I can't sing Conan O'Brien's praises enough. To me, he is the most enlightened humorist on television today. Sure, that's a subjective superlative, but sometimes I like to indulge in defining and categorizing who I consider to be the best, because it is my idea of the best that drives me towards progress, and without progress, I'm stuck in limbo, or worse: regression.
Conan filmed yet another show overseas—this time in Italy with his associate producer Jordan Schlansky. To fully appreciate the show in Italy, it helps to have followed the dynamic duo's previous bits, or "remotes" as they're called (the scenes are called remotes because they're shot outside the normal TV studio, in unscripted scenarios).
Conan is the quintessential self-deprecating comic. He makes fun of himself often, and allows others to make fun of him too. For instance, he once filmed a remote in Germany in which he subjected himself to the control of a real dominatrix. She playfully humiliated him by speaking to him condescendingly and whipping his bare skin.
Enter Jordan Schlansky, who grants Conan the liberty of being on the other side of the humiliation coin. Much like a martyr, Jordan becomes Conan's metaphorical whipping boy and absorbs the brunt of the Harvard graduate's jokes.
Of their friendship, Conan recently said:
"Our relationship has a lot of contrasts in it. He does make me crazy. He does fascinate me. I do really love the guy. I really like Jordan a lot. We've known each other a long time. And I like and admire a lot of things about Jordan, but then I also wanna kill him. I wanna squeeze the life out of him and then put him in a shallow grave. But at the same time, I wish him all the best. And I know that sounds crazy, but all those things are existing at the same time.
As Jordan would say, the best cuisines have the salty and the sweet. When people put a little salt in their ice cream, or a little bit of ketchup in their lemonade, this is stuff people do to enhance the different flavors.
I think that's what fascinating about our relationship, is that it encompasses the entire human spectrum of emotion."
The footage from Italy validates those insights, and more. The palpable tension within their interactions, and the sharp humor used to cut that tension, is spontaneously and organically demonstrated as the two of them travel across Italy and improvise their itinerary. Check it out here: http://teamcoco.com/italy
One thing I've figured out is that there are people who are deeply spiritual who aren't necessarily waving the banner of spirituality. They're just embodying their ideal and sharing their skill set with the world. Conan is one of those people.
Thank you for reading. Be still, and flow.