On second night in Chicago, Conan O’Brien makes pitch to the Cubs
by mike thomas Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org June 12, 2012 9:39PM
Sidekick Andy Richter (from left), guest Andy Samberg and host Conan O'Brien on an episode of the TBS show "Conan" taped at the Chicago Theatre on June 12, 2012.
Updated: July 14, 2012 6:48AM
Lots of comics crack wise about the Chicago Cubs, including Conan O’Brien. But Tuesday, during the second show of his four-day residency at the Chicago Theatre, the late-night host tried to be helpful.
The perpetually struggling squad needs a mascot, he said, whereupon prototypes appeared onstage. Among them:
† A fedora-topped hybrid of iron-fisted gangster and controlling sci-fi computer Hal called “Hal Capone.”
† “The one waitress who hasn’t slept with [former Cubs player] Mark Grace.”
† A hapless Cubs player futilely trying to bat-smack a pinata.
† And a singing, dancing quintet (comprised of one actual human) called “the Jesse Jackson Five.”
Attempting to outdo the first evening’s giant-bratwurst jump over the open State Street bridge (taped earlier and shown on video), O’Brien’s team of experts lashed a small-scale replica of the Daley Plaza’s Picasso sculpture to a motorized base and let ’er rip. After it failed (seemingly by inches) to reach the other side and plummeted to the Chicago River below, O’Brien quipped, “It became much more abstract.”
Of course, as sidekick Andy Richter astutely noted, “It doesn’t have the aerodynamics of a sausage.”
The follow-up leap, employing “Mrs. O’Leary’s cow” (fake, not real) was far more successful.
Other taped segments with local flavor included O’Brien’s visit to the Frances Xavier Warde elementary school, where he taught first-graders about the blues and improvised songs on his electric guitar based on subjects that made them unhappy — such as not liking edamame very much and being deprived of chocolate for most of the week. The energetic tykes then boogied live while O’Brien jammed.
Guest and former “Saturday Night Live” star Andy Samberg, on to pump his new comedy “That’s My Boy,” did a (purposely?) lousy impression of Mayor Rahm Emanuel threatening to hurt someone at the Wiener’s Circle and fulfilled a longtime dream by blasting G-strings into the audience using T-shirt cannons borrowed from the Bulls.
A certain onanistic Bear of the Soldier Field variety showed up, too. So did the furry one.