The KARE anchors are used to being fawned over, but Friday afternoon was their turn to play rabid fans as Conan O'Brien stopped by the station to shake hands and stir up excitement for his new late-night role.
The upcoming host of "The Tonight Show" was at KARE's Golden Valley studio for only two hours, but that was long enough for some intimate moments with the staff. Mike Pomeranz got tips on doing "the string dance," Pat Evans ran his hand through that red hair, Diana Pierce invited him to the State Fair and Sven Sundgaard, who stands about a foot shorter than the famous guest, asked for a personal message on his video phone -- while standing on a crate. "I have no self-esteem," said O'Brien, who must have posed for more than 100 pictures with staffers and a small group of contest winners. "I lost it years ago in a traffic accident."
The comedian, who takes over "The Tonight Show" June 1, is visiting nearly 50 NBC stations around the country this month, despite the fact that there's a lot of work to be done to prepare for the show.
"You have to take time to meet the people who work at the stations. You can't be a snob about it," O'Brien said. "Through their hard work, they can create awareness. Plus, I think the audience wants to see you with the local anchors. It's a lot better than digitally sticking me in."