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On Conan, Timothy Olyphant reveals the very good reason he's not in Avengers: Infinity War

Timothy Olyphant, Conan O’Brien
Screenshot: Conan

At this point in his impressively varied career, Timothy Olyphant just isn’t content with the standard late-night talk show chit-chat. Last week, the Santa Clarita Diet star spent much of his Late Night With Seth Meyers interview taking issue with Meyers’ introduction, and grilling the host about the nature of their supposed “friendship.” And, on Monday’s Conan, Olyphant was up to his deadpan nonsense once more, first dropping the bomb that he’s been cut out of upcoming superhero blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War, and then spinning a tale of what he claims was his role as the heretofore unseen “Captain Japan” that had host Conan O’Brien playing straight man.


It seems that—in Olyphant-world, at least—the former Raylan Givens, Seth Bullock, and that guy who didn’t want to date Pam on The Office was cast as Japan’s off-brand Captain America. Challenged by Conan, especially since he claimed to have seen DC duo “Batman and the Boy Wonder” on the Marvel movie set, Olyphant asserted that his character is “really big in Japan.” Even though, as O’Brien noted, Olyphant isn’t Japanese. With improvisational nimbleness matching Captain Japan’s shield-slinging acrobatics (we’re guessing), Olyphant gave the hero’s somewhat underwhelming origin story, involving a breakup with a Japanese woman, a reactor accident of some sort, and, he admits, a very limited mastery of the Japanese language. Sadly, there will only be that American Captain in the movie, although Olyphant is still holding out for a franchise for C.J.

Continuing to amuse himself, and everyone else, Olyphant actually got around to promoting The Santa Clarita Diet’s second season, although not without luring O’Brien into another bit, this time about his deceptively selfish support of the movement for gender pay equality. Accepting the crowd’s applause, Olyphant explained that he’s really only on board because, while he’s not 100 percent certain that co-star Drew Barrymore is making more than him, “that’s the feeling I get.”

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Dennis Perkins

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