For the second year in a row, as the state and county gradually reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Monte Rio’s venerable annual variety show is being presented online, this time starring late-night TV talk show host Conan O’Brien.
Wearing a red bandanna, O’Brien quips that he’s dressed both to comply with lingering COVID-19 restrictions and also possibly later rob a train. He also notes that past Monte Rio Variety Shows were hosted by Bing Crosby, Ray Bolger and Art Linkletter.
“Just to show you how this country has fallen,” he adds with his self-deprecating humor, “this year, it’s me.”
O’Brien recently finished the 11-year run of his show “Conan” on TBS and previously hosted “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” from 2009 to 2010 and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” from 1993 to 2009, both on NBC. Before that, he was a writer for “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons.”
Local organizers encourage people to watch the taped show, hosted by O’Brien, and to donate to their auction, which begins July 23 and ends with a livestream event for major action items from 7 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 29.
Since then, Bohemian performers such as Jimmy Buffet, Clint Black, Zac Brown, Roy Rogers, Billy Valentine and Kix Brooks have performed at the annual variety shows. Stars from the past included Crosby, Bolger, Linkletter, Merv Griffin and Phil Harris