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Conan's Coming

Posted on Tuesday, January 06 at 00:39 by canadaka

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It’s not immediately apparent who’ll be among Conan’s special guests, but most hope local talent will play some kind of role.

And O’Brien himself hints it may not be his only Canadian appearance. “I want to announce now, if this week goes well in Toronto, we are moving the show permanently to Winnipeg,” he jokes to big laughs at the King Edward Hotel. “Winnipeg, gateway to north Winnipeg.”

But while O’Brien may be a stranger to these parts, he admits the city has a familiar feel. “I personally have been very influenced by Canadian comedy,” he contends. “I was a freak for Second City TV and very influenced by it, and so were a lot of the writers, especially the original writers that started doing the show ten years ago. So when we heard that there was a chance to come to Toronto, it made a lot of sense for us personally. We felt a kinship with this city, so we're very excited to make this happen.”

The concept for the visit started percolating last summer, during a tête- -tête between Lorne Michaels, the Toronto native and executive producer of Saturday Night Live and Late Night and Peter Soumalis, who founded Canada’s Walk of Fame.

But now the question is, will O’Brien’s kinship with our bustling metropolis translate into jokes that will appeal to Canadian sensibilities?

“Everyone I’ve talked to said that they’re just great crowds here, that they’re smart, and they like smart funny comedy so yes, we’re going to have to change our act completely,” he joked.

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