Conan O’Brien’s much ballyhooed trip to Cuba over Presidents Day weekend, debuts tonight at 11 PM ET/PT as a special edition of his TBS late night show, coincidentally called Conan In Cuba. TBS just made the first four minutes available. It was shot over four days in Havana.
“This is a very historic time. Relations between Cuba and United States are finally starting to thaw,” Conan begins, seated in the middle of a cobblestone street behind a makeshift desk and microphone, wearing that same silly Our Man In Havana linen suit he had on in the first photo his staff emailed out when he landed back in the United States. “I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to come to Cuba – talk to the people, get to know them.”
Conan having the youngest skewing audience of all one-hour late night talk shows, some history is necessary; Conan explains that Cuba, in the 40’s and 50’s — before his viewers’ parents were born — used to be the Las Vegas of the Caribbean. That all changed in 1959 with Fidel Castro’s revolution. This past December, President Obama announced he wanted to normalize relations with Cuba, establish formal diplomatic ties and, pending Congressional approval, lift the embargo.
Because that will be difficult, Conan says (see “Obama” and “Congressional approval” above) Conan says he’s keeping the purpose of his visit simple – meet the people and make friends.
A very happy chance of costume later, Conan is seen walking down the street, being greeted warmly by old women and hated by dogs. And, forget the vintage cars — Cuba still has pay phones.