Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Los Conangeles

As you may or may not know, last night, Conan O'Brien finally brought his Late Night antics westward to become the fifth host of The Tonight Show.

For the Militant, who admits to being a Conan fan since September 1993, the thought of bringing the show here to Los Angeles is an awesome opportunity (for Triumph to poop on!), the ability to go see a taping notwithstanding.

Of note to the Militant is his amazingly beautimous set, which includes the requisite cityscape/skyline talk show backdrop, but prominently features well-known local edifices as the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills city halls, the Hollywood Bowl, Mann's Chinese, the U.S. Bank Tower and Bullock's Wilshire (which seems to tower over all the others). Above the backdrop is an art deco-style mural with So Cal iconic images (beach lifeguard station, etc) - a nice nod to one of the world's capitals of Art Deco.

Of more note to the Militant is how the City gets portrayed to the national audience. Granted this is a comedy program, so people, places and things will no doubt get lampooned, but surely one can be ROTFL funny without resorting to tired old stereotypes. O'Brien's predecessor, Jay Leno, initially relied on poking fun at the usual showbiz/superficial/cosmetic surgery-obsessed jokes posted at Angelenos, though in later years it's either been tempered down, or re-focused (i.e. the same jokes, but pointed at Beverly Hills). The intellectually-challenged interviewees from Leno's "Jaywalking" bit also inadvertently depicted Angelenos as clueless buffoons at first, but eventually the segment was taken nationwide and demonstrated that clueless buffoonery was simply an American phenomenon.

The Militant already has high hopes; so far O'Brien has employed the usage of "Los Angeles" far more times in the first episode than simply "L.A." (A pet peeve of the Militant, especially since you never hear those Frisco people say "S.F." when both cities' names contain the same amount of syllables). Plus, O'Brien's trademark non-sequitur/referential humor would likely offer something more than the expected stereotypical humor. The reference to the 99 Cents Only store (especially in the obscure products found there - in contrast to Leno's approach to 99 Cent store items) in the Universal Studios tour bit was a good indicator of what may be to come.

One thing, though that irked the Militant was O'Brien mentioning that guest comedian Will Ferrell "Lived in Los Angeles for quite a while." For quite a while? Um, the dude's an area native! Ferrell's from Orange County and all of the Militant's USC operatives know that he's a Trojan alum.

So welcome back (O'Brien lived here in the late '80s-early '90s, just prior to starting Late Night) to Los Angeles, Conan! Maybe the Militant can show you and your crew around!


reverto said...

I fear that Conan's self-deprecating humor isn't going to work in the new format. It really didn't work for me last night.

The biggest problem, however, is how awful Andy sounded and looked during the monologue. He just shouldn't be miked as his laughter was worse than Kevin Eubanks'. And it didn't help that Conan walked all over Andy's comments at least twice. Introduce Andy after the monologue, and for pete's sake, let Andy back on the couch!

Meanwhile, it's bothered me for years, but it really sounded bad last night -- why hasn't anyone told Conan to stop clapping his hands together during the monologue? It's soooo distracting.

In summation... I need a new DVR so I can watch Dave too!

Unknown said...

Conan always rocks, but he gets extra props for featuring Bullock's Wilshire. People need to know about more of our historic buildings besides the usual City Hall/Hollywood-related landmarks.

Militant Angeleno said...

Reverto: Actually the Militant never noticed the self-hand clapping. He more notices the "pause to swallow excess mouth saliva" moments.

reverto said...

Saliva swallowing? Oh great, something else to distract me while watching the monologue.

Fact is, while I absolutely love Conan, I've watched him since at least '95 and his humor is right in line with mine, I've never been a fan of his monologues. I much prefer the remotes, In the Year 2000/3000, Triumph, random characters, the lullabies, etc, and his interviews.

Militant Angeleno said...

Reverto: The Militant may or may not have attended a "Late Night" taping on one of his visits to NYC! It's great to see Andy back as the 21st century Ed McMahon!