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Conan attempts a Comic-Con coup by taking Mark Hamill's geek god quiz

Mark Hamill, Conan O’Brien
Screenshot: Conan

Just a heads up that you can probably skip the first two minutes of the following Conan clip from Conan O’Brien’s week-long Comic-Con residency. That’s the length of time it takes for Conan to set up a bit about him getting cocky about being the king of the nerds at the annual gathering of enthusiasts of comics, science fiction, and whatever product major entertainment concerns spend millions of dollars hyping to the stars and back. But then again, why would anybody want to miss a second of the rapturous, whooping standing ovation given to the true master of Comic-Con, Mark Hamill. Andy Richter, eager as ever to puncture his boss’ ill-advised ego trip, started introducing the illustrious guest waiting to test Conan’s braggadocious boast by listing Hamill’s upcoming credits (he’s part of that new Dark Crystal series), before halting to state, “And oh yeah, he’s Luke f-ing Skywalker!” Cue the standing O.

As ever, the late-career live-action resurgence of the once and future Luke took the form of an irresistibly endearing display of genuinely grateful mugging from Hamill, who basked in the raucous love of his people for as long as they felt like showing it. Which was a long time. After that, it was down to business, that business being the very silly testing of Conan’s supposed comic and sci-fi expertise. Things started off normally (for Comic-Con), with O’Brien ably tossing off correct responses to questions about Thanos’ planet of origin, and the first comics appearance of Batman. (Titan and Detective Comics #27, duh.)


But the pair blew the gaff on the bit with Conan’s quick answer to the question of Captain America’s real name (“Mike United States”) getting the lightning round correct answer bell. It was all silliness from there, from jokes about what you call a starship that moves back in with its parents because of crippling student debt (“the Millennial Falcon”), the names of supposed Star Wars porn parodies (they basically write themselves), and the venereal disease you get at wizarding school. (You’ll get there.) Hamill also set up a joke about longtime, increasingly reluctant co-star Harrison Ford, with Conan correctly sussing out that the most important lesson Ford taught the young Hamill was, “How to make a bong from a lightsaber.” In the end, the ever-game Hamill had to concede that the cocksure Conan was, indeed, worthy of the Comic-Con crown, with Conan yet respectfully kneeling at the feet of the event’s once and future true ruler.

Oh, and despite Conan getting the ding of approval for his answer “Who gives a shit?” to Hamill’s question about the 1918 Holger-Madsen sci-fi film about a space colony of pacifist vegetarians, we all know the real answer, right gang? Ding.


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About the author

Dennis Perkins

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