We want different things from our late night hosts. Stephen Colbert offers up clear-eyed realism and hope. Samantha Bee spits fireballs at power. James Corden sings, Jimmy Kimmel smirks, and Jimmy Fallon explores bold new spaces in the field of celebrity beer pong. But when you want pure silliness—after, say, watching a country you thought you understood lurch suddenly, terrifyingly to the political right—you can’t beat Conan O’Brien.
O’Brien proved that during tonight’s episode of his TBS show. Sure, the host joked about the election itself, noting, “First thing I did this morning was call my high school bully and congratulate him” and quoting Winston Churchill. But he also brought back one of the dumbest characters in the pantheon of dumb Late Night With Conan O’Brien characters: the Really Tall Dachshund.
Like most dumb O’Brien characters, the gag is a simple one: take an adorable dog with a funny name, stick it on a platform on stilts, and laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing. Obviously, Really Tall Dachshunds can’t fix what’s wrong with America. But they can briefly distract from it, which is probably all we can really ask for from late-night talk show hosts or improbably tall dogs.