Getting stood up by anyone for anything is never a good feeling. You’re left humiliated and forced to pick up the shattered pieces of your ego from the floor.
Whereas some people would either shrug it off or go drink/eat/gym it all away, Conan O’Brien’s response to someone bailing on him is all too relatable and something we all want to do but really shouldn’t: petty, petty revenge.
Kumail Nanjiani was supposed to be a guest on Conan’s show but had to literally pull out 30 minutes before he was scheduled to appear. Now it’s not ideal for this to happen to a late night talk show, especially since Conan’s show is a shorter “one guest only show” these days.
So with all plans ruined, what do you do? Well if you’re Conan, you just wing everything. You explain the entire situation to everyone like it’s a stand up routine and you bring up a random dude from the audience just so you can make jokes about them looking like a weed dealer.
But Conan saved his best material for Kumail as he unloaded on Nanjiani with a barrage of what’s best described as petty comedic vengeance. After comparing the absent star to other “troublesome divas” like Liza Minnelli, Conan noted that since Kumail wasn’t there to promote his new movie, Stuber, the late night host decided to show a clip from a tiny competing indie movie called The Lion King instead.
As Conan’s sidekick, Andy Richter, says, “You gotta show up to get the cookie”.
This whole bit wasn’t just confined to the hilarious opening monologue. Since Conan had no guest, he decided to get his long-time assistant, Sona Movsesian, to come up on the stage and shoot the s**t with him for a few minutes.
Now Kumail is a funny dude on talk shows but if I’m really honest, he would’ve been an inferior guest compared to Sona. Not only did Conan throw to clips of The Lion King throughout the interview to twist the metaphoric knife just some more, the level of passive-aggressive sniping between Conan and Sona is pure comedic gold.
So how did Kumail feel about this whole thing since Conan essentially turned it into a 30 minute roast? Well, he took it pretty well actually.
Maybe more movie stars should cancel on the show more often because petty avenging Conan O’Brien is the best – and most entertaining – kind of Conan.