I was looking for something to watch on Netflix over the weekend and found a show from Conan O’Brien entitled Conan Without Borders. I’ve been a fan of Conan for years. He quickly became my favorite late night talk show host and I was excited when he took over The Tonight Show. I don’t have to tell you how that ended, but the whole experience allowed me to have some dealings indirectly with Conan and his people (I once owned the domain teamcoco.com and sold it to him after he left The Tonight Show).
Conan Without Borders doesn’t have any new footage, that I can tell, but is instead a re-packaging of Conan’s travel segments from his talk show. If you’ve not watched Conan before, oftentimes he goes to another city for several days (if he’s filming the show in said city, then he’ll usually stay the whole week) and each night they will air an 8-10 minute segment of Conan interacting with the people and places of that city. What this show does is takes each of those 8-10 minute segments and combines them into a single episode. There are 6 episodes in the first “season” and he visits Cuba, Korea, Mexico, Israel, Haiti, and Italy.
The idea of the show is pretty smart. It can potentially open up Conan to more viewers who don’t watch his late night show. It also shows Conan at what I think is his best. In these segments he is his typical goofy self, but in many of these places he really shows his human side and there are moments of the show that are quite touching (in the Haiti, Mexico, and Israel episodes for example). He’s having real conversations with real people about real things. They are not the normal 6 minute canned promo interviews that plague late night talk shows. Each episode was really enjoyable, though I think Haiti and Israel were probably my favorite. Those two I think were really impactful, especially in the current ‘America-First’ political climate.
If you are a fan of Conan or travel shows, or both, I suggest you give it a watch. Some of the segments you may have seen before if you are a regular viewer of Conan, but the segments are so good they hold up in repeated viewings.