Conan O’Brien has been talking about taking a trip to Cuba to film his wildly popular late-night talk show Conan for a while now. This past weekend, however, he had a chance to make good on his promise. According to Deadline, the leader of Team Coco flew to Havana and shot footage that will air March 4 on TBS. In January, President Barack Obama began easing travel restrictions to Cuba, which gave Americans a green-light to begin exploring the Communist nation that sits only 90 miles from Florida. A Senate bill introduced last week seeks to dismantle decades-old trade embargo between Cuba and United States.
O’Brien’s goal with the trip was to give his TBS audience a rare glimpse of everyday life in the Caribbean nation. But, sources say his shooting schedule was the major issue preventing him from doing so. With the President’s Day break giving Conan time off, however, the opportunity arose to take a skeleton crew and film his talk show on the island. Let’s hope O’Brien smuggled some cigars back to celebrate the historic trip (despite the progress in Cuba-America relations, Cuban cigars are still banned here). Conan is the first American late-night talk show to film in Cuba since 1962. Before that, in 1959, The Tonight Show‘s Jack Paar interviewed Cuba’s president Fidel Castro. — Nicholas C. Martinez