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Conan O’Brien Removes Gun Violence From Comedy Bit After Fort Hood Tragedy

I was fortunate enough to be in the audience for the taping of Conan O’Brien’s show on Wednesday afternoon at Dallas’ Majestic Theatre. Among the segments we saw live was a bit called “Let’s Mess With Texas,” in which a guy dressed in the shape of the state of Texas battled others costumed as (in order) California, Alaska and “his little buddy” Hawaii, and Florida.

Florida, O’Brien told the audience, was high on bath salts and wanted to eat Texas’ face off (a reference to this incident.) So Texas pulled out a gun and shot Florida dead. It was a comment on our state’s well-known love of firearms or Florida’s “stand your ground” law, or probably both.

In viewing the show last night on television, I was surprised to find that the ending had been changed. The footage broadcast instead featured Texas throwing hot sauce on Florida. Left in was O’Brien’s reaction to the original version, shaking his head in mock dismay and saying “That was point blank, man.” (A line that makes more sense when you know he was talking about a shooting.)

A spokesman for O’Brien’s company confirmed that the change was made after the original taping, out of sensitivity to yesterday’s incident at Fort Hood, in which a gunman killed three and injured 16 before committing suicide.

Good call by Team Coco.