Hilarity reigned supreme Saturday night , May 15 at Brady Theater. Conan O’Brien brought an amazingly energetic and side-splittingly funny show to Tulsa.
O’Brien, not being known for stand up comedy, was enigmatic in his approach, but pulled it off like a seasoned vet. He brought different tinges to the stage through skit, video and song.
Opener Reggie Watts got the sold out house going with his constantly changing accents and beat-box songs. Upon first coming to the stage he had an urban accent and led into using spontaneous voice samples to create a short song. Next, he started an English accent and sat at a small keyboard and gave a hilarious song about his woman’s purse and why it was so big. Did she have another purse inside? Reggie finished his set with his ode to hip-hop with "F*&K, S#%T Stack." Enormously funny and completely irreverent he had the crowd in tears by the end of his set.
After a short intermission it was time for O’Brien to make his long awaited appearance. Before he came out though it was still time for more warm up as the "Legally Prohibited" Band came out and energized the crowd more with song and near riot exploration of the venue. Running all around and stopping to interact with the packed house. It was totally unexpected and raucously funny. Making their way back up to the stage and ending their music number, making way for Conan.
Conan O’Brien, who has been out of public eye for a little more than 2 months now, was introduced via video that started by saying the words, "2 Months Ago" only to show O’Brien laid out in the floor, huge beard, long hair and extremely overweight, numerous pizza boxes and beer bottles strung out all around him. The phone rings and he answers it, "Job!" Alas, it is a wrong number asking for Debbie. What follows next is a series of clips of his daily routine and antics with Eric Carmen’s "All By Myself" providing the soundtrack. From his daily walk to the mailbox to jumping on a trampoline and interaction with his little girl who alerted, "Mom! Dad smells like pee!" It was a zany look at CoCo as he has been dubbed. A little bit of a throw out to Tom Hanks in Cast Away, hmmm maybe a little symbolism there with what NBC did to the funny man. The video wraps with the phone ringing again and Conan answering it with, "Debbie isn’t here!" Only to be stopped and told about the chance to do this tour and asking if he is ready. The ensuing montage shows his road back to being in shape.
It is a fantastic beginning to an outrageous evening.
It is easy to see that CoCo has done his homework on the area, as he comes out and quickly states that he has visited Mayfest and "found a piece of art and some tube socks."
The show itself was kind of a live version of what you could expect from his TV show. You get a glimpse of his very scattered mind and the people who have helped put the pieces in place.
He is joined onstage by Andy Richter who only adds to the night as they play off each other and poked fun at TV execs, and NBC. All by still staying "legal" as they say, by not mentioning anything that is contract violating. There really is no holding back once they get going and you never really know what is coming next, as there seem to be surprises around every turn.
Dion Cole, a writer for Conan comes out and "tries" some material out. Paper in hand and making note of what jokes work and which ones bomb. Even giving us a little secret insider info into when things just aren’t working out for a comic. The key words are "it is crazy out here man" and "let’s here it for the ladies" whenever you here this the jokes are bombing. Cole added that these phrases also work in the bedroom when thing just aren’t going your way.
The night never slowed down as it went from Conan telling life stuff about what was going on these days and his desire to have a new show, to his coming onstage in Eddie Murphy’s leather suit he wore in the Raw concert film. Then suddenly stopping and telling the crowd that Hanson happened by and is going to play.
The whole evening was like this though in true Conan O’Brien fashion. It was like Willy Wonka, "little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous."
His new show starts in November on TBS, but honestly if that doesn’t work out Conan, you may seriously think about a regular tour. You did just fine live.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle