To say that Conan O’Brien made the most of his time back in New York City during his week-long stint would be an understatement. O’Brien, among other things, worked as a Chinese food delivery man, peddled along Central Park as a pedicab driver, and played a round of New York trivia with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Even the most seasoned, lifelong New Yorkers can’t brag about having done that!)
So how do you top off a week of fantastic programming in the Big Apple? Why, you officiate a gay wedding, welcome back Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (and send him to Occupy Wall Street), have a hilarious conversation with Louis C.K., and get a surprise visit from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, of course.
While the wedding between Conan staffer costume designer Scott Cronick and his partner David Gorshein happened at the end of the hour, I want to talk about it first because it was, by far, one of the sweetest, loveliest, not to mention groundbreaking, things to happen on television in a while. O’Brien’s taped intro about how he became an ordained minister online was sidesplitting (for just a few bucks more, he also became a Jedi Knight!), but it was nearly impossible to not get choked up by the time the beautiful, surprisingly intimate (despite it being in front of nearly 3,000 people at NYC’s Beacon Theater, including Cronick and Gorshein’s family, not to mention the millions watching at home) ceremony rolled around.
When the news was announced that O’Brien would be doing this, it was also noted that it was not going to be a joke or a simple ratings ploy. While Cronick being accompanied down the aisle by Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen may have felt somewhat gimmicky, the wedding itself — and O’Brien’s role in their ceremony (you could tell he took honor in his important duty) — was far from it. Under a chuppah that was set up on stage, O’Brien officiated the short, but incredibly sweet wedding. (The host mentioned that the couple live in L.A., but decided to get married during their time in New York, where gay marriage is legal.) The heartfelt vows, their amazing first kiss as husband and husband, and the overall feeling of joy and love radiating from the Beacon Theater was an overwhelming thing to witness. Watch below. But good luck not getting all verklempt:
It’s sort of hard to believe that a show that included something that special and wonderful could have had other classic moments, but last night’s Conan episode was chock full of them. As promised, O’Brien welcomed back some old Late Night pals, including the Masturbating Bear, who visited earlier in the week, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, who returned to unleash his hell on the Occupy Wall Street movement. Taking his classic Triumph approach to interviewing (“I’m going to show you this guy and make fun of him to his face”), the Insult Comic Dog went to town on the protestors (he turned a drum circle player into his own personal rim shot noise maker, made a few chant about how stupid their chants are), the Wall Street traders (just watch around the 6:23 mark, you won’t be sorry… unlike that guy), and the Wall Street bull, which will likely never be the same again. The fairly NSFW clip is below. (Fellow Coco nerds, am I wrong in thinking the guy around the 8:26 mark was the same guy Triumph encountered years ago at the Star Wars premiere?)
While those were arguably the two biggest highlights of O’Brien’s final night in NYC, it’s worth watching his hilarious interview with the always dependable Louis C.K. (his story about his encounter with former President George W. Bush is fantastic) and the pitch-perfect quickie cameos from his pals Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Check them both out below.
As a Team Coco member (which, as Triumph rightly pointed out, ranks well below effectiveness of the Civil Rights movement), I must say I’ll sincerely miss O’Brien in New York City. The host felt as relaxed and funny as he did during his Late Night days before the Tonight Show mess changed everything. O’Brien fits so well in New York (he’s just as pale as the rest of us!) and though it will be a shame to see him head back to L.A., hopefully he’ll bring the energy and momentum from the past week with him. So long, Coco. Come back anytime.
Do you agree that this was one of Conan‘s best weeks yet, if not the best? What was your favorite moment from last night’s historic episode? Were you touched and moved by the on-air wedding, too? Is Triumph now, officially, the most famous celebrity to visit Occupy Wall Street? Share in the comments section below.