I blogged in January about the US late night wars concerning NBC, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. Well, blogged is stretching it; lazily and hurriedly posted a few YouTube videos is probably closer to the truth but still. The upshot was that Conan was given a very large sum of money and asked to leave the network on condition that he was not to do another TV show till September i.e. the next TV season in the States. Alot of people wondered what he might do. If you were to guess “have a multiple personality breakdown via a Social Networking service” then you’d be a very rich person right about now.
His first tweet, some two weeks ago, has sort of gone down in Twitter history, attracting the most ReTweets (reposts, for those not in the Twittersphere) and attracting the most number of new followers in a 24 hour period. But what is most interesting is what that Tweet actually said
Now, like alot of people, I just thought that was a bit of nonsense. However, and what I’ve now found, is that every tweet like that seems to spawn a new character, in this case @ConansSquirrel.
And from that you have a new character appearing almost every day. Take the monkey in the picture at the top of the page. Think it has it’s own Twitter page? Well it does (@conansmonkey). Along with @ConansSharpie, the same one used to connect all the dots on his arm, which apparently doesn’t reveal his PIN number but instead reveals the registration for Jay Leno’s 1966 Ford Galaxie.
And so it goes on and on. Conan’s Beard, his freckles, his 1992 Ford Taurus, his Bag of Frozen Peas, his Rare Card, his Prom Tux, his Moustache, his Raisinets, his Doctor, his Health Care (NBC issued, NBC revoked. says the bio, without a hint of bitterness), and his Melonoma spot all having their own little area of the TwitterSphere, along with Conan’s Superhero alterego @ConanOBarbarian (whose first tweet was aimed at someone in particular. Can’t think who…..)
and Conan’s Mexican (and therefore obviously cheaper) equivalent @ConandoOBrien, who seems to translate all his tweets into rather “loose Spanish”….
That last tweet was a translation (if you can call it that) of his announcement to follow someone “at random” on Twitter. Which apart from being a story that has caught the public’s imagination has also obviously had the desired effect of distracting everyone from Conan’s growing cavalcade of characters. Which is a shame as reading through everything from the last three weeks, you start to realise just what a monumental mistake NBC made in firing Conan and replacing him with Mr Big Jaw. In fact, speaking of Mr Leno and reading through the genius stream of tweets I noticed one about @Conan’sATMcard finding another PIN. Well, I wont ruin it…
Of course, none of the accounts are verified apart from O’Briens own (though how on Earth you go about verifying that a beard is ACTUALLY tweeting, I’ve no idea) but frankly the timings in the responses are so close together it seems impossible that they aren’t in some way related. Ok, perhaps they aren’t ALL being run by Conan himself but there is obviously something linking all of them to suggest that they aren’t in some way linked and that CoCo isn’t behind it all.
I don’t pretend that I am somehow “through the looking glass here people” or anything else, I just think it’s magnificent that even though he wont be back on TV screens for another half year, he’s still finding time to come up with this kind of stuff. I could never see Jay Leno doing this kind of thing. Not unless someone else had done it before, obviously.
I’ve put all 18 (current) accounts in a Twitter list here @andrewproom/team-conan so we can all bask in Conan’s warm tweeting warm glow. You can follow the list from the Twitter homepage or direct from within certain Twitter clients (such as TweetDeck). And I thoroughly recommend you do as the whole thing is befitting of man who wrote some of the greatest episodes of The Simpsons of all time.
Oh, and if you got the Simpsons references scattered around this post, then well done. You clearly need to get out more as much as I do.