Oops: Conan O'Brien Calls Green Bay white and fat
It's never a bad time for a good stereotypical Wisconsin is white-and-fat joke. Unless of course your writers don't fact-check. D'oh!
If you weren't watching Stephen Colbert, whom I did call funnier than Conan in yesterday's post (my apologies -- I hope that wasn't the impetus for the badly timed joke), you probably missed a flub in Conan's opening monologue on "The Tonight Show." According to the LA Times Top of the Ticket blog, Conan preempted President Barack Obama's scheduled Thursday visit to Green Bay by saying the following:
"Speaking of President Obama... Earlier today, President Obama spoke at a town hall meeting in Green Bay Wisconsin. Half of the Wisconsin crowd had never seen an African-American and the other half had never seen a skinny person."
(Editor's note: We here at Channel Surfing adore Conan. Who doesn't? He's the best thing to happen to "The Tonight Show" since comedian Bobcat Goldthwait set fire to the guest couch).
I'm sure there'll be the usual outrage -- coupled with a slew of elected officials talking up Green Bay's svelte and suave image -- but let's not get too carried away with brats-and-beer ire. If you want to go for the facts, Wisconsin adults are no fatter than the rest of the nation -- about 60 percent of us are either overweight or obese, the same as the national average. And, yes, while this area is still majority white, the diversity of Green Bay has rapidly grown in the past decade.
Or, we could just laugh at ourselves. You know, the same way Texans have been laughing at the cowboys-and-idiots stereotype or New Jersey-ites have embraced the mobsters-and-Jewish-mothers image. It's too bad Conan's joke was a day early. It might actually have been better received tomorrow night.
We could also be grateful that Green Bay was mentioned in the same sentence as the President and not, say, Brett Favre or even the Green Bay Packers. But if Conan feels the need to make amends to the good people of Green Bay, he should schedule a special show from Lambeau Field and grant this blog a personal interview.
--Malavika Jagannathan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Labels: Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien