Saying goodbye to a longtime TV staple is never a fun thing to deal with, but it certainly helps when that TV staple supplies big laughs and manic glee like TBS' Conan does. Conan O'Brien's talk show is indeed ending this week, but not before the host welcomed back SNL alum and social media avoider Bill Hader, whose interview was gloriously derailed by a "surprise" appearance from everyone's favorite person, Paul Rudd, and everyone's favorite movie footage, Paul Rudd's infamous Mac and Me clip.
For those who aren't longtime fans of Conan O'Brien's talk shows, from Late Night to The Tonight Show to Conan, Paul Rudd's appearance in the video below will be rather baffling. But it's very, very, very clear that Bill Hader knows exactly what's going on, and that he could NOT be more amused by any of it, which is probably the most endearing thing that'll happen on TV this week. Check it out!
The interview kicks off with an already A+ Bill Hader anecdote about what is apparently the worst attempt at a sketch that Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels had ever seen in his life, which was largely based around Hader's squawky impersonation of filmmaker Ed Burns. Because that sketch also involved Paul Rudd, it only made sense for the actor to pop out and crash the interview with style, charisma, and a 25-year-old gag. (It would have been cool to see him do the same thing for the Friends reunion, but I digress.)
In one of the longest-running talk show traditions out there, Paul Rudd's visits to Conan O'Brien's series are always marked by the actor promoting a clip from a big new project that inevitably turns out to be a clip from the 1988 family flick Mac and Me. Every. Single. Time. And it never gets old, as proven by Bill Hader's infectious laughter throughout the entire second half of the video above. It's the kind of childlike and unbridled laughter that shows he not only appreciates the bit in and of itself, but also that he appreciates seeing it all happen on the stage around him. Like being in the same room with Jimi Hendrix as he improvises a guitar solo, only slightly less impressive.
Just listen to that unfiltered laughter in the clip below and everything in life becomes slightly easier to deal with.
The most serious event in the world could have taken place just after that, and I'm pretty sure Bill Hader wouldn't have been able to pull back on the laughs in order to deal with it. Such is the power of Paul Rudd and Conan O'Brien's epic relationship, not to mention the power of the alien Mac.
It wouldn't have been the same had Conan ended on TBS without Paul Rudd making a final appearance, and it was truly sad when his name wasn't part of the final guest list. Thankfully, Conan O'Brien & Co. knew the deal and delivered the goods in full. To actually get an explanation and a story behind the Mac and Me clip was more than fans could have even hoped for. Now here's hoping Rudd finds a way to keep the bit going when O'Brien's HBO Max series starts up.