U.S. comic Conan O’Brien visits Israel

Conan O'Brien in chair (© AP Images)
American comedian Conan O'Brien in California, where he films his cable TV show. (© AP Images)

American comedian and late-night television talk show host Conan O’Brien recently made headlines in both the U.S. and Israel as he toured that country for his show.

The comedian traveled to Israel to film the latest installment of his “Conan Without Borders” series, in which he takes his show and self-deprecating style of humor to other countries. He has made episodes in Mexico, Germany, South Korea and Armenia.

O’Brien said he was “looking forward to seeing all the old sites, but the best part is the people, having these funny exchanges with other human beings all around the world.” Shortly after arriving in Israel for the weeklong trip in August, he anticipated meeting the locals, saying, “That’s the part I like the most.”

O’Brien, who has hosted late-night television in the United States for more than 20 years, currently hosts the cable TV talk show called Conan, usually filmed in California. He also is well-known for his earlier work writing and producing the long-running animated comedy The Simpsons.

His travels in Israel took him to the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. He chronicled his activities in near-daily updates to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Conan visited an Israeli hospital and had dinner with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While in Israel O’Brien met Israeli actress Gal Gadot (best known for her role as “Wonder Woman” in the 2017 film of the same name) and sat for an interview with news anchor Yonit Levi, who has previously interviewed American Presidents George W. Bush, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat.

The comedian visited the headquarters of Waze, a navigation app designed by Israeli company Waze Mobile before its acquisition by Google in 2013.

O’Brien took to Facebook Live to interview Israeli actor and comedian Guri Alfi. The two comedians met “neck deep” in the Sea of Galilee to film the video, which was viewed nearly 200,000 times.

Alfi’s show HaYom BaLayla (The Day at Night) mirrors similar late-night shows in its satirical examination of current events.

This article was written by freelance writer Maeve Allsup.