Conan O’Brien owes his nickname ‘CoCo,’ his Twitter handle, and current branding to his fans. After all, it was after his ousting from NBC and The Tonight Show that Mike Mitchell, a fan and designer, created the memorable ‘I’m With CoCo’ poster, which then quickly led to the adoption of the term by other fans, and ultimately, O’Brien himself.
It’s only fitting, then, that O’Brien recently turned over control of his show to his fans. Fans were asked to recreate their favorite moment from a recent episode, and on January 31st, nearly 200 fan clips were stitched together to create Occupy Conan. Submissions included intricate cardboard cutouts that spelled out the opening credits, talking hand puppets that replaced Conan and guest Anne Hathaway, and an audience made out of clay. There were, of course, several hopeful comedians who impersonated the host, with Tina Fey even making a brief appearance as O’Brien.
The Occupy Conan microsite perhaps describes the resulting episode best: ‘a bold, experimental, and potentially disorienting show.’ While we didn’t make it through the entire show, the format does point towards the future of TV (and largely, advertising): a two-way interaction between fans and content creators, rather than the one-dimensional ‘push’ that it is now. As the terms ‘social’ and ‘engagement’ continue to generate buzz, brands will more and more experiment with new ways of creating content and reaching consumers, just as Conan disrupted the typical TV show format with Occupy Conan.
Ironically, TBS won’t allow us to embed the entire episode, but below are two clips we loved. Watch the full episode here.
Chris Waltner recreates the opening credits:
David Weller recreates Ron Burgandy announcing ‘Anchorman 2:’