Conan O’Brien returns to New York City this week to shoot new episodes, and celebrate the one year anniversary, of his TBS talk show, “Conan.” O’Brien always seems to work best when he’s in the Big Apple, the last week of his version of “The Tonight Show” notwithstanding; so he and Andy Richter ought to be worth tuning in to this week almost for that fact alone. Also, according to his Twitter feed, Coco has re-grown the beard, and who amongst us can’t appreciate that?
But there will be one more reason to celebrate Conan the O’Brien’s return to the city that helped establish his pop culture iconography, as Vulture is reporting that the late-at-night comedian will also be officiating the wedding of a long-time staff member to their romantic partner on one of this week’s episodes. Said staff member just so happens to be a man, and so is his fiance. O’Brien will take advantage of his apparent ordainment in the Universal Life Church, and New York’s recently passed gay marriage laws, to wed the same-sex couple. The ceremony is obviously more than a ratings grabber to the people involved, as TBS and the show’s producers are quick to dismiss even the term “publicity stunt.” But it strikes me as disingenuous to say that, what is undoubtedly one of, the first ever live televised homosexual weddings isn’t also some sort of political statement. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
After all, Conan couldn’t have done this when he previously hosted a nationally televised talk show in NYC, and Jay Leno never officiated any gay marriages back when it was legal in California (once upon a time). I’m not doubting the sincerity of the moment, but I find it fitting that Conan O’Brien will commemorate New York’s legalization of gay marriage in much the same way Homer did when Springfield legalized it on “The Simpsons.” Though, I think the relative shoulder shrugging about the proceedings from those involved is probably closer in sentiment to how the topic was addressed in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Which is, clearly, the way it should be.
All in all, the whole shebang is merely yet another reason why those of us who were “with” Coco will always be “with” Coco. So, watch his damn show, already!