Conan O’Brien seems happiest these days when he’s filming one of the travel episodes of his late-night talk show, and it’s easy to see why. A few times a year, he gets to spend a week in a foreign location, experiencing new cultures, and riffing on anything and everything that comes into view. Most recently, Conan—along with his emotionally vacant associate producer Jordan Schlansky—took a road trip through Italy, where O’Brien took it upon himself to infuse the idyllic landscapes with a bit of toddler humor.
“I had the band make us up some music that doesn’t cost us anything,” Conan told Schlansky after explaining that playing Schlansky’s preferred soundtrack of Andrea Bocelli would cost too much. The host then proceeds to play a cheesy version of “Tarantella Napoletana,” which Schlansky calls stereotypical “almost to the point of being insulting,” but it’s also kind of fitting for the two lanky Americans crammed into the world’s smallest Fiat. “I brought some sound effects. You want to listen to those?” Conan asks, as if Schlansky has a choice in the matter. He then proceeds to play clips of crying babies, elephant calls, and lots and lots of fart noises.
As usual, Schlansky is the perfect foil to Conan’s childlike enthusiasm. Throughout the trip, whether they’re wine tasting or participating in a nude drawing class, he remains unflappable, and takes Conan’s abuse in stride. It’s only after the car stalls out and Conan punctuates the awkward moment with another fart noise that Schlansky bites back. “You’re a fool. You frame yourself as a sophisticate and academic, you know, an intellect. And you’re a fool.” He’s not wrong. But that doesn’t make it any less funny.
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