As crowded as the television landscape is these days, the sheer number of new, canceled and ongoing late night programs is quite high by its own right. Broadcast and cable staples like The Tonight Show, The Late Show and The Daily Show remain, though challengers new and old like Full Frontal, Patriot Act and The Break will occasionally make a play for viewers’ eyeballs. And then there’s Conan, Conan O’Brien’s self-titled TBS successor to his days at NBC, which heads across the Pacific for the Conan Japan special episode.
What to know about the Conan Japan special
The former Late Night and Tonight Show host’s program will transition to a half-hour format next year in order to compete with this very crowded field, but that doesn’t mean he no longer has it. On the contrary, O’Brien has proven himself time and time again in what has become one of late night television’s longest careers. As proof of this, consider his ongoing Conan Without Borders series, which sees him, co-host Andy Richter and the rest of the gang traveling all over the world.
The latest installment, Conan Without Borders: Japan, was announced back in late August when the comedian realized that he shared a name with the popular Japanese manga series “Case Closed,” otherwise known as “Detective Conan.” This sparked a pseudo-feud with the mayor of Hakuei Town, otherwise known as “Conan Town” for the manga series, and became the comedic fuel for the show’s latest “Conan Without Borders” trip.
The journey itself actually happened back in early September and was covered heavily by the Japanese press. Even so, that doesn’t mean that all the best parts of O’Brien and company’s trip were spoiled ahead of the Conan Japan special’s broadcast this week. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Conan was able to address every single one of Hakuei mayor Akio Matsumoto’s requests (having his face carved into Mount Rushmore, getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and receiving 15,000 American hamburgers), but that doesn’t mean he didn’t try.
Besides, judging by the show’s previous televised trips to countries like Mexico, Haiti and Italy, its time in Japan will surely rank fairly high on the list of O’Brien’s accomplishments in late night comedy… even if no hamburgers were actually involved.
When does the Conan Japan special air?
Conan Without Borders: Japan premieres Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 10 p.m. E.T. on TBS.