Watch Conan mix cocktails on “The Tonight Show”

Since Conan O’Brien replaced Jay Leno as its host, “The Tonight Show” has surrendered its ratings lead to “The Late Show with David Letterman.” I’ve caught more or less every episode since Conan took over in August and, like most fans of his “Late Night” program, I’ve been disappointed by the overall results. I assumed brining Andy Richter back would resurrect some of alternative, zany comedy Conan helmed in the 90s. Not so much. While the off-kilter sketches (“Slipnutz”) and refreshing characters (Crooner Ghost) have taken a back seat, Conan still brings it every night. For example, he’s absolutely hilarious in this segment with molecular mixologist Claire Smith. No, NBC shouldn’t replace him with Jerry Seinfeld.

  

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TV.com’s top 10 Conan O’Brien sketches

Conan left “Late Night” last week, and TV.com put together a list of his funniest creations…

6. In the Year 2000
Using flashlights for the worst special effect ever, Conan and Andy (or a guest) donned robes and what looked like jingle bells around their necks for a look into the future. First started before the turn of the millennium, the absurdity of the sketch got even better in 2001 and beyond. And big ups to band member Richie “LaBamba” Rosenburg for providing the haunting chorus.

I’m looking forward to Conan taking over the “Tonight Show,” though I am nervous for him. It’s going to be interesting to see how he scales back his quirky/semi-offensive humor for the 11:30 crowd. He’s scheduled to take over the show in June.

  

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The Final Fate of the Masturbating Bear

It’s been well-documented that, when Conan O’Brien departs the less-stringent 12:30 AM timeslot in favor of replacing Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show,” he will not be taking one of his most renown characters with him: the Masturbating Bear. It’s a shame, but it’s not a big surprise, either. (Can you imagine the number of heart attacks the great beast would cause in middle America if he were to go through his trademark schtick at 11:30 PM?) Fortunately, however, Conan gave the forest’s most famous knuckle shuffler the heave-ho with dignity…and with no less than two Harrison Ford homages, plus a very special guest star.

  

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