I Want To Go To There: Conan’s Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour

Welcome to a new, hopefully regular, feature here on UnitedMonkee where I talk about places I want to go to with a title lovingly borrowed from 30 Rock. I was a little behind in my Google Reader and Bloglines reading today so I just found out that Conan O’Brien’s going on a tour called The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour which will also feature Andy Richter and the Tonight Show Band now thanks to THR. They also pointed me towards Conan’s Twitter page, which I subscribed to the RSS feed of (I refuse to join Twitter until I become something of a big deal and people will just need to know when I’m going to the coffee shop) and Conan’s site called TeamCoco where you can order tickets.

Anyway, I’d love to see this live. He’s going to be at Radio City Music Hall in NYC June 1st and 2nd, Atlantic City on May 30th, Boston on June 4th and 5th and Mohegan Sun, all of which seem like viable places for me and the missus or some friends to catch the act. Anyone want to help bankroll this trip?

Conan, Ricky Gervais & Kenneth The Page

I wanted to watch Conan’s Tonight Show last night with all the craziness that’s been swirling around him and Jay Leno. If you’re interested, you can check out the whole episode here, but I pulled out a few fun clips I liked. I’ve got to give it to Conan for being as ballsy with this whole thing as he is. Making fun of the boss on the boss’s dime takes guts and he, Andy Richter and guest Ricky Gervais went at it like crazy. Here’s a few of my favorite moments.

Obama weighs in on Conan (I’m guessing he’s talking about another Conan, but really have no idea).

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Conan suggests some changes for NBC to make in their Olympics coverage.

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Conan’s monologue gets interrupted by Kenneth The Page from 30 Rock giving a tour through the Tonight Show studio. He gets a lot of good ones in like “It actually took NBC longer to build the set than they used it for.” Good, good stuff.

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And, finally, here’s the four clips from Gervais’ interview. Conan keeps trying to ask Gervais about his projects, but Ricky keeps bringing it back to Conan and the late night situation.

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Christmas Stories: Elf (2003)

Em took yesterday and today off so we could get ready for Christmas. I really hadn’t realized that Christmas was only a week away. Luckily, we’re pretty well set up. All our presents are coming in from Amazon, most of the decorations are up and we’ve got our tree. We just need to wrap presents, decorate the tree and make the food for when the parents come. While putting lights on the tree today, we turned on Elf, which is one of my two favorite Christmas movies from the last 10 years (the other is Love Actually).

I first saw Elf in college and it really helped me get in the holiday spirit thanks to Will Ferrell’s infectious naivete and joy with all things Christmas. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, it’s got Zooey Deschanel singing my favorite Christmas song of all time “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” so that helped. Christmas time during college was always a bit weird for me, you’re trying to get in the spirit and have a good time with holiday parties and what not, but then you’ve got all these exams looming over you and travel plans back home. One of my favorite parties every year was the post-exam Christmas party. Everyone, even the most intense students, seemed to just cut loose and have a good time at that one.

So, I was really glad when I saw Elf and it got me in the spirit. The story follows Ferrell, as Buddy the elf, but he’s not really an elf. He was an orphan who, as a baby, crawled into Santa’s sack and stowed away to the North Pole. Now, he’s 30 and discovers that he’s not actually an elf and wants to meet his dad James Caan (his mom passed away). So, Buddy heads to New York City and finds his dad married (to Mary Steenburgen) with a kid. Ed Asner plays Santa and Bob Newhart plays Buddy’s adoptive dad Papa Elf. Buddy explores NYC, meets his jerk dad who thinks he’s crazy and becomes part of dad’s family. He also falls for Zooey and they start dating. It’s all very festive and sweet. I know a lot of people are probably sick of Ferrell’s man-child routine (Step Brothers, Old School, Talladega Nights, Semi-Pro, pretty much everything he’s done, really), but it really serves this movie because he’s not playing it with any meanness or irony (like there is in Fred Claus). Buddy really is one of the happiest, nicest people you’ll ever see on screen.

I give a lot of the credit for this goodness to director Jon Favreau. The first 10-20 minutes takes places in the North Pole. There’s just such a great, fantastical consistency to the place. It feels classic and up-to-date at the same time. The difference in size between Buddy and the elves is really well done and outside, you’re treated to several claymation-like characters. Even the snowflakes look big and cut-out and fun. It’s little touches like that that really impressed me about Elf and gave me a lot of hope back when Favreau was announced as the Iron Man director and everyone was freaking out. I actually like this movie so much that it’s not filed away with all the other Christmas DVDs, it’s in the binder with the rest of my pre-moving collection (which quickly filled up once I started working 15 minutes away from a Best Buy). So there you have it, my thoughts on one of my favorite Christmas movies.