Conan O'Brien / Don Henley
March 10, 2001


[PRE-SHOW THOUGHTS] Conan O'Brien
I was really excited when I heard Conan O'Brien would be hosting the show in
March. Then I remembered at the beginning of the 97-98 season, Sean reported
that Conan would be the host of the 3rd or 4th show that year, and thought it
might turn out to be another mistake, although the advanced info on his site
is more kosher these days. Then afew weeks later when Rachel Dratch was a
guest on his show she mentioned he was hosting. Conan O'Brien is really the
only host this season I've been looking forward to seeing, besides Dana
Carvey. I've been a fan of his show since around mid 1995, and always imagined
he would be a great host. I really don't know what to expect from him though,
to be honest. I've heard alot of people argue that he won't survive without
any of his characters from Late Night. (Like Triumph, The Masturbating Bear
Captain 5 Hooks, Airsick Moth, The Wussie Wagon, Pimpbot, Oldy Olsen, The
Gaseous Wiener, etc..) I don't exactly agree with that statement because Conan
is very funny during his monolouge, especially his interaction with particular
audience members and their reactions to some jokes, and is always very funny
during his interviews, much better than Jay Leno(who gets the earlier
timeslot), who always seems to be mummbling during most interviews. He always
struck me as very quick witted on his show. Nut before all that he was a
writer on SNL during the late 80s to the early 90s. I remember hearing that he
wrote the girl watchers, nude beach, Elevator fans, and Mr.Short-Term Memory
sketches while on the show. I've seen him in a good number of sketches playing
bit parts like Irish Drinking Songs and the Twin Peaks sketch. Those were
probably his biggest parts though. This is getting kind of long, so I will get
on with the review.

[OPENING] An Address from President Bush
These are really starting to wear thin. If SNL continues to open with a George
W. Bush opening, they should try putting him in some type of situation. I
think I laughed a total of twice. A pretty weak opener saved by afew funny
lines and the almost always entertaining Will Ferrell's good performance, he
did the best he could with the weak content of this sketch.
Grade: C-
Funny lines: "I'll be on the job making the tough decisions, 24/7, thats 24
hours a week, 7 months a year." -- Will Ferrell as George W. Bush

[CONOLOGUE] Conan O'Brien
Very funny monologue. Conan does this sort of thing 4 times a week, so he'd
naturally do a good job with this part of the show. I expected him to show
some clips of his days as a writer/extra on the show, and only showing his
smallest possible parts, mostly playing atmosphere was pretty funny. Was that
horse or donkey even from SNL? That was the only clip I didn't recognize. His
walk to his studio with the Japanese tourists (notice the women who looked
like sure was in her late 30s was wearing a Hello Kitty backpack) and
paramedics was also pretty funny. Very funny, and Conan was his usual funny
self here and I always get a laugh from his side comments. Having Max Weinberg
on his desk was good ending too. Very funny monologue.
Grade: A
Funny lines: "Yeah, I'll go. I've never seen a television studio before." --
Tracy Morgan .. "I host my own show, and now I'm hosting another show. It's a
very rare honor. Theres been only me and Lisa Gibbons." .. "How about you
heart attack victim? Oh well. His lose." -- Conan O'Brien .. "Yeah, you've
never seen my studio before. We're very distant." -- Conan O'Brien to his
mother

[COMMERCIAL] Subshack
This was a very well done parody of the current batch of Subway ads involving
"that Jared dude." I just realized I don't think I've heard him ever speak in
any of the real ads, but the voice Jimmy used for him was pretty funny. Jimmy
really nailed down that guy though. From the gazing off into the distance, the
way he walks and even the way he eats the sandwich one the bench. I found it
funny towards the end when he was trying to fit the over sized sandwich into
his mouth. Those fingers were pretty strange looking up close, almost looked
as if they were made out of clay and when I saw Tracy Morgan in the fat suit
it immediately reminded me of the time he played Fat Albert afew years ago.
Grade: B+

