TV Land: Late night snack

jessicapena.columnist1

He has the finest alabaster skin, a mane of lush crimson locks and blue eyes that pierce the soul like a red hot poker to the heart. He entices the senses with his Irish pixie looks and devilishly smooth dance moves. He’s the perfect man aside from former U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. He’s Conan O’Brien, the sex god of basic cable television. Oh, yes. Look out ladies. This column’s about to rock your world like a sexy 3.8 magnitude earthquake because sexy earthquakes exist and boy is Conan O’Brien one of them.

Now, there are plenty of fine gents (dudes? guys? penis-bearers?) on TV. John Stamos is charming with his Greek good looks, Ed Westwick from “Gossip Girl” has an English sophistication and Larry David wears pleated khakis. What’s not to love? But none of these dapper Dans compare to that Irish Adonis, Conan O’Brien. He’s appealing in a way that goes beyond looks, however attractive you may find the pasty, ginger giant niche. Conan “Coco” O’Brien has a way about him, a swagger of self-deprecation and uncomfortable humor that makes him not only irresistible to women (clearly), but the ideal late night host.

To begin with, late night talk shows are a strange phenomenon. First of all, they air at an ungodly time. When the hour nears midnight, I’ve already finished my knitting, watched “Antiques Roadshow” and am ready to hit the hay. Secondly, they offer little to no substance. I suppose that same critique could be made for “Glee,” but late night talk shows seem catered to a casual audience of channel surfers looking for some background noise to populate their lonely lives. Only, that’s not how late night works, especially for Conan O’Brien.

When He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named — not Voldemort, but fatter and with a larger chin — took back “The Tonight Show” in 2010, a throng of passionate Coco fans took to the streets in protest. Actually, Occupy Wall Street protesters are just angered Conan fans who are unable to see him in New York. That’s how dedicated his followers are. They dress up as him (the highest form of flattery besides stalking), they create websites featuring fights between him and a bear and they write entire columns dedicated to his glorious bod. O’Brien is the rock star of the late night world.

It’s not much of an achievement, I’ll grant you that. There are only a handful of late night hosts as it is: Craig Ferguson (the Wild Scotsman), Jimmy Fallon (the Improv Kid) and Jimmy Kimmel (the Fat Jimmy Fallon). These jesters of the night all have their appeal, they all have their bits. Ferguson even has his own sexually ambiguous robot. Lucky. But none of them have a Masturbating Bear or a Pope who wears a FedEx box instead of a hat. Conan does and Conan is the man for me.

Everyone has their own late night favorite. You may not watch them at their allotted time slot. Like me, you’re probably deep into your dreams of Teddy Roosevelt in a loin cloth by the time 11 o’ clock or midnight roll ‘round. But, when you’ve awoken and eaten that Pop-Tart, it’s time to go on the Internet and catch up with your late night chap of choice.

Sites like Hulu have made access to the late night world not only easier, but more intimate. Because there are more late night hosts than in the days of Carson or Cavett, the connection between the fanbase and the host is more personal. And, with the Internet, you can relive those late night moments like revisiting a friend with benefits (Masturbating Bear benefits) instead of a one-night stand.

This week, Conan is back on his home turf of New York — the place where the FedEx Pope and Horny Manatee made their debut. The fans rushed out with their signs of adoration and I realized that Conan is more than just a chat show host. He’s a close friend, a personality I keep returning to despite his resemblance to an Irish milkmaid.