Well, it had to happen sooner or later. When we hold a public figure so dear for so long, it only makes sense that they would eventually disappoint us. Such is the case with Conan O’Brien’s Foreign Super Heroes sketch.
It’s the kind of sketch that will put you in one of two groups. It will either make you mad or disappointed, or else you’ll see it as yet another cog in that damn Outrage Machine, and you’ll get to tell those of us in Group A to calm the hell down and grow a sense of humor (your favorite thing!). Conan’s premise is that all the great superheroes were created by Americans, so let’s take a look at supers from other countries. For instance, we have Captain South America, whose power is that he does a lot of cocaine. Or Saudi Black Widow, who has “the ability to drive a car all by herself, without a male chaperone.”
There are so many problems here, but my big one is that it’s just lazy. I thought Conan was better than this. (Though maybe I shouldn’t have.) Was this sketch in the context of a larger comedy flashback episode from the mid-90s? Never mind the fact that every country actually does have a plethora of ridiculous superheroes they could have chosen from, they didn’t need to rely on lazy tired stereotypes. And look, no one is boycotting Conan. This doesn’t ruin him forever. It’s just… disappointing.
Oh, and if you’re in the group that thinks this sketch doesn’t deserve a second glance,