I’m not arguing that Conan O’Brien hasn’t had any missteps (because WTF, Conan?), but he is still my favorite late night host. For two reasons:
1.) The guy sells a joke hard. There’s no backing off for him. If you don’t laugh at first, he will press the punchline for another 90 seconds until you do.
2.) While most comedy shows have been fueled creatively by drug use, particularly pot, very few seemed designed to appeal to pot users as viewers while still playing with the sober crowd. Triumph? Masturbating Bear? Andy Richter? These were made for people with the munchies, but are still genuinely funny. It’s like Shakespeare playing high- and low-brow if Hamlet featured more bear penises.
Which is a big part of the reason that I will never tire of the Paul Rudd on Conan.
Paul Rudd can’t even pretend that he’s not going to show the Mac And Me clip by this point, and it still manages to be funny. I’ll now be patiently waiting for the next step in the joke’s evolution: the clip becomes sentient, and seeks revenge by hunting down Conan and Rudd’s families.