Conan O'Brien

It wouldn't be interesting to write a review or to come up with a theory of why Conan O'Brien is funny. Humor becomes distinctly unfunny as soon as it has to be explained. At this point in time, you love him already, you hate him already, or you are indifferent to him, whether because you go to bed early, you don't watch television, or you prefer Craig Kilborn.

Still everyone has to appreciate Triumph the Comic Insult Dog, Conan's building of his own boy band, or the way he always manages to be the target of animal urine during an animal segment.

But what is always cheering about Conan is how he will make fun of anything, including the assumptions of his own humor, his own network or his paid advertisers. Here is one of my favorite recent examples:

Conan says, looking directly into the camera: "Bud Light—it won't fill you up or let you down."

An audience member yells out: "Hey Conan! My beer never fills me up either!"

Conan replies: "But has it ever let you down?"

Audience member, frowning: "Yes." Pause. "It has."

Fade to commercial, and a real Bud Light advertisement. What before would have been an ad-break during which I would have either started reading a magazine or passively taken in the inanity proceeding before me is changed into a theater of absurdity in which tribute is paid to just how ridiculous television advertising is.

And yes, I was disappointed when I found out that Conan is now engaged to be married to someone who is not me.

—Jill Stauffer