The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

CONAN'S LATE-NIGHT INFOMERCIAL
Like I need another excuse for sleep deprivation: Tomorrow's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" will be infomercial-ized, partly as a joke and partly to shill a couple of show-related DVDs.

It's an interesting dynamic: O'Brien is going to parody the familiar low-grade look and feel of the average infomercial (many of which share the same timeslot as "Late Night"), which is good for a sure-fire laugh. Bringing in C-list celebrities like Bernie Kopell and Bruce Jenner reinforces the in-joke, as both make their living through "star" appearances on the infomercial circuit.

On the other hand, the joke is on the viewer, because the episode really is an hour-long commercial for selling DVDs. Actually, it's an extended commercial that's also selling time for other commercials, so NBC makes out exceptionally well. So O'Brien is becoming exactly what he's mocking, and the fact that he's doing it with a smirk doesn't change that.

With that all said, I'll still watch it. I'll probably pass on the 12:35 AM broadcast, though, and just catch it on the following day's Comedy Central repeat. An appearance by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is more than enough for me to tune in.