'I'm With Coco': Inside the Conan O'Brien support movement

The Internet is a-buzz with support for Conan O’Brien, but there seems to be one image that’s the beating heart of the entire campaign. LA-based designer Mike Mitchell‘s “I’m with Coco” poster has reached levels of ubiquity we haven’t seen since Shepard Fairey took on Obama. EW caught up with Mitchell, 27, to ask him about designing a movement.

“I’m a huge Conan fan,” Mitchell says. “I went to one of the first test shows [for The Tonight Show] here in LA, and I’ve been a big fan for a long time.” Of the late-night debacle at NBC, he adds: “The whole thing’s just a crappy situation.”

Mitchell set out to design a campaign-style poster, which initially read “I’m with Conan in 2010,” in the hopes that it would “maybe start a movement thing?” A friend suggested just “I’m with Conan,” and Mitchell landed on the far-catchier “I’m with Coco.” It’s a slogan even Swiss Miss could be jealous of.

Mitchell says he’s heard from an O’Brien staffer who told him O’Brien had seen the image, and Mitchell’s hopeful that maybe the host will reach out himself. Ultimately, though, the fan-turned-iconographer just wants the comedian to land somewhere, “and hopefully he can bring his whole staff with him. It’s embarrassing as an Angeleno: We bring Conan all the way here [from New York] and after seven months say ‘never mind’?”

You can join the rapidly-growing I’m With Coco Facebook fan page here, and, of course, watch The Tonight Show tonight.

Comments (294 total) Add your comment
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  • Bridget

    Where’s the link to the “I-Don’t-Care-One-Way-or-the-Other” fanpage.

    • lefty

      Ha! Good one…smell ya later.

      • Jeff Eastwood

        Did the “Coco” nickname first appear on a Twitter Tracker segment? I recall Ice T calling him Coco but it seems like it was mentioned before his appearance. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

      • Luis

        Tom Hanks first called him Coco on the second episode.

      • Jack

        They should have Jay do the monologue and Conan do the interviews.

      • Darin

        Dior, I will shoot you in the knee. GO AWAY FOREVER.

      • Sean

        Hanks actually took it from the Twitter Tracker bit. “Bro’s a no no for CoCo?”

    • carl

      It’s the X button at the top of your browser, Bridget. Now F*** off.

      • Neal

        HILARIOUS, Carl!

      • L

        LMAO! Thank you.

      • PiratesDaughter

        Awesome. Thanks for saying that Carl.

      • Anzenjoe

        Carl!!!!

      • looney

        I’m with CARL…

      • B

        Hells yeah Carl!

      • jaymit

        Hahaha go Carl!

      • wbtym

        Carl just pnwed Bridget.

      • Lauren

        LMAO!

      • cat

        Carl, Haha wow, that is the funniest thing Ive ever read on any comment board, literally:) Im with Coco!

      • Mels

        So good! bwahaha

      • CJ

        Carl wins.

      • M

        roflmao @ Carl you rock man that was perfect!!!

      • tracey

        Now Carl that was funny:):) If she is so not interested why is she even reading the story??????

      • isembard

        You, I like!

      • Zaphod

        A winner is Carl!

      • Tracy

        Nice,Carl!!

      • movieloversmatch

        I love Conan and Kilborn!

      • Joseph Flemming

        @ Carl, funny :D

      • Karl’s Future Wife

        … Marry me!

      • Michael Skrocki

        OK BACK TO THE ISSUE – NBC #$#$#$ CONAN. SURE HE HAS MILLIONS BUT SCREW THIS DECISION LENO SUCKS I REALLY NEED CONAN BACK DAMNIT

    • me, Baby, ME

      Bridget, I think the page ypur looking for is in the “bitchy-smart-ass-remarks-from-people-that-read-and-comment-on-an-article-they-don’t-care-about” section of this website.

      • me, Baby, ME

        page you’re*** looking for…(Maybe I should go back to the “people-who-make-a-typo-while-talking-crap” area now”)

      • Mike

        LOL, some of those replies to Bridget are almost as funny as Conan.

