Conan O’Brien changed the late night game in many ways. Perhaps one of the most significant is his inclusion of globetrotting adventures. Hitting the streets of LA or New York to ask dumb (and staged) questions to out of place Americans was never O’Brien’s style. Instead, he hops on a plane and hits the streets of a city where he’s out of place. He finds the quirks, eats the food, and talks to people. Essentially Conan O’Brien is Rick Steves for the late night crowd.
With that in mind, we thought we’d mine Team Coco’s Instagram feed and let O’Brien be our de facto tour guide. It turns out that the redheaded madman is a great traveler and guide. There’s plenty of food, iconic sights, and that perfect balance of joy, frustration, and absurdity that makes travel so soul enriching.
So, let’s allow Conan O’Brien take the wheel on your next globetrotting adventure with these pics from his own travels.
ISRAEL & PALESTINE
Conan was just in Israel and Palestine sharing hookahs with Palestinians, playing beach games with Israelis, and eating plenty of hummus. O’Brien took some time to visit the Dead Sea to soak in the sun, get covered in mud, and read Garfield in Hebrew while floating around. Seems like a great way to spend a little vacation time.
And not to be out Irish’d, O’Brien dropped into the famous Tel Aviv Irish pub, Molly Blooms for a pint of the dark stuff. Oh, and did we mention there was plenty of hummus?
Our relationship with Mexico is more fraught now than it has been for almost a century. Enter everyone’s favorite late night host to help build some bridges instead of walls.
O’Brien went down Mexico way recently and talked to people. The highlight of his time down there came from the connections he formed. O’Brien walked the streets meeting his fans, played a little futbol, and sampled some delicious eats.
Last year, O’Brien hit the road to the über-hip German capital, Berlin. O’Brien embraced the funk and quirk of the city by making some clutch purchases at one of Berlin’s many flea markets. He also visited a sex club, nude beach, donned some lederhosen, and rode a bike like a local.
Then it was time for Germany’s holy duo of sausages and beer. It being Germany, there was plenty of beer, and it being O’Brien there were all the sausage puns that would fit in a bun.
O’Brien and his travel bud Steven Yeun, of The Walking Dead fame, hit the Korean Peninsula for a little research and relaxation. O’Brien and Yeun walked the streets to meet fans, dropped in on South Korean TV shows, and ate their way through Korea all the way to the DMZ, along the border with North Korea.
Although most of us won’t be dropping into TV studios or getting mobbed by adoring fans on the streets of Seoul, we’ll still get to meet people, eat amazing food, and soak in all those awesome Korean vibes.
This is definitely the outlier in Conan O’Brien’s travels. Not many people make it out to Armenia — unless you’re Kanye West. Traveling to Armenia gave O’Brien a chance to go somewhere anonymously (well, as anonymous as you can be with a camera crew). There was no mobbing on the streets. Instead, there was much more tangible wonder when O’Brien met locals.
O’Brien moseyed through local markets, herded sheep, and partook in some local herbal remedies. The trip was a testament to getting out of one’s comfort zone and exploring somewhere wholly new and unique.
This was one of O’Brien’s first big adventures outside of America for his show. Just as Cuban relations with the US were warming for the first time in a half a century, the late night host took to the streets of Havana to see what was up.
O’Brien drank too much rum, explored empty grocery stores, and danced through the streets (that’s normal in Cuba, right?) as he explored the city and met its denizens. O’Brien’s adventure was a gateway for many Americans to get a glimpse into a country that’s a bit of a mystery. And that ethos has carried O’Brien around the world — giving us glimpses into somewhere new.