Conan O’Brien took his late-night talk show to Havana, Cuba last night, joining a growing, if still small, trickle of U.S. visitors enjoying relaxed travel rules to the island.
Airing last night on TBS, the “Conan in Cuba” episode marks the first time a late-night host visited the island since 1959 when former “Tonight Show” host Jack Paar interviewed former Cuban President Fidel Castro. This time around O’Brien’s crew filmed entirely in Havana, the country’s capital and largest city, and laughed their way through the city’s streets, sites and people.
While in Cuba, O’Brien visited La Corona Cigar Factory, where 25,000 Cuban cigars are produced daily, toured a Cuban rum factory (including a hilarious rum tasting), dined at a family-owned Cuban restaurant known as a “paladar,” took Spanish and dancing lessons, joined a Salsa band and mingled and joked with locals.
O’Brien’s overwhelming endorsement of traveling to Cuba during the episodes’s final moments could help reassure Americans considering a trip to the island that a fun and safe vacation awaits them. As more American pop culture icons begin exploring the island and bringing their experiences to the small screens U.S. TV audiences will undoubtedly warm-up to the idea of a visit to the Caribbean’s largest island and also one of its most diverse.