On Sunday I made the trip to Missouri’s red-headed step-child, Kansas City, to see Conan O’Brien on his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television tour. In case you didn’t hear, a while back I transferred the domain teamcoco.com to Conan which ultimately resulted in two free tickets to his show in Kansas City. I took my friend Matt, who lives outside of KC. If you are a fan of Conan’s humor you would definitely enjoy this show. The type of show that Conan is doing on tour is not something I’ve seen before (or not seen in a long while) and the whole idea of this tour might solidify the idea that Conan is a genius. Warning, if you are planning to see this show don’t continue reading as you will get some spoilers.
The show isn’t groundbreaking in and of itself. It’s equal parts comedy and music, a formula that has been done before. What makes it Conan (and his staff) a genius is that this 30-plus city tour came about because of the devotion of his fans. He has capitalized brilliantly over a terrible situation. Instead of fading into the shadows after leaving the Tonight Show, Conan turned himself into a complete brand. He is Coco. He is the underdog. He is the people’s champ. But enough about him, let me tell you about the show.
First off, the seats were quite nice. I got the tickets through Conan’s people so we were in row 18. His opening act, Reggie Watts, was really good. The only issue I had with his performance is that sometimes it was hard to make out the lyrics to his comedic songs because of the way the sound was set up at the venue. His set didn’t last as long as I thought it would either. After about 15 minutes or so of Watts, the Legally Prohibited band came out. The only way I can describe this opening act is the movie Blues Brothers. You know the scene at the end when the band starts playing the introduction song. You had some good old rhythm and blues with loud trombones, saxes, and trumpets? That’s what it was like. I half expected to see Donald “Duck” Dunn and Matt “Guitar” Murphy to come out. It was fantastic. The band was lively, ran through the crowd, and got the crowd pumped for Conan’s entrance onto the stage.
Conan came out and talked about his situation, the tour, etc. He did his typical self-deprecating jokes, which were a hit with the crowd. His old pal Andy Richter came out and joined in on the fun. There were appearances by the
masturbating bear self-pleasuring panda, a very funny video featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and the appearance of the Walker Texas Ranger Lever Chuck Norris Handle. KC’s own Jason Sudeikis even came out to pull the handle. In between the skits Conan strapped on his guitar and played some tunes. The show really was awesome.
The only downside to the show was the length. Conan was only on for a little over an hour making the entire show last less than 2 hours. If I paid for the really expensive seats I would have been a bit disappointed, not at the quality of the entertainment, but the length. I know that they are hitting a lot of cities in a short amount of time, but I think they could have easily fit another 15-20 minutes into the show. Other than that, the show was fantastic. It made me look forward to his upcoming show on TBS even more, which in the end, is really what this tour is about.