Conan O’Brien is set to launch his new late night chat show on Nov 8, 2011. A new video promo has launched for the show, revealing Conan hosing down his desk. Beyond the obvious eroticism of the promo, it also reveals Conan wearing a rather trim beard.
This is not the first time we’ve seen Conan with a beard. Both he and David Letterman grew “strike beards” during the 2007-2008 Writers Strike in solidarity with their writing staff. As soon as the strke concluded, Letterman and Conan returned to their previous shaven selves.
When Conan lost the Tonight Show gig he grew back the beard, but I believe it was generally assumed that Conan would be fully shaved upon the launch of the new TBS show. Seeing the promo featuring Conan with his fully groomed facial hair certainly indicates that a bearded Conan is here to stay.
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Is this the first permanent beard in US late night TV? Heavens no, I think that honour belongs to Dennis Miller (pictured right). Neither have been able to have a beard permanently on FTA TV. Like breasts and swearing, beards are restricted to subscription television.