Conan O’Brien isn’t missing a beat as he explores all that New York City has to offer — he’s missing several.
The renowned host, who’s filming a week of his late night TBS talk show, Conan, in the Big Apple, visited the famed Ailey School of American Dance for Tuesday night’s episode, where he received a rhythmic crash course (“I would like to master this form of dance,” he says) from the school’s co-director, Tracy Inman.
O’Brien’s apprehensions begin when he’s given “a thong” to wear, which Inman later informs him is actually a dance belt.
“Confession, this is the first time in my life I’m wearing a thong. It’s very strange, I feel like I’m smuggling something through Customs,” O’Brien says after introducing himself to the dance troupe he’s training with. He spices up his attire with a bowler hat and a classic jazz cane, tip-toeing across the floor in the hopes of impressing Inman, who admits he “doesn’t know” what O’Brien is doing, and takes his props.
After trying (unsuccessfully) to nail the group’s contemporary brand of dance, O’Brien reverts back to his comfort zone, donning the hat as he throws a pair of jazz hands into the air.
Later in the lesson, O’Brien gives up on getting up to speed with his partners, and simply has his editors superimpose an image of his head onto one of the other male dancers in the class.
“I don’t suppose we could use his body and then, in editing, put my head [on there]? I mean, it’s pretty much a match,” the 6-foot-4 O’Brien says to his (much shorter) classmate.
When his attempts to fit in with the class fail, O’Brien settles for a task that’s more up to his speed: providing a beat behind the bongo drums as the troupe dances around him.
Watch O’Brien try (and fail) to fit in with The Ailey School’s ace dancers in the video below. Conan airs weeknights at 11 p.m. ET on TBS.