[SKETCH] Sully & Denise
It was pretty obvious they were going to do this with Conan hosting. Most fans
of his know he grew up in Boston and when Dratch was on Conan she made a
comment about getting him to do this sketch when he hosts. I never really got
into this sketch, but I do appreciate alot of the humor, its just that I don't
find alot of the jokes to be terribly funny. It's probably just me, but this
seemed alittle rushed. Maybe because its the 4th sketch they did without a
commercial. What was the point of Ben Affleck returning to this sketch? It was
a nice surprise, but he really didn't add anything to it. Now that I think
about it, there sure have been alot of wasted cameos this season. Horatio's
character in this sketch is appearing less and less as well. The way he said
his "Cause I'm like an animal" line at the end was kind of funny though. It's
also good they aren't overdoing these characters, I believe this is only the
second time they appeared this season, Kate Hudson being the other time. Conan
was also good, but I've heard him do better mock Boston accents on his show.
Grade: C+

[SKETCH] Moleculo: The Molecular Man
Hey, its the Robot on the can! Does that count as a Late Night character
appearance? Anyway, for a one joke sketch this was actually really funny. The
way he yelled his name alone was hilarious. The scene in the news room was
also funny, especially the awkward silence that would follow after shouting
his name each time, and I always find it funny when someone smashes through a
wall in such a ridiculous situation. The ending in Mexico was also very funny,
this was a really great sketch. Also, I noticed in the credits it listed Jon
Glaser (a writer on Conan's show) as writing an additional sketch, I wouldn't
be surprised if this was the one he helped write, because this sketch seemed
like the type of thing that would appear on Late Night.
Grade: A
Funny lines: "Are you high?" -- Jimmy Fallon

[SKETCH] Napster Testimony
This was another really funny sketch. Yeah, it was another sketch to show off
the cast's impressions, but sketches like that are almost always good. I
forgot that Darrell Hammond played Trent Lott afew years ago, good impression,
but he kind of slipped into his Jack Perkins impression afew times, most
noticeably when he was saying the words to "Hey Mickey." Chris Kattan's David
Lee Roth was kind of annoying though, I'm pretty sure he did that same
impression on a Goatboy sketch once. Conan was very funny as one of the guys
from Right Said Fred. Not sure if the impression was good or not, but he was
really good and had some great lines too. Tracy Morgan was also pretty funny
playing "The guy from Cameo." Last season he also did this character. Well
sort of, he actually played a waiter at a Rock and Rock themed restaurant
dressed as the guy from Cameo. His testimony was very predictable but funny,
from putting on reading glasses, pouring a glass of water, slowly taking out
the folded sheet of paper just to once again say, "WORD UP." Fallon's line
about working at an actual Petshop would have been funnier, but they already
did a very similar joke earlier in the season during Kate Hudson's monologue.
I thought Horatio Sanz and Will Ferrell were good too, even though they didn't
say as much.
Grade: B+
Funny lines: My livelihood depends on my ability to sell copies of my many hit
songs. Like "I'm too Sexy" and other songs that I may one day write." .. "I've
had some hard times. Eventually I became too sexy for my gym membership fee."
-- Conan O'Brien .. "Sorry about that, Strom Thurmond and I just have a thing
for cheerleaders." -- Darrell Hammond .. "CHOCOLATE. DONUTS." -- Horatio Sanz
.. "I'm the bee keeper from the Village People." -- Conan O'Brien

[WEEKEND UPDATE] with Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey
Pretty short Weekend Update this week. It did have a good amount of funny
jokes though. Unlike afew particular Weekend Updates with alot of jokes,
featuring alot of fairly bad ones. This one also didn't feature any
correspondents this time, which could have brought it down alittle anyway,
depending if it would have been something funny or not. Good jokes included
Bush quoting as saying "Boys don't have anginas.", Michael Jackson, Kathie Lee
on Just Shoot Me, O.J. Simpson attack, and Minnesota womens prisons. The
Chocolat joke and talking cigarette box were pretty dumb though.
Grade: B+
Funny lines: "Kathie Lee Gifford will play a romance novelist in an upcoming
episode of Just Shoot Me. Kathie Lee said "Just Shoot Me" is her husband
Frank's favorite show, and that he wanders around the house all the time, just
muttering the title over and over." -- Tina Fey .. "O.J. Simpson is once again
facing criminal charges, this time over a road rage incident in which Simpson
violently ripped a man's glasses off his head. On a positive note, this time
he left the head." -- Tina Fey

