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The Legally Prohibited from Stopping in Winnipeg Tour

Official Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour Poster
Photo Credit: www.teamcoco.com

January 22, 2010 was the last night Conan O’Brien fans could watch the red-haired host work his talk show magic on NBC. After O’Brien’s final goodbye to his seven-month career on the Tonight Show, thousands of O’Brien fans were left with questions.

Why would he be kicked off late night? Will he ever come back? What will I do if he doesn’t?

The answer to at least one of the questions came two months later through O’Brien’s verified twitter account, “Hey Internet: I'm headed to your town on a half-assed comedy & music tour. Go to http://TeamCoco.com for tix. I repeat: It's half-assed.”

On March 11th, information and ticket sales were announced for “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.” The travelling variety show features O’Brien, with his sidekicks Andy Richter and drummer Max Weinberg. The 39-show tour makes its way across the United States with three Canadian stops: Vancouver,Toronto and Enoch, Alberta, about 17 kilometres from Edmonton.

The seemingly easily-forgetten flatlands of central Canada were skipped but Winnipeggers are using social media to try and change that.

“We were chatting on air about Conan doing a few Canadian dates,” says Rena Jae, Power97 Wheeler in the Morning co-host, “calls and e-mails started pouring in that we should do something and get Conan to add Winnipeg to the tour.”

This led to the birth of the Bring Conan O’Brien to Winnipeg! (BCOW) Facebook group.

The BCOW group is only one out of many “Bring Conan Here” type fan pages, but with Facebook groups recently getting Betty White and Winnipeg’s own Justin Bieber onto Saturday Night Live, Jae believes the social media route can prove to be quite successful. “Facebook petitions actually work! They can create quite a lot of buzz.”

So far the group has 3,300 members; a number that stomps the other Bring Conan groups like Buffalo, Boise, Portland, Oregon and the state of Florida. 3,300 members may seem impressive compared to the American petitions whose highest member tally is 344, but Jae knows a higher number will only generate more attention. “We’d need at least 5,000. 10 would be awesome!”

Aside from just creating a group for fans to unite, Power97 has been in touch with some of Conan’s inside contacts such as his management team, agent and tour promoters, but Jae realizes it can only do so much. “In order to really get some attention from Conan and his people, we’d really need the numbers to go up in the group.”

Aside from using Facebook, Jae knows the power of using other means, “We really need the public to show how much they want him here.” She suggests sending Conan tweets to push him to add a Winnipeg stop. “Every little effort helps.”

“Winnipeggers should have massive rallies on the streets and get some television coverage to bring him here,” says Tyler Morgan, BCOW member and Red River College plumbing student. “If that doesn’t work, Winnipeggers should open up their wallets and commit to selling out the MTS Centre in a presale type of way.”

Based on the BCOW member numbers alone, selling out the MTS Centre seems unlikely as the arena can hold about 15,000 people.

But if 11,700 non-BCOW members can prove their need for the comedian, some say a Winnipeg tour stop would not only please the thousands of fans, but would also benefit O’Brien himself. “Our MTS Centre is one of the busiest buildings in North America,” says Morgan, “We get massive acts and Conan could make good money here.”

Most shows for the The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour are currently sold-out. The tour ends on June 14 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Janet Adamana of Red River College

  • 50 years old
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • User since Nov 2nd 2009, 08:52

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