      • AshleyBrooke

        LOL, that was great.

    • Him

      Bridget get off the web and go cook dinner….

      • Amy

        Bridget, sounds like you’ve got the perfect whine to watch “The View”. Leave the adults alone now honey.

    • N/A

      Hilarious!!!! I needed that laugh, thank you.

    • Cone Zone

      Bridget must have a Leno size chin

      • Ryan

        Where’s the “I-don’t-give-a-flying-fu*k-what-bridget-says” fanpage?

      • Amy

        LOL!

    • Shan

      Mmmm you’re so clever. Can I get that on a t-shirt?

      • Karl’s Future Wife

        McCain/Palin shirts?

    • mbook

      Do you people just go onto every single page about this story to proclaim that you don’t care about it?

      • I don’t care

        That’s right. I comment everywehre on every blog. I own the interwebs. I am kewl.

      • CoCoSucks

        Buh bye CoCo……have fun spending your over inflated golden parachute. You should have only got .05 CENTS!
        If even that. $33 MIL – I think NOT!

    • Peter V

      It’s right next to the “If you don’t care then don’t click the f-ing link” button.

    • BridgetTheMidget

      Bridget The Midget on the loose!

    • Nancy Buzz

      Who is Bridget????????????

      • Amy

        She’s the 1st comment.

      • Karl’s Future Wife

        Hillary Clinton

    • Nancy Buzz

      Who the he– is Bridget?

    • DesertKnight

      If you didnt care to begin with, why did you bother bringing the story up in the first place? Why don’t you go emotionally abuse your husband/boyfriend/family members now and leave the rest of us alone.

    • Lisa

      If you don’t care, why did you read the article?

    • Sam

      Bridget…Just click on this link: http://www.cbs.com/late_night/late_show/

    • Gus

      God I hate you, Bridget.

      • Pope

        Hahah

      • Kelper

        Me too!

      • God

        I’m with Gus.

      • jules

        BAHAHAHHA! Bridget: FAIL.

      • Amy

        Bridget = LOSER

    • bbmcrae

      Where’s the You-Read-The-Article-And-Left-A-Comment-But-Say-You-Don’t-Care-Wow-How-Cool-Are-You-And-Not-At-All-Sad button?

    • Orion101

      Bridget’s comment may be smarter than the smarta$$ responses below. First, this could be a part of an orchestrated “controversy” to get these pathetic shows some attention. Conan and Leno both seem like semi-retarded school boys compared to Craig Ferguson. Leno stopped being funny a long time ago, and it seems Conan is the one being jerked around.

      So, from that perspective, I hope Conan gets every dollar that he contractually deserves from the melon-farmers at NBC. (As Craig put it last night!)

      In the end, both CoCo and Leno (and Letterman as well … while we are at it!) should retire from TV (giving new talent a chance) … and do something meaningful / socially beneficial before they sign-off from this earthly show.

      Check out Craig if you haven’t already – and hope the studio bosses can spot and encourage better “talent” going forward.

      • I don’t care

        I do not care.

      • jules

        OH. Ok Orion. You can f*ck off, too.

      • Mike

        wow Orion 101…what’s with using the slur retarded? they let 5th graders in on this site?

      • DUsualSuspects

        Have to agree with ya, Orion 101, Craig Ferguson is so much funnier than these other hosts.

    • Brian

      Yeah, f*** off, Bridget.

    • sdm

      I think she proved here point look how many of you went after her instead of proclaiming your support for Conan. Down with coocoo, up with the chin!! :)

      • jaymit

        good one buddy, whatever u want to believe to help u sleep at night haha go Coco!

    • David

      Dumbass, then why are you taking the time to post a comment?!

    • mack

      Right next to the “ your apathy is ironic because you took the time to read the article then posted a response” page

    • necrosage2005

      I agree. They all suck and aren’t all that funny or origional.

    • really?

      you dont care but your the first to make a comment…

    • jules

      Then why bother with posting a comment, sunshine?

    • Peg

      Sorry – can someone explain who Coco is? I honestly have no idea where the name Coco came from in regards to Conan.

