Summary:

While I’m of the opinion that “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” was never the same after Andy Richter left, I admit that this article in the New York Times had me in stitches, due largely to Conan’s quotes. Long story short, Conan made a joke about […]

While I’m of the opinion that “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” was never the same after Andy Richter left, I admit that this article in the New York Times had me in stitches, due largely to Conan’s quotes.

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Long story short, Conan made a joke about a manatee “porn” site that didn’t exist; in between the taping and the airing of the show, to protect itself NBC bought the domain name mentioned in the punch line, hornymanatee.com; and the Late Show writers joined hordes of fans to run with it as hilarity most indubitably ensued (along with 3 million hits to the Web site).


More from the Times story:

Now, by clicking on “tour,” visitors to the site are drawn into a netherworld of mock-graphic images with titles like “Mature Manatee” (with a walker of course) and “Fetish” (a manatee in a bondage costume) as well as dozens of viewer submissions, including “Manatee & Colmes,” a spoof of “Hannity & Colmes” on Fox News.

Mr. O’Brien said he knew he was on to something when, on Wednesday night, he was at a Christmas party in the lobby of a friend’s building and a waiter approached him with a platter of salmon and toast points. When Mr. O’Brien politely declined, he said the waiter drew in close and whispered in his ear, “My compliments to the horny manatee.”

Conan’s calling it a “weird comedy dialogue with the audience.” NBC’s business sense (if not its sense of tasteful propriety) should be lauded for allowing this sort of organic phenomenon to grow, since it costs them next to nothing and therefore carries little risk. Clearly the must-see network has come a long way in its online strategy since its days of sending cease & desist notices to YouTube.

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