How to Be Conan O’Brien in 10 Easy Steps
Conan O’Brien is poised to take over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2009. A couple years ago, this would have been great news. However, over the past couple dozen months, O’Brien has gone from being an irreverent comedic mastermind to a stale shell of his former self whose jokes are lackluster and whose “quirky” mannerisms are entirely too predictable.
With the air rapidly deflating from Late Night‘s screeching tires, I thought it might be nice to put together a quick and easy guide to how you, too, can be Conan O’Brien. These days, all it takes are these 10 easy steps:
Step 1: Come out from the wings curtain buttoning your jacket (you know, because you always forget to do that). Proceed to jump up as high as you can, kicking your heels back behind you. Land, spin 360 degrees, and point to Max Weinberg.
Step 2: Do an awkward dance, wait for the audience to quiet down, then make a joke about the douchebag who hoots belatedly.
Step 3: Combat the audience’s applause by joking about how tonight’s show really isn’t going to be all that great. Why? Because nothing is more fun than settling down to have someone entertain you for an hour and listening to them self-deprecate about what a bad job they’re going to do.
Step 4: Ask Max how he’s feeling, then joke about how uncomfortable Max always seems. Bonus points if you insinuate he’s some sort of pedophile.
Step 5: Commence with monologue, making sure to include at least one impression that is absolutely nothing like the person you are impersonating.
Step 6: After the first of many jokes bombs, remind your audience that “this show is free” or, alternately, that you “will be here all night.”
Step 7: Repeat the poor impression you made earlier.
Step 8: Bring back the extended joke from last night’s show that drew the most laughs.
If last night’s show didn’t have any good jokes, insert one of the following: a joke at La Bamba’s expense; an impression of “nerds”; lick your fingers and smooth out your eyebrows; do the string dance; say “keep cool, my babies.”
Step 9: Tell a joke that you like so much, you are forced to immediately repeat the punchline.
Step 10: When all else fails, charge the camera, make a crazy face, drop out of the frame, then pop back up into the shot. The audience never gets tired of this sort of wacky shenanigan.