[SKETCH] The Taintless Wonder
Now this sure was an odd sketch. I wouldn't be surprised if it was written by
one of the same people who came up with the Clown highway accident sketch from
afew episodes ago. Conan was really funny, the fact that he was a doctor
working in what appeared to be a respectable hospital and couldn't pronounce a
simple last name like Brown. All the strange comments were good too. I
couldn't help but laugh when I saw Will Ferrell in a suit jacket with no shirt
and the ridiculous list of famous people without taints. I expected some weird
twist at the end though for some reason. It was kind of funny when the voice
over broke down and cried though.
Grade: B+
Funny lines: "Where'd you get your medical degree? In a box of 'Hill Street
Blues' cereal?" "Was there a 'Hill Street Blues' cereal?" -- Horatio Sanz and
Conan O'Brien .. "We could build you an artificial taint made out of wood. And
yes, it would be bionic." -- Conan O'Brien .. "This is Freddy Gandon. Hes got
a huge taint." -- Rachel Dratch

[TV FUNHOUSE] Find the Black People at the Knick Game
TV Funhouse doesn't usually air this late in the show, I was beginning to
think it had gotten cut from the live show. This was another pretty odd bit on
the show, the second in a row. For the record this is the second TV Funhouse
to appear on SNL that wasn't a cartoon. Wheaty; the Wheaten Terrior was the
other. I also noticed the music used in this was the exact same used in the
"What a Cop Does" short from Robert Smigel's new show on Comedy Central. This
was actually pretty funny though, especially when he ran out of people in the
audience and used security guards, concession workers and then panned down to
the players and the circles went off like mad. I was thinking this might have
been originally made for TV Funhouse on Comedy Central, but Horatio and Tracy
were in it at the end, so I guess not. But this wasn't all that bad.
Grade: B

[SKETCH] VH1 Diva-Thon: Deandra Wells
I recall this sketch being done in one of the final few episodes of last
season. It was basically the same thing as last time though, throw in a VH1
introduction and add Conan as her son sitting in with the band. I thought the
first one was alittle bit better though, this one seemed to be a much shorter
version of the first one. I guess they are experimenting newer characters for
Ana Gasteyer and putting them in later timeslots to see how they turn out. I
seriously doubt this will become the next big sketch, but I can see it
returning at least one more time, hopefully they try and make it somewhat
different if its brought back. I was kind of disappointed that Conan was
barely in this though. I couldn't tell if he was really playing the guitar
though, it looked like it. I know he knows how to, because every once and
awhile he does a bit on his show where he picks plant couples from his
audience and makes up a song about them, which always turns out to offend the
couple. One funny thing I remember about the first time this sketch was done,
Ana's character had her fingers nails held on with scotch tape.
Grade: C+

[SKETCH] Marc Rich speaks for the Democratic National Committee
This was really the weakest sketch of the night. I seemed like a rather poor
excuse for Chris Kattan to show up in something tonight that wasn't a bit
part. Nothing in this sketch was really that funny. The political sketches in
the first half of the season were good because they had Jim Downey as a
additional writer, and he wrote just about all the political sketches from the
first half of the season. That might explain why the Bush sketches haven't
been as funny lately.
Grade: F

[SKETCH] Sports Century: James Corcoran
This reminded me of a slightly similar sketch I once saw on Kids in the Hall
about the history of boxing. This was pretty good, the 60 something round
fight was really the only weak spot. That guy who played the referee looked
like the same guy who played Strom Thurmond in the Napster sketch. Conan did a
good job in this, his manner of talking and choice of words were hilarious.
Good sketch to end the show.
Grade: B+

[OVERALL]
This was a great show. He didn't play himself in any sketches either, which
was good. I thought of a idea before the show aired of making a set that
looked like Late Night and introducing the musical guest as if he were on his
show, but thats kind of dumb now that I think about it. It's too bad they
never made Conan a featured player like some of the other writers of his time.
I wonder what that would've been like. The show went alittle downhill after
Weekend Update, but I don't really blame Conan since he didn't appear in the
show much after that. I doubt he will host again, but if he ever does again,
I'd be all for it.


Episode Review written by Emmanual Goldstein


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