American comedian and television host Conan O’Brien is visiting Israel for the week and documenting various moments of his trip via social media for an episode of the “Conan Without Borders” travel show. The late night host had tweeted over a week ago that he was “leaving America during this divisive time for the relative peace and quiet of the Middle East.”
El Al Captain Itzik Garber shared an airline cockpit selfie of himself and Conan on Facebook, joking that El Al airlines had flown the comedian into Israel on Thursday on what was a “national mission.”
Conan himself tweeted a video from his El Al flight to Israel, his first trip with the Israeli airline, where he brushed up on his Hebrew in the airline bathroom. He noted that the towel disposal sign appeared in both English and Hebrew lettering, with which he was familiar from the Old Testament “when Moses tells his people to listen to the commandments, and also dispose of their towels…Moses was a real neatnik.”
The funny man Instagrammed some photos of himself hanging out and joking with local Israelis around Tel Aviv on Saturday, writing that he had “kissed a dog, blessed a baby, and met a lot of great people.”
“People in Tel Aviv are really funny and nice. All the men are incredibly buff and the women are beautiful,” said Conan in a live stream video on Facebook. “I’m really having a great time.”
Conan also talked about his run along the Tel Aviv beach. “Yes, I run. You don’t just get this body,” he joked about himself. “The sun in Israel is very hot…I brought a tablecloth to wear over my head…I’m like a vampire when the sun comes up here.”
Israeli media have been following Conan’s visit, with one headline declaring that a “Topless Conan O’Brien Captivates Tel Aviv.”
Conan, an Irish Catholic, said he was looking forward to visiting the ancient sites in Israel, and related that he will travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. “But the best part in making these shows is meeting the people,” he commented.
A past writer and producer for The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live, Conan was warmly greeted by social media followers following his Holy Land posts. “Thank you for coming to Israel Conan! The Israeli people LOVE YOU!!!!” posted Muhammad Zoabi on Facebook. “Have new respect for you. Bravo and welcome to Israel,” wrote Rachel Sevilla.
The six previous “Conan Without Borders” travel shows have been filmed in Mexico, Germany, Cuba, Armenia, South Korea, and Qatar.
“Conan Without Borders: Israel” will air on the U.S. TV channel TBS on September 19th at 10 pm. In the meantime, Conan invited fans to follow his Israel trip on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.