Welcome Home, Old Friend

5 Jun

The crowd was justifiably loud when Conan O’Brien took the stage Friday night at the start of his first Boston show on the Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.

This was the former Tonight Show host’s first paying gig in his hometown (he grew up in Brookline, if you didn’t know), and after more than three months off the air, we who love Coco were eager for some of his goofy Irish charm.

Conan brought that and more in a show that was eager to please, even if it maybe ran on a little too long.

I won’t even begin to quote Conan’s jokes, but suffice it to say, he knew his audience Friday night and filled his show with lots of local humor — there were shout-outs to New Kids on the Block, Kelly’s Roast Beef, Eagle’s Deli, Chet Curtis, the Kennedys, and other area institutions.

Plus, Conan ran through a long list of local towns during his monologue.

The Dropkick Murphys made a surprise appearance to sing (what else?) “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” And yes, Conan made his entrance wearing a Paul Pierce Celtics jersey, and went on a tear about what would have happened had there been a game on at the same time as his show.

Joining Coco on this tour are other old friends, such as Andy Richter, LaBamba and other members of the Max Weinberg 7 (now, without Max, known as the Legally Prohibited Band), Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and even the Masturbating Bear.

There have been lots of other surprise guests on the tour; in New York earlier this week, Conan, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert had a dance-off.

At Friday’s show, in addition to the Dropkick Murphys, Ed Helms (from The Hangover) made an appearance.

The nearly two-hour show had a lot packed into it — there was even a hashtag in case people wanted to tweet before, during, or after the concert.

It’s safe to say, though, that with so much going on (a mix of jokes and music and clips), the show was bound to run out of steam every now and then. Some jokes kinda fell flat, and some songs just seemed unnecessary.

For example, after all this time, I think it’s safe to say that despite our loyalty, most of us are not still obsessed with the fact that Conan got a raw deal from NBC. I think he can kill a lot of those references and make the show in its remaining weeks more about his comeback than his frustration.

Still, it’s hard to deny that it’s great to see Conan back doing what he does best: entertaining his fans. The guy worked tremendously hard Friday night — the finely styled pouf of hair on his head was a sweaty mess by show’s end — and it was hard not to walk out of the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theater with a smile on your face.

So I say Welcome back, Conan. I’m still with you.

One Response to “Welcome Home, Old Friend”


  1. Conan the Destroyer « Martin's Musings - April 22, 2012

    […] those of us who saw O’Brien’s Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour got a taste of that too, as each show included a few jabs at NBC and a bunch of self-deprecating […]

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