      • Wow

        Coco is conan obrien. Clearly you don’t watch the show so just join Bridget and her stupidity brigade.

    • jonny

      In your mirror.

    • Mike

      I Think Jay Needs To Step Down And Let Coco Do His Own Thing.

  • Breanna

    There’s also Team Conan on Facebook, which is at 27,000+ right now and growing rapidly.

    • AC

      I am going to stick with the slogan that isn’t associated with Twilight.

      • bro

        The whole Team _____ was around long before Twilight. (Example: “Team Aniston” and “Team Jolie” shirts in the early ’00s)

      • S.O.

        I’d prefer Conan Nation than Team Conan.

  • Breanna

    Team Conan on Facebook has 27,000+ and is growing rapidly!

    • Breanna

      Sorry for posting twice. It didn’t detect it. There’s also teamconan.com !

  • Breanna
  • marilyn

    Conan has a following but unfortunately for him it’s only about half the amount that Leno’s was for the Tonight Show. Good enough for the Late Show but not good enough to go up against Letterman on Tonight. Leno’s supporters are older and don’t care about going online to polls or facebood. They will just watch him when he goes back to 11:35pm.

    • terri

      Yea and it took years for him to develop that following. Conan’s number may have been smaller, but he was already beating everybody in the key 18-49 demographic.

      • EWsMom

        Yeah, except Conan O’Brien ALSO had 17 years to develop a following.

        And for the record, Conan was getting a bit MORE ratings at 12:35am (2.8 million) than he is now (2.5 million). His demo number is up 0.1-0.2 at the most (0.9 in the ’08-’09 season, 1.0-1.1 now)

        So not only has his core fanbase FALLEN, but he hasn’t been able to take advantage of the “earlier” time period to add one new viewer.

      • ellen

        The 18-49 has always been the key demographic for advertisers for buying purposes. Considering the baby boomer generation is the largest generation out there now and still working and buying and watching Leno, they might want to reconsider whats the key demographic. I think how many older Americans went out and bought Susan Boyles album proved that.

      • Tim

        Adding insult to injury, NBC stupidly plucked away any solid lead-in for Conan and gave the nightly 10pm slot over to the ripped off, recycled hacky humor of Leno. Just try building on that lackluster lead in.

      • @Tim

        You really need to learn facts, Tim.

        First of all, Conan was getting a 1 demo even BEFORE Jay Leno’s show premiered at 10pm.

        Second of all, Leno was getting 5.5 million viewers/1.5 demo in the ’08-’09 season.
        At 10pm last year (vs. 10pm this year), NBC has lost 0.9 of a ratings point.
        (Source: Jeff Gaspin, January 10th, THR.com – quote “He noted that “Leno Show” lost NBC nine-tenths of a rating point this fall”)

        This translates to roughly 1 million viewers (a little less, but we’ll leave it at 1m to make the math simple).

        So even WITH THE CRAPPY Jay Leno 10pm lead-in, Coco still comes up over 1.5 million viewers SHORT (since Conan is averaging 2.5 million viewers to-date).

        SO again, *DESPITE* the poor Jay Leno lead-in, Coco is *STILL* underperforming by a HUGE margin.
        Please explain, using facts, how this is justfied.

        (…I won’t hold my breath)

      • @-@Tim

        I have a fact:
        Most people don’t stay up to watch a show they just saw at 10pm. NBC, as pathetic as it seems, may not have lost much of their 10pm audience with the Leno show, but they created put two shows with identical formats essentially back-to-back. I would argue that has a pretty significant impact on the program that airs second.

      • But…but…

        I thought “Jay Leno sucks!”, “Jay Leno is boring” etc. etc.?

        So if THAT were really the case, then WHY would it matter what’s airing at 10pm….why would it matter that there was a *similar* show at 10pm?

        (and if you’re admitting that Leno’s show is similar to the Tonight Show…then Coco is in big trouble, since I thought Coco is “funnier”, “smarter” and “better” than Jay Leno).

        You can’t have it both ways, pal.

      • @ But..but..

