Even though the jury may have ruled I’m a 5-year-old when it comes to maturity level, I’m more of an AARP member when it comes to calling it a night. While there are times I’ll burn the midnight oil at both ends (I just realized how disgustingly that phrase can be interpreted), the Outlaw eyelids tend to drop anchor when the evening clock hits double digits.
The relevance of this post’s subject matter to the crotchety old-man diatribe above relates directly to my penchant for late-night talk shows. (Yeah, it was a windy convoluted road, but I got there didn’t I?) Basically, what I’m trying to say is: I’ve never religiously followed any late-night talk show because, well… they are on so late.
Just because my bedtime is closer to that of a 5 year-old, doesn’t mean I’m living under a pop-culture-immune rock, though. Thanks to shows like Talk Soup (renamed The Soup) and the advent of Al Gore’s interwebs, I’ve been able to keep tabs on the major highlights which take place during the witching hours of our daily trip around the sun. Furthermore, due to my close proximately to NBC Studios in Burbank (which resides adjacent to the hospital I was born, for those who like useless facts about the Outlaw), I have attended a few recordings of The Tonight Show during Jay Leno’s lengthy tenure. And before you ask: the show was filmed at about 5pm so, no, I wasn’t required to mercilessly jack my eyes open with toothpicks during those visits.
A lack of any scientific evidence aside, based on all the late night hosts I’ve had the pleasure of absorbing a limited amount of content from, I have always found Conan the funnies–hands-down. I attribute most of that to his self-deprecating humor (much akin to the Outlaw’s own style of humor), and his lovably innocent sidekick who tends to be not as innocent as one might think. His original show was also my introduction to Triumph the Insult Comic-Dog, whose insult-interviews still make me cry to this day. Conan’s resume didn’t start with his talk show, however, as many are still unaware, one of his first gigs was as one of The Simpsons’ original writer monkeys.
Thus, when I heard the towering red-haired entertainer was bringing his show to San Diego during the insanity known as Comic-Con week, I made it my mission to witness at least one of his tapings in the Outlaw flesh… err, wardrobe.
In a stroke of luck – one of the few things in life I have few strokes of – I was able to score tickets to the Thursday night show featuring Jennifer Lawrence and a few others from the cast of the final Mockingjay installment due out in November. In a following stroke of bad fortune – of which I’ve had more than a few strokes of (among other things) – I didn’t realize all those in my party had to be in the morning line around the block to retrieve the physical tickets. I could have attended alone, but the wait in line and the additional time needed to attend the show itself would have prevented the Outlaw from attending other appointments.
What’s more, as much as I would have loved to scream out my long-overdue marriage proposal to Jennifer Lawrence in person as I was escorted out of San Diego’s historic Spreckels Theater, I truly wanted to attend the Friday evening show featuring both the cast of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I had already determined I wouldn’t be seeing those panels in Hall H due to the line which obligated one to setup a shanty house on the pavement several weeks in advance.
Watch as Conan makes his pilgrimage to the Mecca of geeks via the Fury Road.
I made an off-the-cuff decision to ditch my Thursday night ticket and shoot for standby tickets on Friday morning with my best friend/Deputy Outlaw, Jerry. It wasn’t a walk through the park either as we hit the theater at 5:30 in the morning to try our hand at a line that had already wrapped around the block. The luck of the red-haired devil was again on my side, as we both scored coveted wristbands to get us into Spreckels for the coveted Friday night show. Hell, the Outlaw even had his picture featured in the San Diego Union Tribune thanks to his Deputy dragging the reporter over to write a story about all the geeks who made a conscious decision to sit in 175% humidity in hopes of receiving standby tickets to a 60-minute late-night talk show.
So was it worth the blood, sweat and spurs that dug four inch crater-like blisters on both sides of my feet? I can happily answer with a qualified, for the most part. I can’t give the entire experience a resounding “yes,” only because our standby status launched us to the nosebleed section where I was half-expecting oxygen masks to fall from the ceiling once the mountain Sherpa and his goat had guided us to our seats (on a related note, Spreckels seats 1500 theater goers). In addition, if the tropical mugginess outside wasn’t enough, it quickly became apparent the historic theater was also equipped with historic air-conditioning units as the temperature inside – especially in the cheap seats – sky-rocketed to turkey-basting levels.
Minor heat and location caveats aside, the Outlaw was happy he undertook the task of seeing Conan as the show itself did not disappoint. (The Funko POP Conan zombie figure handed out to us – valued at about one night’s stay in Downtown San Diego during Comic-Con – didn’t hurt either.) I’ve included some highlights of what it was like to experience the show inside the auditorium, but I’m sure you can find better versions of the content at TeamCoco.com and other video databases online.
Exclusive footage from inside the redhead’s den in San Diego.
Bottom-line is: of all the television tapings I’ve witnessed live, Conan’s show was the best… for me to poop on.
Can’t get enough Conan-Con? Check out this epic segment with Chris Hardwick and a very special guest: