On January 31st, a very special episode of "Conan" aired on TBS. O'Brien let fans take over an hour telecast of previously aired segments that were indicated online with their own recreations of the show. The experiment was called "Occupy Conan" and the result was a surreal mishmash of hundreds of submissions in the formats of live-action impersonation, animation, puppetry, art, and claymation, just to name a few. Conan announced at the beginning of the show that what we were about to witness was "bold, experimental, and potentially disorienting."
The fans reenacted the opening monologue, a stunt segment with Steven Ho, a surprise visit from Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy, an interview with Anne Hathaway, a comedy sketch, and the band Fun singing "We are Young." The results were wildly varying and very creative. One person animated it in the style of Terry Gilliam from Monty Python. Another fan used popsicle sticks decorated with googly eyes. Many, many entries included people of all shapes, sizes, ages, races, and sexes playing Conan, Andy Richter, Ferrell, Ho, Hathaway, and Fun. There were probably more red-headed wigs used in this hour of television than have ever been used before.
Even celebrities got in on the action. Conan's famous impersonators were Tina Fey, Joel McHale (with Jim Rash), Seth Green, Adam Scott, Jack McBrayer, Fred Armisen, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Nick Offerman of "Parks and Recreation" stood in as Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy. Every single one of them looked like they were having a blast.
"Occupy Conan" worked on many levels. It was a fantastic experiment because the fans were able to pay homage to "Conan" in creative ways. Kudos to the editing team for putting all of those clips together seamlessly.