Conan is almost as well known for its Burbank studio location as it is for pitting its red-headed host in costumes for wild and wacky segments. And while the show’s occasional jaunts out into the world have been memorable, his next one is the most groundbreaking excursion yet, as Conan O’Brien and his Conan crew traveled to the former No-Go Zone of Cuba to record an upcoming episode. Get your legal cigars cut and ready to go.
Conan O’Brien and his squad flew out to Havana on Thursday and spent the weekend filming segments for an episode that will air on March 4, marking the first time an American late night talk show has filmed in the Communist country since the U.S. embargo was put in place in 1962. Not taping a Presidents’ Day episode allowed him the long weekend, although this kind of an historic event would likely take precedent over a normal night’s episode anyway.
According to Deadline, the episode will reportedly give viewers a closer look at a day in the life of Cuban culture. Considering he’s taking several days to film the segments needed, it seems like he’ll have quite a bit of footage to give people that will probably be more important than him going to a Korean spa with Walking Dead star Stephen Yeun. (Although that clip also had its fair share of international humor.) Can we hope to see O’Brien hitting the beach for a day of volleyball and nickel mining?
Conan is no stranger to taking road trips, even ones across oceans, as the show has filmed in Ireland and Finland. Here on this continent, Conan has gone to Toronto, Atlanta, New York, Dallas and Chicago. This would have been a good weekend for him to go down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but I understand that creating a television hallmark is more important than boobs and beads.
President Obama first announced his plans to fix ties with Cuba back in December, after many decades of troubled relations. At that point, CBS Evening News became the first to broadcast from the country, followed by NBC’s Brian Williams and ABC’s David Muir. Older readers might remember that Fidel Castro appeared on both Jack Paar’s version of The Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show in 1959. Check out a shot from the latter.
It was only a few weeks ago when O’Brien got animated with Sterling Archer and started shooting Russians. I’m guessing he’ll be nicer to the Cuban population when Conan’s Cuba-licious episode airs on Wednesday, March 4 on TBS.