Happy 20th Anniversary, Conan: Here Are 6 Great Late Night Moments

By September 13, 2013

conan-obrien-logo-tv (1)Do you all know what day it is? Okay yes, it’s Friday The 13th. Oh, all right, fine – it’s the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s “In Utero.” Hell, it’s also the 20th anniversary of the day Queens, NY, began required recycling…so there’s that.


It is ALSO the 20th Anniversary Of Conan O’Brien being on late night television! It’s been a bit of a tumultuous trip, to be sure.


It was in September of 1993 that Conan made the transition from television writer to talk show host when he took over Late Night from David Letterman. Since then, he’s moved channels a few times, said goodbye and then hello again to Andy Richter, and most recently dealt with that Tonight Show kerfuffle with Jay Leno over at NBC. But Coco is still here! Let’s all celebrate the 20 year journey with these great classic Conan O’Brien clips!

The Walker Texas Ranger Lever

Back in 2004, NBC merged with Universal and created the originally-named company NBCUniversal (real creative, guys). When this happened, Conan got the hilarious idea to create the “Walker Texas Ranger” lever. It was used to show clips from the Chuck Norris show whenever the show mentioned NBCUniversal’s concept of “corporate synergy,” and it was hilarious without fail every time.

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog

Triump the Insult Comic Dog was created by head writer Robert Smigel. The character debuted in 1997 and since has taken on a life of its own. The puppet dog has appeared on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien,” the short-lived but quite hysterical “TV Funhouse,” and briefly on “Conan.” Through all his hysterical appearances, this bit below is my personal favorite and cracks me up every single time.


Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan Fight

Smack dab in the middle of the 2008 writer’s strike, late night talk shows were struggling to come up with original material given the fact that they were lacking writers. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O’Brien decided to manufacture a disagreement that slowly built across all three shows. The fight finally came to a head and resulted into a hysterical three way brawl.  

Orchard Apple Picking With Mr. T

Back In October 2000, Conan O’Brien took Mr. T apple picking in the North East with the simple intent of “taking in the fall foliage.” The resulting segment became an instant classic. I mean, how can you NOT find Mr. T yelling at an apple tree funny? Dammit, now I want to eat a ripe Fuji while watching “The A Team.”


Celebrity: Secrets

What started as a bit with William Shatner, turned into a recurring segment featuring celebrities in a room that looks like a police interrogation room, smoking a cigarette and downing hard liquor, usually telling some humorous “secret” previously unknown about them. Since the success of the William Shatner bits below, other celebrities participated including Michael Caine, John Ritter, David Bowie, and John McCain.



Conan 1864 Baseball Segment

As you can see from the video below, the “old fashioned baseball” segment is one of his all time favorites. Here, he even takes on the role of 1864 Conan and tries the game out himself. It really is one of the more memorable sketches he’s done from the past twenty years.


Now, these are just a few of many amazing classic clips from the Late Night vaults. I left out some great segments like “In The Year 2000” and of course “The Masturbating Bear.” What other hilarious clips did I miss? I call on you, the mighty supporters of Team Coco, to throw your favorite Conan O’Brian moments at me in the comments below!

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Aside from throwing words onto your screen here, he has written for the likes of FEARnet, Examiner, Dread Central and MTV Movies Blog. And yes, he was Percy on VR Troopers.