21 September 2008 | Chip_douglas
5 Krunking years of Conan - for Triumph to poop on!
It's hard to believe it's been 10 years already since Conan O'Brien's first prime time special celebrating the first five years of his Late Night show. I suppose they could have done a 15th anniversary show this year had it not been for the fact that everyone knows Conan's going to take over the Tonight Show in June 2009, there's not much of a point. It's basically a clip show, and as such recycles a lot of material from the third anniversary show, which is not that surprising when you do the math. But since it's a compilation of some of the silliest, cheapest humor on late night television from 1993-1999, any Conan & Andy fan is in for a treat.
The show opened with a daring stunt in which Conan dives into the Hudson river (and if it's true what they say about NYC, that takes a lot of guts!). Then O'Brien delivered his 'Conologue' not from the usual set, but a redecorated studio 8H (SNL's home base). Perennial talk show guest Tony Randall teamed up with Pimpbot 5000 to introduce a montage of great guests and Tom Arnold was teamed with Triumph the Insult comic dog to present a collection of clips featuring Conan & Andy all over the world. Back then Triumph didn't even have a body, just a rubber face, though it's inspired to see Arnold coming down the Award style steps with an actual Hungarian mountain dog on a leash. Robert Smigel not only voices Triumph, but also President Bill Clinton in 'clutch' mode (i.e. lips superimposed on a picture). The commander in chief introduces a Clutch clips package of various people (almost all voiced by Smigel). Also, Chris Rock and Lisa Kudrow share some brief pre-recorded 'Favorite Conan Moments' and Conan gets a little surprise from Adam Sandler.
Still, compared to the three year anniversary from 1996, this show does seem a bit less inspired. There were much more C-status celebrities in attendance two years earlier, appearances by both Letterman and Leno, a desk ride by Conan and Andy (this time around they watch some new cable channels instead) and a segment on 'lovely violence' introduced by Carl 'Oldie'Olsen (William Preston), who passed away in early 1998. It's also a bit weird to see an advert for a 'Too hot for Late Night 5th Anniversary video with 3 diff collectible video covers' that's basically the show we're watching right now. That's right, folks a mere ten years ago video's were all the rage and most people had no idea what a DVD was.
8 out of 10
PS. Here is a personal top 5 comedy bits from the first five years of Late Night that unfortunately weren't in either special: 5 - The three remaining Beatles (in Clutch form) present a song based on a recently discovered John Lennon recording (his answering machine message). 4 - Babe the cute little piglet uttering "You big Krunkhole" (a swearword so new the censors didn't pick up on it yet) 3- Clutch Johnny Cochran's unused rhymes in the O.J. Simpson defense ("He was # 32, so no crime could he do". "He was in Naked Gun, how could he be the one?"). 2 - Some Adult film stars proving their acting prowess by recreating the signing of the declaration of independence (with hilarious money shot stills to introduce each of them). 1- Foam rubber Conan & Andy (one resembling Howdy Doody, the other a blond boy with the body of a Care Bear) at the Repubulican convention (ending up with Foam rubber Andy vomiting in their hotel bathroom).