When I was a kid one of my favorite times of the year was New Years Day because the annual tradition of a The Twilight Zone marathon. TTZ is my favorite television show of all time. When it was announced that Jordan Peele, writer and director of the massively popular Get Out, would be bringing the series back I was excited to say the least. It seemed to me, based on all the interviews that I read, that Peele has a lot of admiration and respect for the original series. I felt that he could come out with a version of the show that was as close to the original as possible.
Conan O’Brien is in the process of bringing his entire catalog of interviews, stand-up performances, sketches, and remote segments online. Over a year ago Team Coco announced that they were going to put all 25 years of Late Night With Conan O’Brien clips online and the first phase is rolling out now.
350 remote segments from Late Night and Conan are now available available to stream for free. The remote segments are really where Conan shines. I don’t think he’s any funnier than when he’s interacting with various “real” people. He really knows how to get a joke out of any situation. Go watch them. They are really funny. One of my favorites, where Conan plays old-timey baseball, is embedded below.
Over the past few years we’ve entered into the world of subscription services for entertainment, among other things. It started out with a few, but media companies have found the benefits of having their own streaming services outweigh selling their content to an existing service. At least, that’s what they think now, but what happens when people get subscription fatigue? It’s happening to me. Let me start by first listing all the entertainment subscriptions that I currently pay for.
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.
The other day I was browsing YouTube and a suggested video that came up dubbed itself a lot episode of Saved by the Bell. What? An episode of SBTB that I have not seen? How could this be? So, I watched it. All twenty minutes of it. It’s not really an episode. It’s a promo for the NBC Saturday morning lineup and it features Zack, Kelly, Lisa, Slater, Screech and Jessie. There is no Mr. Belding, and the whole premise is really weird.
Because it’s a promo for Saturday morning, there are a lot of clips of cartoons. You have Alf (the puppet) interacting with the SBTB kids and talking about his cartoon. There’s John Candy introducing Camp Candy, and appearances by Marsha Warfield and Sherman Hemsley. It was really weird. If you like SBTB or retro TV stuff in general, give it a watch below.