We may be headed into the homestretch of Super Bowl hype – a dreary two-week cycle that has given us Deflategate, Marshawngate, Katygate and, uh, FireAlarmgate – but luckily, there’s still time for Conan O’Brien to swoop in and save the day.
On Thursday night’s show, O’Brien unveiled a special Super Bowl edition of his “Clueless Gamer” series (in which he fumbles his way through video games both new and old), and this one had a couple of special, super-sized guest stars: the Seattle Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch and the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski.
The unlikely trio battled it out on the yet-to-be-released Mortal Kombat X, and though you’d think such an epic encounter would have taken place at the University of Phoenix Stadium, site of Sunday’s Super Bowl, the NFL apparently had other ideas – which means Coco, Beast Mode and Gronk were relegated to a conference room at a nearby Marriott hotel (as O’Brien joked, “It has free Wi-Fi and smells faintly of foot powder. “) Though they didn’t let the humble surroundings tarnish their showdown in the slightest.
As you’d probably expect, the highlights were plentiful. After Lynch vanquishes Gronk in one battle, the game’s ultra-gory finisher (in this case, a very graphic disemboweling) proves to be too much for the man known as Beast Mode, who tosses his controller and walks off the set, proclaiming, “That’s nasty.” Later, when the two fight “as chicks,” a particularly powerful low-blow leaves them wide-eyed and screaming in pain. At one point, O’Brien finds himself on the floor, curled up in the fetal position.
We also get plenty of biographical information – Lynch’s favorite Mario Kart character is Toad, Gronk is angling for a Lipitor sponsorship, both men love the city of Buffalo, New York – and learn a few finer points of the NFL game, including the proper way to celebrate a touchdown and Lynch’s nut-grabbing technique (“Your fall-back game gotta be strong.”) The whole thing ends with Gronk using a customized Mortal Kombat trophy to simulate oral sex on O’Brien. Needless to say, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t have final approval over this one.