By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Quirky late-night show aimed at adults and older teens.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
If there’s one message to take from Conan, it’s to be yourself. The late-night host spent years in the shadows of other veteran talk-show hosts, first by following David Letterman’s show, then by being named heir to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, only to have that plum job taken away. But by staying true to both his ideals and his quirky sense of humor, he landed a job at TBS where he clearly has the freedom to pursue jokes any way he wants.
Positive Role Models
Conan is a good role model for anyone who’s ever had a career setback. Despite losing his dream job in a very public manner, he’s bounced back and landed a job where his new employers are happy to have him, and happy to give him free rein. It may not be The Tonight Show, but it’s clear he values this artistic freedom.
Violence & Scariness
Some skits include mock violence, ranging from a faux suicide attempt to over-the-top gangland shootouts with machine guns. (Nothing bloody.)
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A “self-pleasuring” bear similar to a character seen in Conan’s old show appears occasionally.
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Some on-air swearing is bleeped, though some words aren’t, including “hell,” “penis,” “ass,” “boobies” and “t-tties.” Conan and his guests make jokes about how far they can push the language envelope.
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Products & Purchases
Conan often refers to other TV networks and specific shows. His guests are all well-known celebrities who often have a project to promote.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some references to drugs and alcohol, including guests who make extended jokes about marijuana.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this version of Conan O'Brien's late-night show is bit looser than when he was on The Tonight Show, and bit more adult. Conan appears liberated to structure the show however he wants, to make jokes about anything he wants, and that freedom has loosened him up and bettered his performance. Some of his guests also take that freedom to mean they can swear (most of it gets bleeped) and to make jokes about sex and drugs that are best suited for adults.
Where to Watch
Based on 3 parent reviews
Conan comes to TBS in a funny show
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What's the Story?
Ten months after being ousted from his dream job as host of The Tonight Show, Conan O'Brien returned to the air with another late-night forum, titled simply, and significantly, CONAN. The format is nearly identical: opening monologue, a bevy of celebrity guests, and his longtime sidekick Andy Richter in attendance. But the results are different, and an improvement.
Is It Any Good?
Late-night talk shows have different personalities that reflect their hosts. David Letterman is arch, sardonic, and brilliant. Jay Leno is likeable, uncomplicated, a pleaser. And Conan? He's always been funny, but during his brief tenure at The Tonight Show, he also seemed antsy and constrained, perhaps by its formidable history.
All that's out the window in his new show at TBS, where he is finally free to be exactly who he wants to be. (Cue the classic tune from childhood.) Here, Conan has verve -- and nerve. His brand of humor was never as mainstream crowd-pleasing as Leno's, and now he doesn't have to try to be something he's not. A bit about a clown talking above the heads of little kids? Check. A Ricky Gervais put-down? Check. Free-wheeling interviews with famous types? That's all here, all done in quintessential, quirky Conan style.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Conan's type of humor. How does his humor on this show differ from that of The Tonight Show? Is one format better than the other?
Talk about the swearing -- is it necessary to swear to be funny? What is the function of swear words?
Why do celebrities come onto Conan's show? Do you consider any of these celebs role models? What about Conan himself? Why or why not?
- Premiere date: November 8, 2010
- Cast: Andy Richter, Conan O'Brien
- Network: TBS
- Genre: Variety Show
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: August 25, 2022
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