“The plot to Lost is more plausible than my life in the last year,” a neatly bearded, not-quite-amped Conan O’Brien told the crowd gathered at the Hammerstein Ballroom for the TBS/TNT upfront. Conan, “who loves doing comedy at ten in the morning,“ did a quick stand-up and song routine, consisting of much recycled material from his road show, to kick off the presentation. He was played on by a video clip of his transformation from a Dorito and orange soda smoothie–drinking, depressive yeti, to a buff, presentable host, thanks to a call from TBS. Taking to the stage, he noted the last time he was in New York was a year ago, at the NBC upfront, and then moved on to less depressing matters like his beard (“Not everyone loves the beard. Some people say I look like Paul Bunyan with an eating disorder. I had someone say I look like the Brawny paper-towel guy before his bone-marrow transplant”), basic cable (“I really believe in basic-cable television. I think it’s what makes this country great. I don’t want to live in a country that has less than six ESPN channels), and a TV show most people under the age of 35 don’t remember (“My vision for the show is to pick up where Hee Haw left off”). Then, saying he had to get to Chicago for a show later tonight, Conan grabbed a guitar and did a honky-tonk version of “On the Road Again” with made-up lyrics, like “ I just can’t wait to have my own show again/On any network even oxygen/I know you think they only have shows for women/But I would change my sex to have my own show again.” A big round of applause, followed by Coco wishing everyone a good upfront. Conan out! At least until November 8th, when his new show premieres.
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