I’m on Team Coco!

On January 22, Conan O’ Brien bade farewell to his 7-month run in “The Tonight Show”, making way for Jay Leno to take back his old time slot in NBC. As of this writing, Conan is a free agent and free as a bird.

“Every comedian dreams of hosting the ‘Tonight’ show and, for seven months, I got to,” he says. “I did it my way, with people I love, and I do not regret a second. I’ve had more good fortune than anyone I know, and if our next gig is doing a show in a 7-Eleven parking lot, we’ll find a way to make it fun.”

Of course, he quickly adds, “I don’t want to do it in a 7-Eleven parking lot.”

I started watching Conan, Leno and Letterman not too long ago. My husband, on the other hand, has always been a fan of Canon and Letterman. He would always tell me that comparing the 3 late-night comedians, Jay Leno always seemed to pale in comparison.

After a few months of regularly watching the 3 comedians and gaining a better understanding of their brand of comedy, I started becoming a Coco fan. He is a gifted comedian. Au naturel. No pretensions. Upbeat, quirky and downright witty.

Jay Leno was a hit-or-miss. On some days, he was hilarious. On others, lukewarm. On some, downright awful. Some describe Leno to be “old” and “dated”. Well, I don’t really know what about Jay I didn’t like that much… maybe sometimes it just felt like he was always trying too hard.

But Coco… Coco always just resonated more with me. It must be the red head with a humongous forehead. The unrelenting humor. The gift of gab and charisma that never falters. I don’t really know.

Here in Manila, we get to watch the “Tonight Show” roughly 12 hours after it airs in the US. That means less the time difference, we also get to watch it at around 11:00pm on weekdays through JackTV.

Conan always brought such a positive force into our home. On bad days, Conan was always a temporary escape from the humdrum of surviving in the urban jungle. Every single show I’ve watched has made me alternate between smirking, chuckling, giggling, or outrightly roaring with laughter. It wasn’t enough to permanently wipe the cobwebs off my mind… but it was always enough to somehow give me a lighter step for a couple of hours. For my husband, it was one of the very rare few shows that could send him into fits of uncontrollable laughter. And that’s saying a lot.

All Coco wanted was to have fun, and to bring fun and laughter to millions of viewers around the world. At the end of the day, that’s all we really need to get through this thing called life. It’s people like him who teaches us that we can actually choose to just…  laugh at the world, laugh at our problems, laugh away the blues.

And so… although it still elicits a tug in my heart everytime I think about it (my husband spent several hours on our couch the other night batting pangs of intense sadness with the thought of bidding farewell to the man who brought him joy since he was still a young boy), I know this is not the end.  It can’t be the end.

Coco, if you ever get to read this, the world still needs you. So you’d better be back soon. We’ll be waiting.

“I hate cynicism. It’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” – Conan’s Swan Song.

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