Performancing Metrics

Remember Sheriff Joe?

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Who can forget this man? An overly tough sheriff who has his own reality TV show meets Conan O’ Brien – that’s what happened on Wednesday night, in what turned out to be a bizarre show as one can be. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County appeared on the show to promote his reality TV show “Smile…You’re Under Arrest.”

I missed it – and I do not know if I want to see it still, actually, after reading Stephen Lemons’ take on the show. Just to give you an idea (in case you missed it like I did):

As for O’Brien, he squirmed through Joe’s segment, which came after the show’s first guest, actor Chris Meloni. The ginger-haired host appeared embarrassed by Arpaio’s very presence, as if afraid Joe’s metaphysical unhipness might rub off on him.

At one point, O’Brien mentioned that during the day NBC had anti-Joe protesters handing out leaflets in Rockefeller Center, where the talk show is filmed.

To his credit, Conan pretended to be aghast after showing a clip of Joe’s show where some schmuck with an outstanding warrant is arrested after being given a free facial and wrapped in a terrycloth bathrobe with prison stripes.

“This is Punk’d, I guess, meets Cops,” said Conan, parroting the show’s PR shills. “It’s either a brilliant idea or the true sign of the apocalypse.”

That sounded a little strained coming from a guy who’d earlier done a skit involving lactating rats, asbestos fire logs, and a half-male Cuban prostitute. Indeed, O’Brien’s big jokes of the night involved bees on cocaine and the tiny manhood of his in-house band’s trombone player.

So what happened there? Perhaps one of the most awkward segments that O’Brien has had. As for Arpaio, I have this funny feeling that the show will not last much longer. What with the reaction that is has incited and the supposed investigation that the FBI is carrying out, I wouldn’t be surprised if the show doesn’t make it till the end of the year. What do you think?

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