        Jay Leno does suck and he is boring. Which is why his 10 pm show failed. When he was on the Tonight Show, he benefitted from quality scripted shows that aired at 10 giving him a nice ratings lead-in for his show. And don’t forget, it took him years to get to the ratings levels he did after taking over from Carson. The Tonight Show actually took a dip in the ratings when that happened and over time had to be rebuilt. These are benefits that Conan never had.

      • cat

        …Hey @Tim, I agree with Tim.

      • @ @tim and EW’s mom

        EW’s mom — Conan had time to develop a following but had a crummy lead in. The notion that a large chunk of a late night show’s viewership is directly related to the host and not just related to whatever channel people already had on is false.

        @Tim – “First of all, Conan was getting a 1 demo even BEFORE Jay Leno’s show”
        When it was running during the summer and, like after Leno aired, did not have a strong lead-in.

        “So even WITH THE CRAPPY Jay Leno 10pm lead-in, Coco still comes up over 1.5 million viewers SHORT (since Conan is averaging 2.5 million viewers to-date).”
        You’re mixing your numbers here to try to beef up your case. Conan’s lead-in is 0.9 points lower in the demo and you say he’s lost 1.5 million viewers. He’s only lost 0.5 in the Demo. That’s about 50% of the lost lead-in. Most of his lost viewers were the older viewers who advertisers don’t care about and who are too slow-witted to get Conan’s humor.

      • Looks like someone can’t read….

        That 0.9 EWsMom is talking about is NOT in the demo – that’s total viewers.

        Fail.

      • Argument is moor unless….

        This whole numbers argument proves nothing unless you can come up with Leno’s numbers for his first year/s. Sure Leno’s numbers were what they were when he left, but I can assure you he had to build up to that viewership, and he certainly got more than SEVEN MONTHS to do that.

    • Cone Zone

      well put Terri

    • JPy

      So if you’re running late night line up, which do you want? The new guy with a following of younger viewers who will watch him for the next few decades, or the old guy with an old audience that will dwindle more as they age? I wouldn’t choose the demographic that will soon call prime time their bed time.

      • magaly

        Is it past your bed time baby?

    • Jodi

      Keep in mind that a large percentage of the Tonight Show’s viewers would stick around after watching NBC’s prime-time dramas that used to air at 10pm. Conan never had the luxury of those lead-in viewers because Jay Leno was thrown into the 10pm slot and everyone turned the channel.

    • Amy

      No they won’t cause Leno’s leaving NBC too.

  • bringback

    For a laugh, click on http://www.teamleno.com. Go Coco!

  • Snarf

    I like the sentiment and support Conan too. Although he is getting a raw deal and his employers clearly don’t have a clue what they’re doing, guess what? It happens all the time. Many people in the past year or so switched jobs only to get shafted due to circumstances beyond their control and unethical management. However, unlike most of the people that have found themselves in that situation, Conan will not be unemployed for long, nor will he be wondering where his next paycheque is coming from, or what he’s going to do to make ends meet in the meantime.

  • Rawr

    Hey Bridget yeah, hmm…if you don’t care then what are you doing reading an article about it? You stupid f***.

  • Cone Zone

    this picture, never mind the hair for a sec, reminds me of abe lincoln

    • bro

      It’s supposed to.

  • Fred

    I never found any humor in Masterbat*** Bear or Conan. He’s not a good fit for the Tonight Show. He should have stayed in his original time slot.

    • Cone Zone

      I wouldnt expect anything else from Fred Flintstone, get with the times buddy

      • billy bob

        Just because you want to be a “young crowd” pervert with no decency or morals does not mean that the majority feel the same way as you. I’m sure Conan is a nice person but his humor is crude and nasty. It is not fit for the majority and his ratings prove it. You can blame it on Leno if you want but he didn’t have the ratings before and he doesn’t have them now.
        Thanks for playing!

      • Adrian

        Lol, shouldn’t be surprised by such backward thinking idiocy from a fellow named “billy bob”.

