After 24 hours of media outrage over Cam Newton’s sullen postgame press conference following Super Bowl 50 — in which he was both criticized for his behavior, then defended because of what an opposing player was saying beside him — all that was really left was to laugh about it.

Conan O’Brien did just that with a “post-joke press conference” after making a lame quip playing on Newton’s last name, calling the Carolina Panthers quarterback “Fig Newton.” O’Brien could do so much better than that, and faced the press for his poor performance on Monday night.

“Tried to do a joke and it didn’t work,” O’Brien muttered to the assembled press. What we don’t know is if Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Kimmel was on the other side of that curtain talking about how bad Conan’s joke was. We might have to wait for some additional audio or reports from the press conference for that information.

It’s all fun and games when the jokes are getting laughs. But O’Brien needs to show maturity and face the press when his jokes bomb. At least he didn’t throw his writers under the bus or say something he might regret. However, if Conan wants to continue being the face of TBS comedy, he clearly has some growing up to do. What is David Letterman or Johnny Carson thinking right now?

[Team Coco]

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.