On Monday, Conan O’Brien debuted the new shooting location for his TBS talk show, Conan. Like other late night hosts, O’Brien had been previously filming from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. For the time being he will be presenting his show from Largo at the Coronet, more commonly known as Largo.
“A lot of theaters across the country are struggling right now and we really wanted to help one of the local empty theaters here in Los Angeles so we chose Largo,” said O’Brien. “Largo is a very special place to everyone in the Los Angeles comedy community.” O’Brien started his comedy career at Largo in 1985, so it is a particularly special location.
In order to safely produce the show, everyone on his “bare bones” crew is required to wear a mask and maintain social distance. While he does not have an audience, his longtime assistant Sona Movsesian sat in the audience section to provide feedback.
Guests are still using video chat to communicate with O’Brien, but the addition of the theater setting does help give the show a more normal feel. In fact, Will Ferrell was the first guest and he hilariously spent the first eight seconds waving to a pretend audience.
CONAN O'BRIEN: A lot of theaters across the country are struggling right now, and we really wanted to help one of the local empty theaters here in Los Angeles. So we chose Largo. Largo is a very special place to everyone in the Los Angeles comedy community.
KYLIE MAR: On Monday, Conan O'Brien went from filming his show at home to filming at the famous Largo Theater, where some of the funniest people in Hollywood have been known to perform. But while they got to enjoy audiences full of laughter, coronavirus safety measures have only allowed for Conan's assistant to be in the audience.
CONAN O'BRIEN: Hey, Sona.
SONA MOVSESIAN: Hi.
CONAN O'BRIEN: How's it going?
SONA MOVSESIAN: All right.
CONAN O'BRIEN: See, I'm going to feed off Sona's energy. I'm going to take that energy and ride it like a wave. And that's going to give me the energy I need to entertain you.
KYLIE MAR: With theaters struggling to stay afloat amidst shut-downs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Conan wanted to help. Plus, being in an actual theater provides both him and his guests with a little normalcy, even if there isn't an audience.
CONAN O'BRIEN: How are you, Will?
WILL FERRELL: I'm good.
CONAN O'BRIEN: No, there's no-- no one's applauding. Will, there's no audience. No.
KYLIE MAR: While Conan is happy to help out the theater where he started his career, he was a little worried that his wife was going to miss him filming at home.
CONAN O'BRIEN: So I just want to briefly check in, see how she's doing without me.
KYLIE MAR: (SINGING) He's gone. He's gone. He's finally gone. [LAUGHS] Woo-hoo! Oh, thank god! [LAUGHS]
CONAN O'BRIEN: Oh. Well, she'll cheer up eventually.