Conan O’Brien revealed that the makeshift set of his talk show was burglarized. On the Monday, October 23, episode of Conan, he admitted that "someone broke into our little theater and took some of our equipment."
The host set up the show at the Largo at the Coronet nightclub in Los Angeles, Calif., to help entertainment venues affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We got robbed, Andy," he told cohost Andy Richter. "Robbed!"
Richter added that he was surprised the burglar didn’t realize it was the Conan set and leave because "he’s one of the good ones."
"And whoever broke in here had to stare at 350 cardboard cutouts of exuberant fans in the eyes and say, 'Hey, don't mind me. I'm going to steal some s**t,'" O'Brien said, referring to his fake audience.
According to field producer Jason Chillemi, several laptops and the wooden clapperboard — which is used to help synchronize video and audio — was stolen from the studio. The alarm was raised when crew members arrived in the morning and noticed that a few items were missing.
"That's the lowest. I can't think of anything lower," he said. "OK, the laptops — fine. But you took the slate? That's crazy."
"What’s a robber gonna do with this thing?" he asked, referring to the clapperboard. "It’s what kids use, it’s what 16-year-olds use to make a student film."
Fortunately, the comedian had a good sense of humor about the bad situation and joked about what the show, saying, "no one breaks into The Tonight Show and steals all the equipment."
"What happened to us? We've become this garage band that drives around. We've got our van and we parked it in an alley, and someone broke in and took our amps," he quipped. "What is that? This doesn't happen to the other talk show hosts."
"What kind of new low is this for us," he said. "Man, just for the laugh alone, maybe it's worth it."
The show moved to Largo in July, which is best known for hosting stand-up comedy. “We come to this theater because we thought theaters are in trouble, let’s revive a theater, let’s keep it going," he said. He joked that their good deed resulted in them getting robbed.
In order to keep everyone safe and follow restrictions put in place during the pandemic, the show does not have an in-person audience or live interviews. Instead, fans can submit pictures of themselves for a virtual call, and guests call the show through Zoom.
"I got started doing improv at the Coronet in 1986 and I’m glad we’ve figured out a way to safely keep that theater going during this lockdown," he said.