With a big ratings victory under his belt and the first night jitters behind him, Conan O’Brien confidently walked onto the set of his new show “Conan” on Tuesday night (November 9) for an excellent sophomore effort that kept the sweet momentum going. The show featured an excellent monologue, a very funny remote package, classic guest spots from Tom Hanks and Jack McBrayer and a savage performance from Soundgarden — their first television appearance in 13 years.
O’Brien opened the show with a more traditional opening, settling into current events humor and only venturing into anti-NBC territory once. He followed that up with the night’s comedy highlight: A visit to the guy in charge of standards and practices at TBS. O’Brien admitted that he really wasn’t sure exactly what he could say and not say on cable (after all, guest Seth Rogen got away with saying the word “titties” during the first show, something that almost certainly would have been bleeped out on network TV), so he chatted with the guy who is in charge of censoring him. He ran through a number of euphemisms for male genitalia (“The One Legged Pigeon”) and sexual positions (“Have you ever tried a Tokyo Sandblaster?”). He wrapped up with an extended riff that saw him figure out exactly how long he could show his rear end without getting the hook (the answer was four seconds).
When the action returned to the studio, O’Brien chatted with longtime friend Tom Hanks (who started the trend of calling O’Brien “Coco”) and went through an elaborate bit that featured a handful of green-screened whales swimming through the set’s backdrop and ended with Hanks getting soaked. But following a brief conversation with “30 Rock” star and former “Late Night” featured performer Jack McBrayer, O’Brien introduced Soundgarden, who were playing on television for the first time in 13 years (and playing together publicly for only the fifth time since they announced their reunion at the beginning of the year). They played the tepid new single “Black Rain” on the show, but O’Brien saved the best bit for the web: A performance of “Hunted Down,” the band’s very first single from their classic 1987 EP Screaming Life.
What did you think of the second episode of “Conan”? Let us know in the comments!