'Conan' night three: Jon Hamm, Charlyne Yi, and few more TBS jokes

Conan-Jon-HammImage Credit: Meghan Sinclair/Team CocoConan O’Brien’s third night on TBS was … fine? While his new show is nearly a carbon copy of his old gig, there were still a couple growing pains on display last night. The most notable, and self-referential: more of the “I’m on TBS” gags that he’s been working this week. “I am of course Conan O’Brien,” he told the audience by way of introduction. “Or, as I’m now contractually obligated to call myself since joining TBS, Tyler Perry’s Conan O’Brien.” Har har. He also shared some clever working titles for his show, including Plan B with Conan O’Brien, One Hour to Lopez, S— a Tall Irish Attention Whore Says, and Taller and Gayer Ellen. (Check out this bit in the clip below.) Then he jumped into standard talk show fare — Bush jokes, Obama jokes, lions, tigers and ligers, oh my! — before bringing out guests, which we’ll tackle one by one:

TBS founder Ted Turner (okay, it was Will Forte) riding high on a buffalo (okay, it was stuffed), cursing out the crowd for being a bunch of “marijuana smokin’ Fig Newton eatin’ beatniks.” Cute, but we couldn’t help thinking how cool it would’ve been to have the real Ted on the couch.

Mad Men star Jon Hamm. Has anyone else noticed that this man is oddly attractive? Ah yes, you have. It seemed like Conan was awfully profuse in his thanks to Hamm for coming on the show, but handsome Hamm is probably used to such treatment — he lives in a beautiful-person bubble, after all.

Comedian-performer-don’t-call-me-an-actress Charlyne Yi, who told a not-particularly ingratiating story about refusing to learn her lines on a TV show, before singing a song called “Coyote,” which consisted largely of howling noises. Huh.

But the most memorable moment might’ve been when Yi noted that someone’s phone was ringing in the audience. Conan shot the crowd a genuinely peeved, daddy-mad look and scolded everyone to turn their phones off. “People just bring phones into our show,” he said. “They’re like aw, it’s TBS, whatever.” Funny thing there, Conan: I’m not sure most people really have such a low opinion of TBS. But you certainly seem to.

What did you think, PopWatchers? Is Conan (and the unitalicized actual person, Conan) getting more comfortable as the week goes on? And who was your favorite guest of the night? Let us know in the comments.

Read more:
Second night of ‘Conan’
How did Conan fare on opening night?

Comments (111 total) Add your comment
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  • Elizabeth

    Is EW going to critique every episode? Shouldn’t that be relegated for a TV Watch blog item?
    I remember him (and pretty much every late night host) bagging on their networks too – this isn’t anything new.
    Maybe the initial visit from Turner is working up to something else in the future. Again: why do you need to waste all the bells and whistles in the first week.
    BTW: thats Charlyne Yi. I didn’t expect anything else from her and I was amused nonetheless. And I’m guessing the show was Big Bang Theory.

    • RyanK

      Yeah, even before she mentioned the laser to heat Ramen, her glasses and Asian descent do kinda typecast her as an engineering student.

      And yes that was typical Charlyne Yi, and yes I too was laughing a lot.

      • LOL

        Yi was the best guest. I’m with Coco!

      • Tim

        Thought Charlyne was a great guest!

    • Ease up

      Seriously why do you guys keep hating on conan every single night, if theres anything getting stale its not him, its your constantly dismal review of him. I think he has been great every show so far. And tom hanks was the best!

    • Max Weinberg

      Big Conan fan. However, I’ve been disappointed with the new show. Too scripted. Conan is best we he cuts loose and riffs with a guest or with Andy. Thats what made his last shows on NBC so great – he didn’t follow the script anymore

  • RC

    You did watch Conan when he was on NBC, right? 15 years, and almost every night made some self-deprecating joke about a) being on a network that was in the toilet, or b) being on at midnight, or both.

    Part of Conan’s bit is that he does the same stuff every night – “Keep cool my babies,” followed by string dance, followed by walking into the camera, followed by the same self-deprecating jokes. Night after night after night. Night 3, maybe that’s marginally funny, but 15 years later when he’s still doing it? HILARIOUS. Hard to even explain why.

    • @RC

      Yeah, that’s the whole point.

      He’s been using the SAME SHTICK for FIFTEEN years. About time he got some new material. He’s just as unclever as Leno, who everyone criticizes for being “not funny”.
      I don’t know about you, but using the same boring material for nearly 2 decades ain’t so hot.

