While making an appearance on Whidbey Island to support the opening of a play written by playwright Elizabeth “Liza” Powel O’Brien, the city of Langley dedicated a trash can to her husband, former talk show host and comedian Conan O’Brien on June 10.
Langley Mayor Scott Chaplin, Langley police chief Tavier Wasser and Langley councilmember Craig Cyr were also in attendance for the makeshift ceremony.
“My wife, Liza, wrote a play and it’s getting its world-premiere tonight here on Whidbey,” O’Brien said. “We’re very excited for her and very, very appreciative that Whidbey is so welcoming to artists everywhere, but, especially, and best of all, my wife.”
Liza Powel O’Brien’s play “Apostrophe” runs through June 25 at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.
Chaplin introduced O’Brien and presented the outdoor garbage can – a brown can with wheels, about waist-high, with a plastic top to prevent the dumping of large items.
A man in a safety vest named Joe took credit for cleaning the can and preparing the can for its special day in the sun.
Chaplin declared the can as the “longest-running can in the city.”
Langley resident Basil Hassoun, donning a stunning bow tie and blazer, presented a speech for the occasion.
“We would like to dedicate this trash can,” Hassoun said. “That has long served this community to a person that embodies civil service, in as much as the trash can itself.”
“The city of Langley has long been looking for a person to dedicate this icon of civil service to,” Hassoun continued. “And when we heard that Conan O’Brien decided to visit our humble retirement community in celebration of his own retirement.”
“I didn’t realize I retired,” O’Brien lamented.
“A lot of you might ask, ‘Why Conan O’Brien?’” Hassoun said. “Who better to symbolize our sleepy retirement community than the man who spent his career putting our people to sleep.”
After groans permeated from the crowd, Hassoun continued. “We would like to name this trash can to honor Conan O’Brien.”
“We present the Conan can!” Hassoun exclaimed while gesturing to the garbage can.
A piece of paper taped to the front of the garbage can revealed in big black ink, “THE CAN,” with ‘conan’ written off to the side.
“Look at the time and the trouble you guys went to!” O’Brien said. “This is a great honor. I want to thank all of you for this fantastic privilege of having a trash can named after me. I want to thank my good friend, Chief Wasser, who stopped and had me arrested for no reason at 10 o’clock this morning. Crime has dropped a shocking 60% since I came to this island, so I thank you. This is really an honor to be here. When I accepted this, I thought that Whidbey was the fourth-largest island in the contiguous United States, but then I find out, after I already accepted the award, that you’re the fourth-longest. Had I known that I would not be here now.”
O’Brien said that he would return to Whidbey Island often to think of the world premiere of his wife’s play and the trash can.
After some applause, O’Brien drew a caricature of himself on the lid with a word balloon stating, “What an Honor!” He also signed and dated the commemorative garbage can.
The Conan O’Brien trash can, located on the north side of City Hall near the back entrance to the police station, is now available for fans and future generations of fans to dump their refuse into.
Watch the entire dedication here:
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