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O’Brien Takes Cue From Carson

September 12, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Conan O’Brien has no problem looking foolish on TV, taking a lesson from late night talk show legend Johnny Carson.

``There’s this trend in comedy the last 15 years that people want to be more cool than funny,″ O’Brien says in the Sept. 18 Entertainment Weekly. ``At the beginning of Carson’s show there was a montage of him in ridiculous outfits wearing a wig or a giant Carnac hat.″

The ``Late Night″ host makes fun of himself in his comedy monologue regularly and does offbeat, unglamorous skits with sidekick Andy Richter. But poking fun at his own foibles is just one way the self-described ``horribly repressed Catholic″ goes against the grain.

``I’m saddened when the audience is happy,″ he said. ``I’m amused when we take a happy audience and do something weird that upsets them or confuses them.″

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