Conan O'Brien in Cuba: Bad Salsa, Worse Spanish, and Welcome Comedy

Miamians have found it all but impossible to separate the comedy from the politics in Conan O'Brien's historic late-night special filmed in Cuba. Either you thought the visit -- the first by an American TV host since Jack Paar flew down to interview Castro in 1959 -- was an embargo-smashing triumph or a slap in the face to generations of exiles and dissidents.

But as the special aired last night, it became increasingly obvious what should have been clear from the get-go: Conan's humor isn't political; it's personal. Specifically, it's about uniting the world over the shared desire to laugh at a goofy, gawky redheaded giant. That's something we should all be able to get behind.

See also: Conan O'Brien Films Episode of Conan in Cuba

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink