We here at Mandatory love Conan O’Brien. Whether you’ve watched him from his humble beginnings as the host of “Late Night,” his brief but memorable stint as host of “The Tonight Show,” or if you’ve just recently caught “Conan” on TBS, it’s more than likely that you love him too. That’s why we decided to put together a list of all his best segments in a piece we like to call “Top 20 Conan O’Brien Bits.” Enjoy all the irreverent Conan O’Brien humor by revisiting his finest work so far.
20. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”/”The Tonight Show”/”Conan”)
Triumph was around for many years, but it was a visit with Star Wars enthusiasts that really put him on the map for nerds and comedy fans alike. We were sad that he had not been around much lately (“For me to poop on” just doesn’t have the same ring to it when it’s not coming out of a dog puppet), but he recently made his triumphant return in Chicago to come to the defense of Jack McBrayer. The end result was incredible.
19. In the Year 2000/3000 (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”/”The Tonight Show”)
A well-known staple spanning two of Conan’s late-night TV shows, this running gag has also undergone the most renovation. From a strictly Conan-and-Andy bit to a Conan-and-[insert celebrity]-bit to a Conan-and-Andy bit once more (but with sweeter duds and a more suitable name for the next millennium), it’s no mystery why this segment stood the test of time and goes down as one of his very best.
18. Celebrity Survey (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”/”The Tonight Show”/”Conan”) and Guest Autographs (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”)
Employing the same basic comedy elements, “Celebrity Survey” and “Guest Autographs” use their formats to rip on any and every celebrity in the news at the current time (and usually Kirstie Alley). The only real difference between the two is that one sets up its own punchline, while the other is usually more of a quick jab. It is this similarity that makes it impossible to choose which deserves this spot. So why not both?
17. The “Walker, Texas Ranger” Lever (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”)
Even if you’ve never watched an episode of “Walker, Texas Ranger,” odds are you’ve heard of Conan’s “Walker, Texas Ranger” lever. And once you’ve seen the caliber of clips that said lever could churn out, it’s more than likely you’ll make it a point to never watch an entire episode. The lever is all you need.
16. Jesus Figurines (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”)
This gem of a segment somehow managed to fly in under the radar without making many waves. If you’ve never seen it before, you might be asking yourself why it would. After you watch this clip, you’ll understand.
15. Citizenship Test (“Conan”) and SAT Analogies (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”)
Another case of similar elements, these two sketches both use the ruse of sounding educational at their start, only to devolve into celebrity bashing, pop-culture references or random, one-off jokes. But you won’t hear us complaining.
14. Why Would You Tweet That? (“Conan”) and Twitter Tracker (“The Tonight Show”)
These two bits are similar in using Twitter to crack jokes, but completely opposite in terms of the tweets themselves. “Twitter Tracker” used real tweets and derived most of its laughs from the overzealous announcer, whereas “Why Would You Tweet That” is more along the lines of many of Conan’s other bits (i.e. made up).
13. Made-for-TV-Movie Casting (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”/”The Tonight Show”/”Conan”)
This is a great bit and has spanned the width of Conan’s entire career in terms of his late-night shows. And in this case, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
12. Desk Driving (“Late Night with Conan O’Brien”)
While it was a funny segment with Andy, it could be argued that it got even better with crowd participation, as you never knew how they would react.
11. Bill Tull’s Budget Holiday Tips (“Conan”)
“Boom. Crotchless Panties.” ‘Nuff said.