      • Will S

        Then clearly you didn’t see Conan when he came back on air during the writer’s strike….

      • JJ

        Exactly. It’s the same tired jokes, night after night, year after year. He had nine months off and this is the best he can come up with? Conan is just as mediocre as Leno. If you want real laughs, switch over to Comedy Central and watch Jon Stewart.

    • Lyn

      It’s true that he used to rag on NBC as well. But NBC screwed him (sort of) while TBS enabled his comeback! Sheesh, have a little gratitude!

      • Michael

        I really don’t think TBS is offended.

        Of course Conan is going to make fun of them. His humor is self-deprecating. He makes fun of himself, his show, the band members, the station…that’s how it works. Not sure why these reviews keep thinking it’s weird.

      • Dave

        It’s called joking. I’m sure he is truly grateful for his job at TBS. I don’t know why people think he actually hates the network. He used to make similar jokes about NBC (as does Leno), but he has said numerous how grateful he is to NBC for making him who he is today.

      • SteveStrifeX

        Seriously, EW has it out for Conan. Heck, on night one EW was giving Conan flak for using his new position at TBS as the butt of his jokes (their take: enough already!). Only three days in and you’re already talking about it like he’s been making the joke for the past 9 months. Seriously, just go back to writing the 15 articles a week on Glee and DWTS, since it’s clear what shows you want to promote are

    • Shannon

      Conan has yet to utter his famous “Keep cool my babies” on his TBS gig.
      What gives??

  • K

    All late night hosts joke about their networks. I don’t see that as anything new.
    I did think it was funny how Charlene Yi was talking about how she didn’t find the show funny that she was going to be on – that she didn’t get the jokes – then the line she said from the show made it obvious that it was BBT. Any other show, one line wouldn’t have been so obvious.

  • MICHELLE

    Ummm, Adam are you having a bad day?? this article seems kinda mean . . .

    • Louise

      I thought so, too.

    • Amanda Kiwinerd

      Seems like Adam Markovitz is on his period.

      • MICHELLE

        yes, so glad I’m not the only one! some men can get really bitchy on their man periods.

    • annonymous

      He doesn’t like conan… read the last 3 articles.

      • i’m with coco

        Is it too much to ask that a Conan fan do some writing for this magazine?

      • cb

        If a reviewer is unable to review a show objectively, then maybe it is time to move on and give someone else the chance.

      • Or….

        Maybe the show just sucks, is boring and stale, and you Conan-bots are too idiotic to realize it?

      • hc

        Or…maybe you should go sit on a knife.

      • emmy

        this “critic” is disappointed that will forte came out and did a really funny bit, lamenting it wasn’t actually ted turner. do you enjoy comedy?

      • R. madness

        Apparently, Adam does not crave the Newton.

    • Shannon

      Oh, that’s Adam…
      Sorry, dude. Your name was hidden when I went to post my comment and I called you Ken.
      Didn’t mean to add to your cramps.

  • Tom Brazelton

    I kind of wish Conan would lay off making fun of TBS as well. I have no strong affinity for the network, but considering they launched his show with one of the largest promotional campaigns in history, he could probably demonstrate a little graciousness. Making fun of your network is only funny when the network is screwing you over.

    • Dan

      If Conan had a perfect show every night more than have of his potential audience wouldn’t like it anyway. Comedy is subjective, which makes this play by play kind of ridiculous. Even if it’s a bad show, I’d rather watch Conan than the “I Once Was Funny and Irreverant But Now I’m Just a Leftist Who Sleeps With Interns Show” and the “I Was Just Kidding When I Said I Wanted to Give Conan a Chance and Not Cause a Fight Like What Happened When Johnny Left The Tonight Show” Show.

  • sue

    I’m just happy he’s back on TV. He doesn’t need to change the format, and I’m sure the new kid jitters will fade. Major plus: his musical guests; he’s 3 for 3, so far, in my book. And I really enjoy clicking off the television as soon as his show ends – hahaha!!!

  • Will S

    How long is EW gonna put Conan under the microscope? He’s doing a great job, and I’m sure in time he will get more comfortable. Sure, he makes fun of TBS, but when he was on NBC, he did his fair share of jabbing them too.

    • i’m with coco

      whoa get out of my brain!

