Conan O'Brien seems to be slowly returning to his "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" roots. Last night, he "interviewed" Donald Trump on "Conan," using a comedy bit he had not performed since his 12:30 days on NBC.
Trump was a frequent target of the recurring sketch, where a celebrity's face is superimposed with the lips of a "Conan" actor (usually writers Robert Smigel or Brian Stack), literally putting words in the mouth of the interviewee. The method was originated with the '50s program "Clutch Cargo," and today, that show is synonymous with the bit on O'Brien's show. With Trump in the news for hosting his own GOP presidential debate, it's only natural that Conan would want to bring back to the bit to talk to the real estate mogul once again.
At one point, the host presses "Trump" on how he can host a debate when only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have agreed to show up. "Conan, all classic debates have only had two participants, let's be honest. Lincoln versus Douglas. Nixon versus Kennedy. Alien versus Predator. Tastes great versus less filling."
The end of the sketch sees the return of a deranged Arnold Schwarzenegger, who frequently interrupted Conan's "Clutch Cargo" segment.
The return of this comedy bit may represent a greater trend for O'Brien to bring back his older favorites. When "Conan" shot a week of shows in New York in October, he brought back Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog and the Masturbating Bear, two characters he had not used on his new show since departing NBC in January 2010.