UNIVERSAL CITY, California — For seven short months, Conan O’Brien hosted “The Tonight Show” on the Universal Studios back lot. In a full-circle moment on Saturday night, the comedian brought his Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour to Universal Studios’ Gibson Amphitheatre, a mere 400 yards from his old stage.
“This is my first time back at Universal Studios since I lost my job,” O’Brien announced to the sold-out crowd, causing the Conan-crazy fans to boo his former employer, NBC. “Don’t boo too loudly. If you listen very carefully, you can hear bad ideas being green-lit.”
Aside from occasional jabs at O’Brien’s old network, the traveling variety show was nothing but a lovefest between TBS’ newest late-night host and his devoted fanbase. O’Brien even brought a few extra-special treats to L.A. (since his celeb pals didn’t have to travel too far to join him onstage), including appearances by Jonah Hill, 2010 MTV Movie Awards host Aziz Ansari and Jim Carrey as Superman.
After lamenting how tough it is to be Conan O’Brien, the funnyman launched into Five for Fighting’s “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” only to be joined in the second verse by Carrey, who emerged from the crowd in red-and-blue tights. The pair hammed it up during the duet, trading over-the-top vocal runs and awkward dance moves.
The real guest-star cavalcade came during the “Walker, Texas Ranger” Lever, a staple from Conan’s late-night shows that (for legal reasons) will now be known as the Chuck Norris Rural Policeman Handle. Ansari, Hill, “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm and “30 Rock” page Jack MacBrayer all took turns pulling the handle to activate ridiculous (and completely real) “Walker” scenes. “I’m just glad I’m not one of the guys who works for NBC pulling the handle,” Hamm quipped, pointing out Ansari’s and MacBrayer’s day jobs on Peacock comedies.
Conan bestie Andy Richter, former “Tonight Show” writer Deon Cole and Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog also got in on the action with bits throughout the two-hour show. Comedian Reggie Watts kick-started the night with 20 ridiculous minutes of accents, beatboxing and unintelligible lyrics.
O’Brien will be back on the Gibson stage Sunday night (April 25) before heading to San Diego on Thursday.
Are you planning to see Conan’s tour? Are you looking forward to his TBS show? Let us know in the comments below!