I know it sounds like a song by The Ramones, but it’s true: Coco goes to Cuba and is the FIRST American late-night show host to do so since the 1962 U.S. sanctioned embargo against Cuba. Taking a small crew to the island country last Thursday, he and his crew spent the Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend in Havana filming scenes for an upcoming episode. Show reps confirmed to Deadline that the episode — airing March 4th — is “intended to give O’Brien’s audience a rare glimpse into Cuban daily life.”
If you don’t know about politics, that’s okay; just know that this is a HUGE deal. Cuba’s had contentious relations with the U.S. since 1958 — with the initial embargo being imposed on Cuba by the U.S. in 1960 on exports to Cuba, eventually including nearly ALL imports FROM Cuba as well. Basically, the U.S. and Cuba were NOT huge fans of each other.*
When President Obama began talks with Cuba’s president Raul Castro as a step to “normalize relations with Cuba” back in December, O’Brien had started talking about going there to shoot, but had to wait until this holiday weekend to give him enough time to make it a reality as his show doesn’t have a live episode on President’s Day (today).
The last talk show host to film in Cuba was when Jack Paar, host of “The Tonight Show,” traveled there to interview Fidel Castro in 1959.
I look forward to seeing Conan’s adventures in Cuba, and hope you do too! You go, Coco!
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