Conan O’Brien Starts Answering Questions on YouTube

It turns out that while Conan O’Brien isn’t pwning the Internet the way Old Spice did this summer, he’s definitely serious about answering the questions of Facebook commenters.

Beginning last week, the former Tonight Show host and soon-to-be TBS late night lynchpin began answering questions for an informal little series called, subtlety, Conan Takes Your Questions. In the first question video, O’Brien makes a sandwich that defies sense or reason…

In the second, he gets some help from a CalTech fellow to do a young woman’s homework.

The official Team Coco Facebook account is still officially accepting questions from fans — however, O’Brien’s initial call for questions resulted in over 5,000 queries, so at the rate of one a week it’ll take until the year 2106 for him to handle just that first round. (Sorry, almost everyone who chimed in, but personally I think he’ll tap out around the year 2053, after we all get implanted with the latest wave of Google TV (s GOOG) nanochips.)

Despite the fact that not everyone’s going to get his or her question answered, though, this campaign is great — funny, tightly paced and low-fi. I know, that last one is a little strange to mention, but if the production values were slick and polished, it wouldn’t feel as intimate.

Also — and this is especially important — the campaign is relatively unbranded with TBS frippery; everything is happening through open platforms like YouTube and Facebook. TBS deserves a lot of credit for allowing O’Brien and his digital team to play around with the space; it may be that we see O’Brien’s best work evolve out of it. As Team Coco digital producer Aaron Bleyaert wrote on his personal blog about this latest project:

I’m seeing him pick out a question a week and use it as a starting point for a video… Although I love when these things organically turn into other things, and you end up never knowing WHAT will happen! That’s the beauty of the internet; that you can do whatever you want and not get locked into anything that doesn’t work or that you don’t like doing.

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