3. Conan Goes Apple Picking with Mr. T (2000)
A big part of late night has always been having a “friend of the show.” Not only are these frequent guests but also a celebrity who can pop in for a quick bit or film a field piece.
Fittingly, no show had a more eclectic collection of friends than Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Abe Vigoda, John Tesh, and James Lipton were among the frequent visitors to the show. The star power of those names don’t exactly equal what we have now with JImmy Fallon and Justin TImberlake or Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon. But that was the point and it reflected the tone and personality of Late Night.
Included in that list of the show’s friends is Mr. T. The Rocky III and A-Team actor is a unique character on his own. But paired with Conan O’Brien and his most entertaining qualities are only heightened. And again we see Conan willing to make Mr. T the focal point of the bit and play off him rather than the other way around.
We have to imagine that, like the bit itself, the pitch wasn’t all that complicated. It feels like there was never a wrong answer or bad idea on Late Night. “Apple picking with Mr. T” wasn’t all that out of place on a show that featured a raccoon with a jetpack or a lever for Walker, Texas Ranger clips.