Conan O’Brien’s Best Non-Talk Show Appearances, Ranked
Conan O’Brien is inarguably one of the greatest talk show hosts of all time. Even TV legends like Johnny Carson never figured out how to crack the ursine self-pleasure fetish market — but Conan somehow found a way.
While we love Conan for his talk shows, podcasts and cartoons about outdated urban transportation systems, he’s also made several on-screen appearances that didn’t require him to feign interest in a random celebrity guest’s insipid Hollywood project. To celebrate his contribution to narrative film and television, we’ve decided to rank our favorite non-talk show Conan gigs, like…
Conan cameoed in the Michael J. Fox sitcom Spin City as a random zoo-dwelling weirdo in coveralls who happens to save a runaway baby carriage but doesn’t want any media attention. Oh, and he talks to seals.
‘SNL’s Five-Timers Club
While working as a writer at Saturday Night Live, Conan had a number of random bit parts — perhaps the most memorable being the role of Sean, the doorman of the Five-Timers Club, who first gifts Tom Hanks with his exclusive members-only blazer.
Andy Richter (and the rest of his identical quintuplets) feature prominently throughout Arrested Development — and in the fourth season, his buddy Conan showed up as a lecherous, cartoonishly dickish version of himself.
‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’
Conan appeared briefly in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, donning a wig to play Andy Warhol, one of the many cameos in the star-studded pool party scene. The role was so small that Conan literally forgot he was in the movie.
‘One More Happy Ending’ and ‘Mi Adorable Maldición’
While visiting South Korea, Conan snagged a cameo in the popular soap opera One More Happy Ending, as… well, we’re not quite sure.
Similarly, when he was in Mexico, he appeared in the telenovela Mi Adorable Maldición, seemingly dressed as Norm Macdonald dressed as Burt Reynolds.
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist
A squiggly, animated Conan popped by the acclaimed Comedy Central show, grumbling about his long legs and pale complexion.
‘The Dark Knight Returns’ and ‘The Lego Batman Movie’
Conan did voice work in not one but two animated Batman films; in The Lego Batman Movie, he has a small role as The (Lego) Riddler.
And more surprisingly, in The Dark Knight Returns, he plays a talk show host who’s viciously attacked by the Joker, aka the Jay Leno of the DC universe.
Conan isn’t in 30 Rock all that much, but even in his small amount of screen time, he has to avoid being lethally shivved by Tracy Jordan and dance around an awkward romantic history with Liz Lemon.
‘How I Met Your Mother’
Conan famously won a walk-on role in How I Met Your Mother at a charity auction. When the makers of the show found out who the winner was, they attempted to beef up his part, but Conan, cannily knowing that it would be way funnier, insisted that he should be a random extra pretending to drink a beer in the background.
‘Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda’
His finest film role to date. Conan plays an arrogant millionaire who wears a full suit, complete with an ascot, to the beach in the Roger Corman-produced SyFy channel movie Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda. Between sips of his martini, he berates his assistant for worrying about the so-called Sharktopus before being violently decapitated by said Sharktopus — at which point his severed head is tossed around in a bloody game of beach volleyball.
Conan was so proud of his work in the film (is “film” the right word?) that he “demanded a high profile billboard” in L.A.’s historic “brakes and alignment district.”
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