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John Lamb, Published January 16 2010

Lamb: A little North Dakota love for Coco

Dear Conan O’Brien,

I know it’s been a hard couple of weeks, with rumors, then confirmation that your short tenure as the “Tonight Show” host would come to an end. Sorry to hear that.

But you seem to be doing well, making light of a tough situation. Addressing your statement on the shakeup to “People of Earth,” that cracked us up.

That’s why we’re here for you and we’re hoping that you’ll consider coming here, to North Dakota.

I’m sure you’ve been getting a lot of fan support letters and maybe even some job offers. Did you see the one that came from Fargo radio station Y94? They offered you an on-air spot on “The Morning Playhouse.”

Sure, you’re used to a national television audience of millions, but you’ve got a great radio voice. And you do great impersonations. Though your hair probably wouldn’t translate to radio.

There would probably be an adjustment, going from “Late Night” to “The Tonight Show” to “Morning Playhouse.” Not sure if there’s room in that “Playhouse” for your pals Andy Richter, Max Weinberg and the band.

Y94 is only offering minimum wage, but you would get a free T-shirt. Chances are you probably wouldn’t have to wear a tie to work.

You’d also get to go to Y94-sponsored events, so you could meet Paris Hilton at the Shooting Star Casino on Jan. 30. You love Paris Hilton.

Speaking of interesting names, you’d get to work with guys named Rat and Zero. Not sure how a gangly redhead named Conan feels about that. If you really want to be heard by more Americans than Y94 can deliver, you should consider running for the Senate seat North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan is leaving.

I don’t know your party affiliation (you seem like a member of the Who Likes to Party Party), but so far the big buzz is about our Republican Gov. John Hoeven.

The machine is already in motion with a Facebook page “Conan O’Brien for U.S. Senate 2010.” It would be Coco vs. JoHo!

Of course, you’re not the only redhead being suggested for the job. Former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp and TV and radio pundit Ed Schultz are also being courted for the job.

You have a distinct advantage over these two, however, in that you’ve proven yourself at growing a substantial beard that could counter Hoeven’s highly regarded moustache. So keep your chin up, Conan. Opportunity is out there.

Oh, sorry, do chin comments remind you too much of Leno? Too soon? OK then, keep your hair up!


People of North Dakota

Readers can reach Forum columnist John Lamb at (701) 241-5533