Saturday, April 24, 2010

POPped Review: The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour

"It's not an ironic name.  Legally I am prohibited from being funny on television."  That was just a small part of the explanation that Conan O'Brien gave on Thursday night.  This is when his first of two dates in San Francisco at the Nob Hill Masonic Center.  Yes, it was at a Masonic Center.  This in itself led to some great comedy riffs throughout the night.  What exactly was the night like?

Upon walking in to the theater we were greeted by a very long bar.  If there was one thing there wasn't a lack of it was alcohol.  In no way was this a bad thing.  There were also signs posted everywhere encouraging people to use Twitter and tweet during the show.  As a matter of fact the evening had it's own unique hash tag: #cobnob.  (If you don't use Twitter I know you're totally lost.)  We were also told by the staff when they saw our camera that it was fine to take pictures just to be sure not to use the flash.  I was impressed by this.  Here is someone that understands that people wanted to share their experience with others not there, and they weren't going to hamper it.  Nope.  They were encouraging it.  

After a tasty beverage we went to our seats, which were incredibly close to the stage.  And what was great about seeing his show here was that it was much smaller and unique than the other venues he's played so far.  This stage protruded out so that it was almost in the round.  But let's get to the show itself.  First up was his opening act Reggie Watts.  This guy is incredibly talented and hilarious.  It's not everyday that you have someone mix A Capella music and comedy.  He was the perfect start to the evening.

Photo: POParitaville

After a quick set change The Legally Prohibited Band came out to start the show.  This really set everything in motion for what the evening was going to be like.  It was going to be a party and it was going to be fun.  From here the lights came down and a video came up on the big screens with the words "Three Months Ago".  We then got treated to a great piece showing us what despair Conan was in, surrounded by empty alcohol bottles and pizza boxes, overweight, his daughter complaining he smelled like pee, and all to the song 'All By Myself'.  It was sad and hilarious. (You can see it here from their Vancouver show.)  He quickly went in to a montage of getting in shape and then came bounding on the stage to thunderous applause.  And when I say thunderous, I mean the place went nuts.  It was us welcoming him back and letting him know he has been missed.

Photo: POParitaville
His comedy was quick, loose and spot on.  He did touch on the legal issues of what he can and can't say or do.  It was also a time for us to let us know how he has survived it through the Seven Stages of Grief from Losing Your Talk Show.  Some of these included "Blaming Everyone Else" and "72 Hours of Red Bull and Halo."

From here he introduced Andy Richter.  When the two of them were on stage something was very apparent.  These guys were having a blast and they were ready to share that with everyone.  Yes, most of the evening was scripted, but there was also much improvisation as well.  And watching them play off of each other gave the whole show a vibe not seen in a show since The Rat Pack.  (I'm not kidding here.)  They came off as the cool guys who were inviting you into their world for one night; and we couldn't wait to join them.

Photo: POParitaville
The tour has a great variety show feel to it.  The show has a great blend of music, comedy and sketches.  Many of which we even got to participate in.  This included a piece where Conan wanted to chat with us.  Our comments were placed on the screen for us to say and ended up leading to a very awkward moment with Conan and La Bamba.  We'll just say that face licking did happen.  Andy even had his solo moment when he came on stage wearing a horse/cowboy costume, letting us know what he's learned during all of this.  

They did also speak about not knowing what they would be able to take to the new TBS show as far as characters go.  This included the Masturbating Bear, who he brought out on stage.  So with some quick adjustments, he became the Self Pleasuring Panda.  Another character he's not sure about is Triumph.  (He made an appearance via video.)  There was even time to bring out something not seen for quite a while.  The Walker Texas Ranger Lever (aptly re-named of course).

Photo: POParitaville
Other odd, hilarious moments throughout the show included Conan coming out in the same purple leather outfit Eddie Murphy wore in Eddie Murphy: Raw.  And also the presentation of the original inflatable bat from Meatloaf's Bat Outta Hell tour.  Yup.  The moment was hilarious, and almost as funny to watch the stage techs from our seats laugh and wrestle with that thing to get it inflated and deflated.  And if you've watched the Walker Texas Ranger clip already, you've seen that they would also do live commercials for local businesses.  

Photo: POParitaville

What would a Conan show be without guests?  Through out the tour he has had different people drop in (Seth Rogen, Jack McBrayer, Dave Matthews and Eddie Vedder) and this night was no different.  Out came Chris Isaak to do a couple of songs with Conan.  It was incredibly random, but very cool.  He was the perfect fit for the vibe of the show.  From there Conan did his version of 'I Will Survive' as his last number.  With that he made his way off stage to the cheering audience.

With cheering like that there was no way he wouldn't come back for an encore.  And everyone came back out for it.  This finale really was the perfect cap to this night.  It had everything we already experienced.  It was loud, it was fun, and it made us wish there was more.  It even included him running right by our seats to play some guitar from the audience.

If you are able to, get tickets to see this show how ever you can.  If you are a Conan fan, this is a must see event.  The dates are few and mostly sold out, but they are starting to release a few more tickets.  Head to to get details.

This weekend should be interesting because they are headed to the Gibson Amphitheater which is located at the scene of the crime... Universal Studio Hollywood.  I can only imagine who the guest - or guests - will be during these shows.

Now if only November would get here quicker.

POPped by 
Jungle Jesse

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