      • Kate

        Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Conan always made fun of NBC. Long before they screwed him. It seems that making fun of the network is part of his shtick. How come now that it’s TBS it’s bugging people (read: EW) so much?!

    • Michele

      Agreed. All shows do that! Simpsons & Family Guy make fun of FOX all the time as well.. it’s just part of the gig. If TBS has enough of a sense of humour to put Conan on the air, then they’ll have enough of a sense of humour to be able to laugh at themselves.

      • J Lo

        Not to mention 30 Rock, which makes a snarky comment about NBC all the time, going so far as to devote an entire episode to the Tonight Show debacle (Khonani).

    • Hannah

      Seriously. Just enjoy watching the show. Honestly, you don’t have to recap every episode. It’s a talk show. I think we get what’s going on.

    • topoopon

      And he made fun of FOX on “The Simpsons”… but it’s all a part of why I love him. All late night hosts do it really if you think about it. Dave jabs CBS. Jon and Stephen tease Comedy Central and Viacom, and Jimmy makes fun of ABC… and all is well with the world.

  • i’m with coco

    Why is EW recapping every episode? I love Conan, but I don’t need to hear a “it was fine” recap each night. Do you recap Leno or Letterman and inform us their show was “fine” last night? I feel like Conan will succeed once he’s taken out from under the microscope and gets comfortable.

  • Ryan O’Brien

    I think it’s all right. After all, did ANYBODY here think he was going to cable? And of that TBS? No we thought FOX would grab him. I pretty much don’t watch ANYTHING on TBS. I have watched some Lopez if while scrolling through listing I see I like his guest. For the most part though I grew up when TBS was all baseball and Full House/Funniest Video reruns. It’s not all that different today. They have no drama series like USA or TNT, no sitcoms that aren’t Tyler Perry. TBS is using Conan to try and bring in a new era and they have a good sense of humor about it or they wouldn’t let him make jokes.

    • Tracy

      Really? No dramas? Um, maybe because TBS is the “very funny” network. That is why the dramas are on their sister network TNT. TBS is the comedy and TNT the drama. And hello, My Boys was on TBS and really good. And they have a new comedy and they have the rights to Family guy and Office reruns – so they do have series besides Tyler Perry.

      • Ryan O’Brien

        Again, more reruns. My Boys had viewership and scheduling issues its entire life and is now dead.

        Also, since when is making fun of the network you are on a no-no? Both Conan and Jay used to (and Leno I’m sure still does) make fun of NBC all the time

  • Brigette

    I’ve loved this whole week so far. I think sometimes critics want to find all that is not perfect so they have something to write– not like I’m accusing anyone HERE of doing that, of course! ;) I found Yi surprisingly funny, and I love how Conan has been interacting directly with his audience. No complaints here.

    • G.R.

      Agreed — Conan seems to be getting more comfortable with each episode. I don’t mind the TBS jokes so much (really no different than the jokes Letterman still sometimes makes about CBS, or The Simpsons’ jabs at FOX), so long as he’s not still picking on NBC. As for the guests, Jon Hamm was cute and funny as always, and I thought Charlene Yi was adorable.

  • Tna

    I’m not sure why you’re always so hard on the TBS jokes. Prior to the whole Tonight Show fiasco, Conan always ripped into NBC for there low ratings and other short comings. It’s what he does.

    • Tna

      *their–it was bugging me.

  • !!

    I love Charlyne Yi. She did great. Judging from the line, I’m guessing the sitcom was Big Bang Theory?? And as always, Hamm is great eye candy.

    • leemats

      I agree. It sounds like TBBT. I don’t watch that show, and agree it’s “soul-killing.” Is there someone out there who is a fan of the show an can identify the episode where the “Cup O’ Noodle” line came from? I wonder who they re-cast in her place, and if it’s that blonde girl who recently became a semi-rgular.

      • Christie

        I have only seen one episode of that show and it happened to be the one with that line in it, ha! I think it was the guy from Rosanne who ended up saying the line, but the girl in the scene was Darlene from Rosanne who played his co-worker/date.

        Or something.

  • annonymous

    Time to move on… Conan will do fine with or without your approval.

  • cb

    Conan has poked fun at his network at all of his previous hosting jobs. If you watched him at any incarnation prior to TBS, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Assuredly, TBS is loving every second of it.

  • Jrs

    He still sucks big time. I’m SO over all this EW fascination with him.

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