Saturday, January 23, 2010

Conan and the Revenge of the Nerds

Let's be clear. I know there are more important things going on. I have friends helping out on the ground in Haiti. I'm up to my elbows in Gitmo at work. I've made my donations, am doing my part, and am something of a connoisseur of all things Terrible, Awful, and Serious.

That being said, let's discuss Conan for a just a minute.

In my teenage years, my heroes weren't rock stars or politicians. They were odd, brainy, bizarre comedians. Chief among those were the geniuses behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Conan O'Brien. I would tape his shows every night and watch them every day before doing my homework. I saw him live seven times. While other girls read Seventeen and obsessed over Dawson's Creek, I devoured Entertainment Weekly and New York magazine articles on Conan's improbable rise to fame. There was just something about the story of a bookish redheaded misfit done good that spoke to me. Go figure.

So even though I'm a grown-up now, and I haven't been watching quite as regularly, I've been a wee bit emotionally invested in the late night debacle at NBC. I'm of the opinion that Conan got screwed, and while I know this is not life-and-death stuff, it kinda shatters the fable of my youth. Be smart, work hard, do good...get hurt anyway. Not gonna lie, people, I took it an eensy bit personally.

But Conan's farewell speech was a master stroke. Classy, sincere, emotional and optimistic. It's worth five minutes of your time, so I'll post it below. I was particularly struck by his line, "If you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen." Hey, it's not Shakespeare. It ain't even Oprah. But it was simple and true, and a lovely example of grace under fire. Well-played, Conan. Hope to see you soon.

And well done on that $45 million payout, playa. NERDS!! NERDS!! NERDS!!