Conan O’Brien made a surprise appearance Wednesday night on ‘Lopez Tonight,” and the first thought that came to mind was, oh, this is synergy at work. But it was more like the brotherhood has begun. These guys came off as college pals getting together after a number of years and letting nearly a million people see they still get along. Or something like that.
Host George Lopez was in the middle of a joke when O’Brien strolled out, looking relaxed and a mite pleased in a gray suit, an open-collared blue shirt, and an unshaven face. “Save your woos,” he told the excited audience. After exchanging pleasantries, Lopez quipped that he “saw the World Series around your promos,” and then he officially welcomed O’Brien – and his new show, ‘Conan‘ – to TBS, and to basic cable. O’Brien responded to audience cheers by saying, “I never heard basic cable get shrieks of excitement.”
Spurred by O’Brien, the two conversed in Spanish, which Conan called his native tongue. “How’s your family?” Lopez asked. “Good, they are wonderful,” O’Brien replied. “My fig has 8 bathrooms, and my wrist has sex.” “How is the Conan show shaping up?” Lopez asked. “Yes, I have many shoes,” Conan said. Then they spoke in German. The bit was funny, snappy, and good-natured. It promised a feel-good, party-time vibe on TBS starting next week when ‘Conan’ makes its highly-anticipated debut and ‘Lopez Tonight’ essentially reboots for a second season.
Earlier in the week, reports surfaced that Lopez’s show would be undergoing a few changes, the TV equivalent of tightening around the eyes and a few shots of botox. Like Conan, he’ll tape four nights a week instead of three, his desk will occupy its own area separate from the performing space, and he will be asked to tape his show as close to a timed hour as possible, rather than indulge in lengthy over-runs, which not only create all sorts of editing havoc but also hamper the show’s rhythm and flow.
If TBS is smart, and if the stars are willing, they’ll continue to push the synergy between the two. O’Brien’s confidence and seasoning will force Lopez to up his game – and he does have the chops – and beyond that, O’Brien needs all the bandwidth he can grab in order to convince viewers that TBS is a new late night hot spot. Indeed, it does appear to be on its way. You’ll be able to watch both ‘Conan’ and ‘Lopez Tonight’ on xfinityTV.com and on Xfinity TV On Demand. Will you tune-in? How do you think O’Brien will fare?