Nearly 20 years ago this October, Conan O’Brien went apple-picking. This, on its own, is not all that remarkable, but, with the addition of video cameras and special guest Mr. T, a simple fall day spent wandering the orchards became comedy gold. Now, thanks to the growing archive of remote segments being archived on the Team Coco YouTube channel, one of the best moments in Late Night history has been revived for everyone to enjoy.
Conan, needing nothing to work with but Mr. T’s wholly unique charisma and an acre or so of apple trees, presents a masterclass in improvised humor over the course of 7 or so minutes. Originally aired on October 11, 2000, the set-up is exactly what’s described in the title: Mr. T and Conan (soon dubbed “Mr. C” by his guest) take advantage of the beautiful fall weather to wander around, admiring—and yelling at—“good” and “bad” trees and gathering apples.
It’s filled with excellent moments, like Mr. T smacking at some fruit with a stick while singing a song about “little green apples”; elbow-dropping one with a bee in it; growl-humming The A-Team’s theme song while sharing his thoughts on the show’s characters; enjoying a hayride singalong with some kids; and yelling at Conan after he climbs a tree to hide from T’s apple-related anger.
Even the cringe that is Mr. T’s awkwardly placed assertion that he “leaves fruity things alone” is flipped around by Conan, who just sort of looks at T disapprovingly until his guest mutters “Oh, boy.”
“Let’s go this way,” Conan says, patting Mr. T on the shoulder.
“All right,” T replies, then, eager to move on, shouts “Johnny Appleseed!” just as the scene shifts.
The clip has its fans. Chris Gethard previously informed in a 2016 interview that, “If you told me I could only watch one piece of comedy for the rest of my life, I would pick Mr. T goes apple picking.”
Now that it’s widely available once more, the particular joys of Conan and T making the most of the fall season can be seen more widely and, as it should be, incorporated into the list of autumn traditions, like Halloween and Thanksgiving, enjoyed by young and old alike.
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