bit, but it is legendary. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog lived up to his name, ridiculing a collection of hapless geeks as they waited on line, days before Star Wars: Episode II opened. Pointing to a would-be Darth Vader’s array of buttons on his ”armor”: ”Which of these buttons calls your parents to pick you up?”

The bit took place outside the famous Ziegfeld Theater in New York City and was dubbed “Attack of the Nerds.”  Here it is, shockingly available (considering NBC’s crack-down practices) via YouTube:

O’Brien’s stint as host of “The Tonight Show” begins this evening. Guests include Will Ferrell and Pearl Jam.

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8 responses so far

  • 1 6-01-2009 at 10:02 am

    The Dude said...

    I love Conan, and think he’s the best late-night personality working today. Of all the bits, my favorite has to be his “Walker, Texas Ranger” lever, if only because he always seems just as perplexed as us regarding why that show was ever popular.

  • 2 6-01-2009 at 10:44 am

    alynch said...

    I can think of many things to call Leno besides legend.

  • 3 6-01-2009 at 6:52 pm

    Andrew L. said...

    Loved the Mr. T apple picking and Irish O’Briens, but nothing beats the Finland episodes. (“FAGERSTROM!!”) The episodes during the strikes (both MTA and Writer’s) were hilarious too. Also loved anything with Martha Stewart.

    I’m surprised they didn’t include “Old Time Baseball.”

  • 4 6-01-2009 at 7:24 pm

    nattybumpo said...

    Legend? Really? That term must be much more watered down that I had realized if it can be applied to Leno. Mean-spirited hack would have been my appellation.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess.

  • 5 6-01-2009 at 7:52 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Give me a break. I didn’t like the guy’s work on the show either but 17 years and #1 most of that time is nothing to sneeze at.

    It’s really not a matter of subjectivity. He’s a TV legend.

    Also, mean-spirited? You couldn’t back that up if you had all day. Like I said, I wasn’t a fan, but he’s pretty harmless and — shock — nice.

  • 6 6-01-2009 at 8:58 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Okay, his show was fun to watch. I watched it every night before I went to bed and always got many laughs and joys out of it. Like the man himself or not, the material was FUNNY. The stars were great. Stop complaining.

  • 7 6-01-2009 at 10:38 pm

    D said...

    The “Attack of the Nerds” bit is definitely a classic, one of the funniest segments ever.

  • 8 6-02-2009 at 9:16 am

    Chris Ronk said...

    Good luck Conan and welcome to LA. I’m a big fan.

    Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien are very different. This is sure to rub many Leno fans the wrong way. I think they are both talented and Leno fans should stop being such haters and give him a chance.

    I didn’t know that Pearl Jam was still around… still not a fan.

    A good show overall.