2. Conan Goes to Houston to Find Viewers (1997)
The success of Conan’s late night show have been due in large part to fan support. It’s what kept him on the air during the rough start of Late Night, it helped vilify Jay Leno during the Tonight Show debacle, and it encouraged TBS to launch Conan.
That audience has typically been made up younger late night viewers who are more inclined to appreciate the alternative, oddball brand of comedy that Conan has mastered. Helping that along was the 12:30 AM time slot of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. But the 2:40 AM audience in Houston? It’s hard to say where they fit in among Conan’s fans which is why he went down to Texas to investigate, giving us one of the best remotes of all time.
The man-on-the-street type interviews are a comedy staple but Conan is so comfortable in the uncomfortable-ness of strangers. Like a talented improv performer, he goes on and on no matter how little he gets from the other side of his microphone. Though there is no denying the on-camera chemistry between Conan and Buffalo, perhaps the harshest critic in the history of late night television. Apologies are in order for those Andy Richter jokes.
What other television show could cut from filming inside a strip club to filming inside a hospital emergency room? Just more proof that Late Night was a truly original show ahead of its time in so many ways.