Conan O’Brien will take his TBS late-night show on a trip to visit U.S. military personnel stationed at the Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar, with First Lady Michelle Obama. O’Brien will entertain the troops with a show; the First Lady will highlight the work of Joining Forces, an initiative that supports service members, veterans and their families. As with his other recent excursions abroad, O’Brien’s trip to Qatar with the First Lady will be taped to appear as part of an episode of Conan airing later this year.
This will mark the second time O’Brien has gone abroad to perform for the U.S. military. In May 2003, O’Brien visited Kuwait and Bahrain on a USO tour. It will also mark his fourth road trip this year. He recently returned from Armenia, where he shot an episode that will premiere across TBS’ television, digital and mobile platforms on November 17.
Road trips are Conan’s strong suit, and following the success of his Cuba visit, TBS said their late-night star would travel to other spots around the globe.
In February, O’Brien and a small crew quietly flew to Havana on a Thursday and spent the weekend filming for his show’s March 4 episode, becoming the first American late-night show to film in Cuba since the U.S. embargo began in 1962. (Jack Paar had famously interviewed Fidel Castro for the Tonight Show in 1959, for which Paar was criticized in some circles. Castro was a big “get” that year for obvious reasons, and also was interviewed by CBS’ Sunday Beltway show — and Ed Sullivan.)
Conan In Cuba made headlines and he cumed 3.7 million viewers in the process from multi-platform viewing. The show also brought in viewers through a pair of repeat runs on sister networks HLN and truTV. For comparison, about 4 million had caught the unveiling of Conan’s TBS series when it premiered on November 8, 2010, marking the late-night veteran’s return to television, after his dramatic exit from NBC’s Tonight Show.
Conan‘s Cuba-visit ratings report came one day after the White House announced President Obama would remove Cuba from the U.S. list of nations that sponsor terrorism as part of Obama’s move to restore diplomatic relations.