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APPLE PICKING WITH MR. T
Conan was often at his most inspired when he left the confines of the studio and unleashed his wackiness upon the world. And the always-game Mr. T was the perfect road buddy for this trip to an upstate New York apple orchard. No one shouts intimidating threats at fruit better than Clubber Lang.
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IN SEARCH OF...IRISH O'BRIENS
It's hard to tell how much Conan had to drink on his trip to Ireland looking for his roots — there was clearly beer present, but he's so damned loose as a matter of course — but watching him sing and dance and drink with scores of passersby makes me wish he'd just do a travel show.
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TEXAS THUNDER, PART 1
Don't you wish you had a lever sticking out of your desk that played bizarro clips of Chuck Norris' Walker, Texas Ranger?
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TEXAS THUNDER, PART 2
In the early years of Late Night, back in 1997, Conan went deep in the heart of Texas — to Houston, where his show would only air at 2:40 am — to find out who, if anyone, was watching. Few things are funnier than seeing a giant redhead scour all-night joints looking for people who might recognize him.
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HOT IRONS AND THE STRIKE
With his writers unable to work, prohibited as they were by the Writers Guild of America's strike, O'Brien launched into a series of fantastically off-kilter stuff. He'd spin his wedding ring on his desk, just to see how long it'd go; he gave a fan a tour of NBC Studios; and routinely badgered his exec producer Jordan Schlansky, who showed off a frightening talent with the bullwhip.
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In the words of Conan himself, ''This fellow combines the classic sensibilities of a 1950s robot with the dynamic flair of a 1970s street pimp.''
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STAREWAY TO HEAVEN
Nothing was quite as randomly bizarre as the staring contests Conan would hold with his once-and-future sidekick, Andy Richter.
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Back in 2002, Conan hit the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City...with his ass. See, he wanted to become a speed skater, going so far as to recruit a former Olympic champion, Dan Jansen, to give him some tips. None of which helped. At all.
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NAKED ANDY RICHTER
Really, how much more needs be said? (By the way, Matt Lauer is, clearly, unflappable.)
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THE FUTURE, CONAN?
While there have been plenty of people to sit on Conan's couch, wield a flashlight, and don the velvet smock, none have been as routinely hilarious as Richter. (William Shatner comes in a close second.)
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BONUS: TRIUMPH ON LINE FOR STAR WARS
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?''
(For more highlights of Conan's abbreviated stint at 11:35 p.m., see Conan O'Brien on Tonight: 10 great bits on PopWatch.)