Conan in Philly

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Megan came down from NYC to go see Conan with me. When tickets went on sale a few months ago, I didn’t know what to do. The tour was announced and tickets went on sale at the same time. I didn’t have time to plan. I think it’s safe to say Megan is the biggest Conan fan I know, but with her in NYC and the show on a weeknight, fingers were crossed that it would all work out. Everything did, and it was an awesome show.

First, the opening act. I forget his name and I really don’t want to look it up except to warn you. I was just confused for the first half because I couldn’t figure out what he was doing. I continued to be confused for the second half because I figured out he had some talent, but he wasn’t making the best use of it, in my opinion. It was some sort of hip-hop comedy. Lots of singing, but none of it was all that funny. But he sure could sing and do all sorts of things with his voice and he could at least play piano. So that was the talented part. Just didn’t make sense, and did not fit with the Conan audience. Although peopled seemed to enjoy it, so maybe it just didn’t fit with this pair of Conan audience members.

To get the weak points out of the way, in the middle of the show, Conan had one of his writers come out to do some stand up. He was on The Tonight Show a couple of times and we had never found him all that funny. His routine consisted of complaining about how black comedians make jokes about race and how he didn’t do that, but then went on to tell example jokes for 5 minutes. Quite a ploy to tell those easy jokes and pretend to not like them at the same time.

Now the show. It opened with just the band going crazy. I’d go to a show of just the band. They were that much fun. La Bamba was singing and dancing, it was so strange since I’m used to the moron he’d been portrayed to be on the show. Going in to the theater someone was handing out fliers for a Max Weinberg Big Band show coming up in Philly. Max wasn’t on this tour but after seeing the excitement of this band it seems like something worth checking out. Not sure it would be a much fun as the rest of Conan’s band.

Conan was just great. He told some stories, sang some songs, did some bits from the shows. I’d imagine people would just want to see something more similar to his show. Conan isn’t a singer, so why did we want to see him sing songs? And that’s the crazy thing. I still wanted to see him do all that stuff. He was having fun. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone have that much fun doing a show. At the end he ran through the crowd, hugging people, jumping up and down. It was hilarious, entertaining, a great show.

Now, the special guests. I was kind of worried that Philly wouldn’t get anyone special. I figured they’d bring them out early on, so I was a little disappointed thinking no one was going to show up. Then he started to introduce a musical guest. He said Phish and I knew it was going to be Trey Anastasio. He came out in a Briere jersey. Conan came out at the start in a Flyers jersey. I thought that was kind of odd, since he should be a Bruins fan. But Trey, for whatever reason, loves the Flyers. And for whatever reason, I know that. (I looked it up and he’s from Jersey, for some reason I thought he was from Maine.) He played a song and I was reminded how awesome Phish is. Then, of course, he jammed for a little longer than I wanted him too, and I remembered why I don’t always love Phish.

I figured that was it. Later in the show he brought out the Walker, Texas Ranger lever for a few Walker clips. He said he needed a little help and had another guest. Tina Fey! The place went nuts. You hear the phrase jumping out of your seat, but it’s said more often than you actually see it happen. Megan actually jumped out of her seat. We are both huge Tina Fey fans. I didn’t even consider she might be around. She is from Upper Darby, and that’s where the theater was. Sadly, she didn’t do much more than pull the lever for a few more amazing Walker clips. I guess she really doesn’t do stand-up style comedy, but I’m sure she would have been great. She could have come up with some material on the train. Doesn’t really matter, Tina can do no wrong.


That’s the show. What I took away from it was fun. Everyone involved was just having a blast. At one point, the band belted out Seven Nation Army, no lyrics, so loud, the speakers were blowing me back in my seat. There was no reason for it, except it was awesome. Is there a better reason? Usually I go to these shows and try and figure out what parts I could do for my future stage career. This one I realized, no matter what, if you are talented, just have fun, and people will love you.

I wanted to mention where we went to dinner. We went to the Sang Kee Noodle House in University City. I don’t mention it because the food was especially great. Some of it was good, some of it was eh. The reason I want to point it out is that the web site said that they have a Karaoke Room for $30/hr with tons of songs in a variety of different languages. I completely forgot about it while we were there. I was kind of curious what it looked like.

I only took a few pictures when Tina Fey came out.

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