      • Azrael

        Also, do you REALLY think that Conan himself wrote all of those sketches? Sure, he may have contributed to quite a bit of each night’s material, but not all of it was his. That’s what a staff is for…(or did you think that late night hosts were comedic Gods?)

    • Nick

      Keep in mind he did those on his later show because it was later and his audience was smaller. He can’t get away with that anymore…he’s been significantly tamer on teh Tonight Show, but they haven’t given him a chance at evolving the show…7 months is hardly enough time. I think he was just starting to get into a rhythm, much like Fallon is too. ANd now, we have this whole crappy situation.

    • Varris

      I support Conan in this whole debacle and generally do like him (and grew to adore him on Late Night after initially hating it when it debuted), but I have to admit that I don’t think his show and comedy is right for The Tonight Show.
      I think this has more to do with Carson than Leno – who I’ve always thought was lame.

  • Lb

    Why the problem in late night? Maybe viewers want the option between New York humor or LA humor. Conan and Letterman are only NY.

  • jack

    Support Conan on this Facebook page – “Support Conan – NBC is a pimp”

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-Conan-NBC-is-a-pimp/292203858857?ref=nf

  • Ken

    I have been a huge Leno fan since the beginning.. but If I had to choose Leno or Conan, Conan wins hands down.. Leno is funny, but Conan is Brilliant..

    • Duh

      Leno is not naturally funny at all. All of his humor is is so broad and generic it’s insulting.

      • EWsMom

        Actually, neither are “naturally funny”

        You DO know that both Leno & Conan employ WRITERS to WRITE for their show…they just deliver it.

      • Tim

        Actually, you’re wrong. Leno had a career prior to being a talk-show host as a stand-up comedian – writing his own material. Additionally, O’Brien has been an esteemed contributor to a variety of legitimate comedy outlets i.e. The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live.

      • EWsMom

        Errr yeah Tom – but I’m talking about their performances on their SHOWS…which is what most people have been exposed to.

      • Matt

        @EWsMom Conan is naturally funny and he can’t turn it off. Watch Conan on Inside the Actors Studio and tell me that he’s not naturally funny. I just watched it today and the guy is an inspiration. He stayed on the air during the writing strike and performed wonderfully(some of the best shows if you ask me). He’s very talented, smart and funny and should be given a shot instead of getting the boot after a few months.

    • nancy harris

      I agree Conan is brillant and wins hands down. Why couldn’t he wait 30 minutes-half of which is advertising a fact that I don’t hear any one mention.

      • Devin

        If you’ve read his statement he won’t move the show because it’s about preserving the integrity of “The Tonight Show”. It’s not about his ego or his greediness. It’s about moving a show that’s been in the same time slot for DECADES just to cater the whims of Leno and the people at NBC who botched this whole deal.

      • Amy

        And if Conan bows to NBC now, who knows what else they’ll make him do. He was only given 7 months! When Jay took over, he had been guest hosting for Johnny for quite a while. Odds were stacked against him.

  • Janie

    What a JERK Conan is — big deal, 30 min delay when everyone Tivos anyway!

    awful message to our nation’s youth + his own kids!

    I’ll never watch him again – let’s all boycott.

    • Hannah

      You’re going to be the only one, babe.

      • J

        You are my hero, Hannah. Besides Coco.

      • EWsMom

        Actually judging by the ratings….seems like millions are boycotting the Tonight Show…

      • Penny

        EWsMom: You can always tell who loves Leno and is sad they can’t get their daily fix… oh wait, you can get your daily fix–still. Leno has his own show (at least until the Olympics) yet none of his “loyal” fans watch it. Ever! What were you doing when he needed your support? Filing your bunions? What???

      • Tim

        Millions are boycotting Leno at 10pm.

      • @Penny

        Errr yeah…sure…..except Leno STILL gets 5-6 million viewers a night….while Coco barely gets 2.5 million, and is slaughtered by freakin’ Nightline and Letterman in both total viewers.

      • Elgin

        True dat Hannah. On the other hand, I think a lot of people have seen the ugly,heavyhanded side of Leno in this mess and may boycott him.

