Conan O’Brien has been in the late-night game now for 26 years, and along the way, his various shows have produced thousands of YouTube videos. Over those years, clips from Conan’s show have gone viral numerous times, but this week, the first YouTube clip associated with one of Conan O’Brien’s shows has finally topped 100 million views.
What could it be? Could it be one of Conan’s popular “Clueless Gamer” segments, like the one with Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey? What about the time Conan lost it after Nicole Scherzinger caught him looking at her breasts? Nope, not that, either. What about that Paul Rudd/Mac and Me compilation? Nope (and it was assembled by someone on Reddit, not the show). What about that time Conan helped his assistant, Sona, buy a new car? Nope, not even close, only 17 million views. Conan’s Travel Abroad shows are hugely popular on Youtube. Does it come from one of those? Nope, not that either, nor the time that Conan corrected Jennifer Garner. My favorite Conan O’Brien guest is Timothy Olyphant, but it’s not any of those clips, either.
Indeed, the most popular Team Coco YouTube clip ever — and it’s not even close — comes from a March 2016 performance of the Simon and Garfunkel cover of “The Sound of Silence” by the heavy metal band Disturbed.
Apparently, that Disturbed cover is very popular — their own music video for the song has over 500 million views. To put that into perspective, the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer in 2017 has only 54 million views.
It was the Disturbed performance on Conan, however, that attracted the attention of the song’s original writer, Paul Simon, who actually wrote the lead singer of the band after the performance to tell him that it was “really powerful.” Powerful enough, apparently, to put the rest of Team Coco’s YouTube catalogue to shame, even that fantastic clip of Bill Hader impersonating his fellow SNL castmembers.