LOS ANGELES (Combined sources) — Conan O’Brien is on the road again, this time journeying to Armenia in the latest of a series of ongoing efforts to mix up his TV routine.
The results of O’Brien’s sojourn to the country, believed to have commenced on Sunday, are slated for broadcast on Time Warner’s TBS on Tuesday, November 10, at 11 p.m. and will be available a day later across digital and mobile venues operated by the network and O’Brien’s Team Coco outlets. Sona Movsesian, O’Brien’s longtime assistant who is of Armenian descent, has joined him. The visit is a first to the country for both and O’Brien’s broadcast will be the first by a host of an American late-night show from the nation.
“I think it’s every boss’s responsibility to take their assistant back to their ancestral land,” said O’Brien, in a statement provided by a spokesperson. “That’s why I’m going to make sure my next assistant was born in a five-star resort in Tuscany.” At an “upfront” presentation last May, executives from Turner Broadcasting, parent of TBS, said O’Brien was planning to do a series of road-trip specials, meaning this Armenia excursion is likely to offer a taste of things to come.
Armenian Assembly of America Regional Director Arpi Vartanian arrived at the Armenia Marriott Hotel early Sunday morning to meet friends. Unbeknownst to her, she saw a tall, red-haired stranger and thought to herself, “that looks like Conan O’Brien. Wait, why is he here?” Vartanian approached O’Brien, and to her awe discovered that he is filming and traveling around Armenia with his assistant Sona Movsesian.
The Conan team started exploring more of Armenia’s cultural sites, as seen in his social media account’s posting in front of the Temple of Garni wearing traditional Armenian garments next to Movsesian. The picture caption reads, “Brought my assistant Sona home to Armenia. It was this or give her a raise.”
O’Brien has a history of referencing Movsesian and Armenians in past episodes, such as a visit to Armenian-owned Hollywood pawnshop in Glendale in January 2014.
O’Brien trades in laughs, but his trips — this will be the third he has made this year — are not always something to joke about. O’Brien in February traveled to Cuba in an effort that was known to only a handful of people outside of his staff, and almost ran into a problem when his team tried to navigate through security on the island nation, which at the time was working to re-establish diplomatic ties with the United States.
(A report from Variety as well as a release from the Armenian Assembly were used to compile this story