    • Duh

      What!?!?! You’re blaming the guy getting screwed over?!?! You’re twisted. Next you’re going to say Jesus deserved to be crucified…

    • Penny

      Our nations kids are going to have issues because Conan doesn’t want to roll over for NBC? NBC is screwing him over. How is that okay? This isn’t an issue about sharing or being fair. This is a career we’re talking about. If Conan knew NBC was going to screw him out of the Tonight Show–six years ago–he would have left NBC and set up shop elsewhere.

    • Sexy Red

      Janie – you are obviously a silver-spoon-fed idiot. I’m 39 & have an antennae tv with rabbit ears. Your elitist comment about how “everyone Tivos anyway” is so disappointing. Leno is as dated & out-of-touch as you apparently are!!

      Leno stepped down in 2004 (elegantly & gracefully) & handed the show to Conan & he has expressed no regrets or explanations in the present matter & change of events as he now is snatching it back. Leno could’ve done anything else: do a car show on cable…an interview show on cable…he could have done a different, less rigid show during prime time that would’ve captivated the audience & redefined primetime!! But Leno is too conservative & too boring & completely UNCREATIVE to have tried anything different & anything TRULY funny & now everyone else stands to suffer for it…”The [Legendary] Tonite Show” becomes “The Tomorrow Show”…”The Late Show [with Jimmy Falon]” gets the narrow pool of viewers that Carson Daly’s show gets, & Carson likely gets the shaft altogether…just so Leno can continue to do his limited “comedy”.

      I have liked Leno. I LOVE Conan. But I’m diggin Leno less & less. He’s a greedy Indian-giver. He so graciously bowed out of “The Tonite Show” only to now show his true colors & his real agenda in continuing to monopolize Late Nite TV with his lacking, withering wit. Looks like the beginning of the end to me.

      I love you, Conan, & I will follow you anywhere … but not really FOLLOW you, like following you around…cuz that’s CREEPY.

      • April C

        Oh, wow, did you just say “indian giver”? Umm…not tryin’ to be the PC cops here, but I don’t think we are supposed to use that expression in this day & age…!

    • mbook

      What is the awful message to our nation’s youth + his own kids? That you shouldn’t sacrifice your integrity and self-respect to the almighty dollar, even when you already have millions?

      • Sexy Red

        Amen!!

      • Nev

        Which millionaire are we talking about here? Conan? Jay? unnamed NBC execs?

    • Justin

      Actually, just the opposite.

      It sends the _right_ message to our nation’s youth: when you earn something and someone tries to take it away, stand up for yourself. And stand up for your friends.

      It’s called self-respect and dignity. Or, you could always just tell your kids to give up their lunch money to the first kid that tries to bully them. After all, “big deal,” it’s just five bucks.

      • Nick

        I mean, of all people I expect to do something like this, Conan was the last of them. Conan is such a team player 99% of the time, and despite how “selfish” this may look at first glance, if you look deeper you realize that Conan is doing this more to defend the integrity and tradition of the Tonight Show rather than to stand up for himself (though that is definitely one of his motivations).

    • juliette

      An awful message to our nation’s kids?? LOLOLOL. Yes. We are poisoning their young minds with this late night TV scheduling blasphemy

    • Lizabeth

      Didn’t you read Conan’s statement? A big part of his decision to not move to the 12:05 spot is because The Tonight Show has been a staple airing directly after the nightly news for 60 years. I respect Conan for the way he’s handled himself and I will watch him on NBC for as long as he’s there and I will follow where he goes next.

  • danielle

    about time conan gets the boot. I’m so tired of his unfunny jokes. while they’re at it can they get rid of cranky, wrinkly, polyamorous letterman too. jesus you conan followers have a lame sense of humor.

    • cambus

      Wow Danielle, sorry we’re not into angry, angry humor like you.

    • muck

      Polyamorous sounds like a pretty big word for a fool like you.

    • Zaphod

      OK, so let’s get rid of every nighttime variety/talk show so you can have your own SUPER SENSE OF HUMOR SHOW which is destined to fail in over 9000 seconds.

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