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Big mouths Nick Kroll and Conan O'Brien teach teens everything they know about sex

Nick Kroll, Conan O’Brien
Screenshot: Conan

Thursday’s edition of the new, streamlined Conan saw lone guest Nick Kroll doing some serious oversharing. For anyone familiar with, well, literally anything Kroll has ever done, it’s unsurprising that the erstwhile Douche would make host Conan O’Brien happily squirm with tales of his “completely average penis,” the time he lost his virginity on his sister’s bed, or a graphic demonstration of how familiar he is with comedy life partner and Big Mouth co-star John Mulaney’s every conceivable orgasm noise.

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After all, Kroll has, for the last two seasons of the filthily brilliant Big Mouth, mined the sticky, blushing universal nightmare that is puberty for audaciously insightful belly-laughs. As the A.V. Club’s Erik Adams put it: “This is the masterstroke of Big Mouth: That it can locate genuine emotional stakes at multiple points on the adolescent roller coaster, while also making room for Nick to develop an intense and protective relationship with his few sprigs of pubic hair, played by Jack McBrayer and Craig Robinson.”

Speaking of emerging pubic hair and comic discomfort, a field segment on Thursday’s show saw Kroll and O’Brien taking over a Sex Ed class at a local high school (with, one assumes, some airtight parental permission slip policies) for some highly uninformative Q&A. A perhaps wise series of “right” or “wrong” legends popped up on the screen after, for example, advising boys that a condom should always be applied by two comedians, for maximum protection. (Wrong. Unless that’s your thing.) The pair confronted their temporary teen charges with Kroll’s brash silliness combined with Conan’s self-deprecating asides about his supposed sexual inadequacy, keeping the roomful of game 15-to-18-year-olds happily watching two middle aged men demonstrate condom usage on an eggplant. Anything to get out of trig.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.