Just when you think zombie saturation has hit its zenith, and that there are no places left to cram a walking corpse into, they come up with more ways to use them, as if by magic. Not only are the undead being used to shill everything from economy cars to fruit-flavored candy treats, now they’re making their presence known on late night television and shuffling through the streets of New York City.
Talk show host Conan O’Brien has made use of zombies on his show, cleverly titled Conan (a fact that never fails to fool me when I’m scrolling through the TV menu and get excited because I think Conan the Barbarian is on), many times before. However, when he recently had cast members from AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead on as guests, he went all out, with a cold open that spoofs the massively popular show.
You see the tall, gangly O’Brien, made up to look like one of those shuffling corpses, shambling around the woods, using GPS to find his co-host and partner in crime, Andy Richter. Zombies would be so much more effective if they could use modern technology instead of just wandering around the woods. There’s a fun, if out of date, joke in the middle of this video about Sophia, the lost little girl from the beginning of season two of The Walking Dead, but the best part has to be the spoof of the dramatic opening credits.
Speaking of The Walking Dead, the show returns with new episodes tomorrow, Sunday, February 9, and to celebrate, AMC decided to pull a prank on the unsuspecting citizens of New York City. They had their make up artists zombify a bunch of people, and hide them under a metal grate in the middle of the sidewalk. When random morning commuters wandered by, the zombies reached out of the gate, grabbing at their feet and legs. It’s a simple set up, but quite effective nonetheless.
While this is a funny gag, there’s not much more to it. You get a quick chuckle out of people’s reactions, but that’s as far as any of them really go. There’s not much more to this than eliciting momentary jump scares from people paying more attention to their ear buds and smartphones than anything in their immediate surroundings. I would have like to see someone just freak the fuck out and go nuts, like zombies were really taking over the sewers below the streets of Manhattan. That would have made this all totally worthwhile.