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Watch Conan O’Brien Work a Shift at Sylvia’s in Harlem

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The late night host makes a few new friends at this famous soul food restaurant

While filming his show at the famed Apollo theater in Harlem, New York, this week, Conan O’Brien decided to stop by another one of the neighborhood’s legendary establishments: Syliva’s. But instead of just dining at this storied soul food restaurant, Conan hopped behind the counter and worked a shift.

In the clip, Conan gets a tour of Sylvia’s from Zaqura, the granddaughter of its founder, Sylvia Woods. After asking a bunch of questions about the celebrity photos on the wall — and specifically, why Liza Minnelli appears three times — Conan puts on a hairnet and apron and starts serving guests and chatting up the regulars. He even gets to sing a special birthday song to one lucky (or unlucky?) customer.

Conan O’Brien is the world’s biggest dork bumbling his way through one of the world’s most beloved soul food restaurants. It’s a funny bit, but in between the jokes and gags, Conan and his crew manage to capture why this restaurant is so special — it’s a community hub, and a living piece of Harlem’s history. When Conan asks Zaqura if everyone has eaten there, she replies: “Not everybody has, but most people.”
Conan Works At Sylvia’s Restaurant [YouTube]