The Late Movies: Best of Conan

Since the last episode of The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien airs tonight, here are some of Conan's best moments from his 16+ years with NBC, showcasing the qualities that make Conan, Conan. Believe me, it was very difficult to narrow it down. If you have a favorite clip not listed here, leave a comment with the link.

Conan Helps Out Victims of the Transit Strike

During New York's system-wide transit strike in 2005, Conan decided to help people get around by escorting them in the "Black Beast."

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Meets the Star Wars Nerds

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog first appeared on Conan in 1997 during a skit about unusually talented dogs at the Westminster Dog Show. Sadly, Triumph will not be following Conan when he leaves the Tonight
Show. Instead, Triumph will be left behind at NBC...for him to poop on. Here Triumph investigates the long, nerdy line at a Star Wars premier.

Conceived on the Late Night with Conan O'Brien

During an early Tonight Show, Conan presented all the children conceived during his 16-year run on Late Night. He might have gotten the idea from Jay Leno, but Conan did it one better.


Watch the hunky Mario Lopez swoop in and steal Conando's woman.

In the Year 2000—Millennium Edition

Conan and another installment of "In the Year 2000." Too bad he couldn't see his future in the year 2010.

Power Failure

During the Blackout of 2003, Conan taped a segment minus the audience and the lights.

Faulty GE Voice Directory

NBC's phone directory, built and maintained by GE, doesn't work as well as it should.

Conan Can't Waste Time

In 2006, Conan got a note from NBC asking him to "move it along" and "stop wasting time" between segments and interviews.

Norm MacDonald Stops By

Last week, Norm Macdonald surprised Conan with a gift basket he bought back in June.

Hong Kong Animation

And just in case you're still not sure about the details of the drama between Conan and NBC, this computer animated video from Hong Kong makes it hilariously clear.



Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?

Everyone knows to expect a partridge in a pear tree from your true love on the first day of Christmas ... But when is the first day of Christmas?

You'd think that the 12 days of Christmas would lead up to the big day—that's how countdowns work, as any year-end list would illustrate—but in Western Christianity, "Christmas" actually begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. According to liturgy, the 12 days signify the time in between the birth of Christ and the night before Epiphany, which is the day the Magi visited bearing gifts. This is also called "Twelfth Night." (Epiphany is marked in most Western Christian traditions as happening on January 6th, and in some countries, the 12 days begin on December 26th.)

As for the ubiquitous song, it is said to be French in origin and was first printed in England in 1780. Rumors spread that it was a coded guide for Catholics who had to study their faith in secret in 16th-century England when Catholicism was against the law. According to the Christian Resource Institute, the legend is that "The 'true love' mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The 'me' who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the 'days' represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn."

In debunking that story, Snopes excerpted a 1998 email that lists what each object in the song supposedly symbolizes:

2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

There is pretty much no historical evidence pointing to the song's secret history, although the arguments for the legend are compelling. In all likelihood, the song's "code" was invented retroactively.

Hidden meaning or not, one thing is definitely certain: You have "The Twelve Days of Christmas" stuck in your head right now.


More from mental floss studios