NEW YORK – Look out, Mr. Bill -- you'll want to cry "Oh no!" when you hear how Conan O'Brien (search) has converted an entire edition of Late Night into clay animation.
The all-clay Late Night is the result of six months of painstaking production work. It is scheduled to air next Thursday night on NBC.
O'Brien made the announcement during Wednesday night's show. He also showed a picture of himself rendered as a clay figure, complete with red hair, jacket, tie and immovable O-shaped mouth.
In fact, the figure's expression seemed inspired by the famous look of surprise worn years ago by the accident-prone Mr. Bill on Saturday Night Live (search) when he realized he was about to be mashed by a giant fist or heavy object.
Unlike Mr. Bill, the all-clay Late Night is "violence-free," according to the show's head writer, Mike Sweeney, who also explained why the clay show was made.
"We kind of liked the idea of going to all this trouble just for a typical rerun of the show," Sweeney said. "It's just a new way to look at the same images, the same things that are on over and over every night for 1,700 shows. So it's a nice change of pace."
The all-clay Late Night was adapted from a show which aired originally last October. To make the clay version, Late Night's in-house animators (actually staffers in the show's scenic department) laboriously posed each clay figure hundreds of times to simulate movement.
The guests on the show were "Jackass" Johnny Knoxville, Richard Lewis and David Bowie. TV tough guy Mr. T was also on hand to perform a "Year 2000" sketch with O'Brien.
All of the performers, including band members and other bit players, were reproduced as miniature clay figures who were animated on miniature models of the show's studio.