Conan O’Brien revealed the title of his new show this morning to Vulture in a video he shot from his office, which is probably located in a going-under publishing company. It’s not one of those Late Night with or The Late Show withs because he already tried that and even though we loved it, old people didn’t and hated how it was too long to be made into the password that would deactivate their home alarm systems when a twig landed on their roofs.
Anyway, we learned what it was, and any one of us could have thought of it while we were waiting in the diseased sections of our doctor’s office. Seriously, it’s nothing special. It REPRESENTS something superb, of course, but the title isn’t like The Coco Show or Coco O (presumably because Conan has turned a bit cynical since his world imploded on itself and his career can now be re-enacted by playing video from the Oklahoma City bombings, like it was at the Emmys).
So the title: Conan explained he chose giving his show the title of Conan because it’s simple and pure, but anyone in TV (or someone like me, who gets to write one show’s title while reading a recap of what happened the night before on MTV’s Teen Mom) knows that’s what people would have called it anyway: as in, “hey, did you see who was on Conan last night? I have to know so I can convince my girlfriend I was home watching it instead of on a plane to Turkey.” Nobody really says, “Oh, man. Michael Douglas was on The Late Show with David Letterman and said he has stage 4 cancer.” Letterman’s show is Letterman, Jimmy Fallon’s show is Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel’s is Kimmel, and Jay Leno’s is Jack the Ripper. So in a way, Conan’s embracing the inevitable by playing it simple and using his name to break traditional late show titling methods…and to subtly put emphasis on the fact he’s metamorphosed into a person who Conando would share some tequila with instead of pushing him out a window.