Jan 27, 2010

Daddy Conan

Yes Nana, we gotta love Conan along with that quote from him that you had highlighted. Even I -- with my bouts of cynicism -- had to agree. As we had chit-chatted about over lunch yesterday, his recent roll-out of eloquent statements in light of the NBC shitstorm made us revisit his commencement speech to the Harvard Class of 2000. So here's a snippet of that speech worth paying attention to, for the young and impressionable, who apparently make up most of his demographic:

"So, that's what I wish for all of you: the bad as well as the good. Fall down, make a mess, break something occasionally. And remember that the story is never over. If it's alright, I'd like to read a little something from just this year: 'Somehow, Conan O'Brien has transformed himself into the brightest star in the Late Night firmament. His comedy is the gold standard and Conan himself is not only the quickest and most inventive wit of his generation, but quite possible the greatest host ever.'

Ladies and Gentlemen, Class of 2000, I wrote that this morning, as proof that, when all else fails, there's always delusion. I'll go now, to make bigger mistakes and to embarrass this fine institution even more. But let me leave you with one last thought: If you can laugh at yourself loud and hard every time you fall...."

Punchline here, along with the rest of the speech. He obviously practices what he preaches considering recent events. I hope to see him in Fox or cable or wherever it is he'll show kids how to make amazing happen by working hard and being kind -- and not being cynical.

And may I add another great lesson from our favorite late night host -- it's okay to be weird and offbeat and you don't always have to play it safe. It's okay to be unconventional. You can major in literature and history at Harvard, write a thesis on the use of children as symbols in the works of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor then end up with a career making people laugh with self-pleasuring bears and dogs that insult people. The "mainstream" may not find 1864 baseball all that funny, but to some of us insane absurdity are marks of comic genius. Just showing more love for Conan... and total support for Team Coco!

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