Conan O'Brien Visits Cuba to Roll Cigars, Get Drunk (Video)

Conan in Cuba Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Turner

Conan in Cuba Still - H 2015

Conan O'Brien took Cuba by storm in Wednesday's episode of Conan, where he visited a cigar factory, tasted plenty of rum and learned the rumba. 

O'Brien went to Cuba last month, making him the first American late-night host to film in the country since the U.S. embargo began in 1962. His trip followed President Barack Obama's call in December to begin restoring diplomatic ties with the nation.

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In the cold open of the episode, he explained the reasons for the visit — and showed a surprising ability for angering the country's dogs.

"This is a very historic time. Relations between Cuba and the United States are finally starting to thaw. I thought this was an amazing opportunity for me to come to Cuba, talk to the people and get to know them," O'Brien said. 

The talk show host spoke to a salsa musician, who attempted to teach him rhythm with a clapping lesson. O'Brien then stepped in with the band, picking up a guitar and asking whether the band wanted him to join. "This is an honest man," O'Brien said about the member who shook his head.

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O'Brien then grabbed the mic and contributed his own lyrics to the tune. "Hamburger milk," he sang in Spanish at one point. "Thing, sandwich." He later asked: "Did anyone get that down? That's a hit record."

He sat in on a Spanish-language lesson, where he was delighted when he got the teacher to flub her line. "You have to take off one article of clothing," he informed the instructor after high-fiving the fellow students.

The teacher tried to help him with a tongue twister involving "three sad tigers," but O'Brien was confused by the meaning of the phrase. "In our country, our tongue twisters at least make sense — Sally did sell seashells by the seashore." He later told the teacher, in an effort to earn her respect: "I am Ryan Gosling!"

O'Brien visited a rum museum, where he kept complaining that it took too long to get to the tasting portion of the tour. Finally, he got to sample the beverage, leading to him lying on top of the bar and asking the tour guide if he could live with her. "You're not my friend — these are my friends," he said when the guide tried to take his two glasses of rum from him.

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The talk show host decided to take a dance class to perfect the rumba. "I'm worried that she, my partner, will fall in love with me," he told his instructor about his fetching dance companion. By the end of the segment, he was showing off his new moves while wearing a revealing, silken outfit. 

O'Brien then took to the streets, where he showed footage of his TBS series to some people who were unfamiliar with him. One person offered him a juice box-sized container of rum. "[He] gave me rum in a box — it doesn't get much better than this," O'Brien said.

The comic tried to do some impromptu journalism, where he made note of whether a nearby dog was barking. "I'm realizing Anderson Cooper has a very easy job," he said. "This is what they do on CNN." The screen then showed a CNN-style chyron, with the headline: "Havana Dog Stops Barking."

He ended up in a cigar factory, where he learned to roll one, although his attempt was not particularly impressive. However, O'Brien did get to kiss his instructor on the cheek.

Video of the cold open can be seen below.