Conan O’Brien’s trip to Armenia airing Tuesday on his TBS late-night show is a bit of a departure for the host in that he took his assistant Sona to visit her home country for the first time, and they visited the Armenian genocide memorial complex. Conan also once again frightened locals with his botched stab at their native tongue, plus he landed a cameo on an Armenian soap opera, attended the Festival of Bad Ideas, ate something billed as Armenian Viagra, and paid a call on some sheepherders who, he was disappointed to learn, were dressed like bouncers.
Conan announced last month he would become the first American late-night host to film in Armenia. He and TBS are hoping he can re-create some of the press coverage, and ratings, the show achieved last spring when O’Brien shocked the media and made headlines as the first American late-night host to shoot in Cuba in more than 50 years. He also generated larger than usual ratings with his Cuba trip — in April, TBS reported a total of 3.7 million viewers had checked out Conan In Cuba. During the Cuba special, Conan mocked CNN, learned the importance of the Cuban clave beat, wowed a band with his 8th-grade Spanish skills, and filed a report for CNN. Final stats for that trip came out one day after the White House announced President Obama would remove Cuba from the U.S. list of nations that sponsor terrorism as part of Obama’s move to restore diplomatic relations.