While viewers caught a glimpse of the serious side of late-night TV during the most recent round of talk-show wars between Conan and Leno, the venue is typically (and even emphatically) reserved for levity. There’s a monologue, a sketch or two, and some shallow conversations with celebrities promoting their latest projects. All of this makes Serious Jibber-Jabber, Conan O’Brien’s new series of long-form, web-exclusive interviews, that much more disarming. Despite the glib title, the show is actually, well, serious. It’s shot on 35mm in a Charlie Rose-esque black box, and there aren’t many jokes. In this week’s episode, for instance, O’Brien and Jack White discuss topics it would be hard to imagine coming up in the post-11 p.m. timeslot—namely, upholstery and the nature of aesthetics.
Fans hoping for the usual dose of Conan silliness beware: there’s no alt-comedy reveal a la Between Two Ferns. It’s just O’Brien and White having an earnest, engaging, schtick-less conversation for 75 minutes. Seriously.