Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Conan O’Brien and his assistant Sona Movsesian standing in front of the Temple of Garni in Armenia.
October 12, 2015
By Danielle Saroyan
Armenian Agenda Associate Editor
Today, Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) Regional Director Arpi Vartanian arrived at the Armenia Marriott Hotel early Sunday morning, expecting to meet some friends. Unbeknownst to her, she sees this very tall man, with a crazy, one-of-a-kind hairdo, and thought to herself, “that looks like Conan O’Brien. Wait, why is he here?”
Vartanian approached O’Brien, and to her awe discovered that he is filming and traveling around Armenia with his assistant Sona Movsesian.
Conan O’Brien and Armenian Assembly Regional Director Arpi Vartanian at the Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia.
Conan O’Brien is a late night talk show host of Conan on TBS and will be the first U.S. late-night talk show to be broadcast from Armenia. Conan will air the Armenia episode on Tuesday, November 10th at 11:00 PM ET on TBS, and will be available a day later digitally and on mobile venues operated by the network and O’Brien’s Team Coco outlets. The network is expecting a high number of viewership for this episode, considering an average of around 1.81 million people watched an original broadcast and rebroadcast of the Cuba special, “Conan in Cuba.”
He arrived in Armenia on Sunday, October 11th and is filming an episode of Conan as part of a series of road-trip specials. O’Brien is traveling alongside Movsesian, who is O’Brien’s longtime assistant of Armenian descent. This is the first time either of them have ever been to Armenia.
“I think it’s every boss’s responsibility to take their assistant back to their ancestral land,” O’Brien said in a statement to Variety. “That’s why I’m going to make sure my next assistant was born in a five-star resort in Tuscany.”
The Conan team started exploring more of Armenia’s cultural sites, as seen in his social media account’s posting in front of the Temple of Garni wearing traditional Armenian garments next to Movsesian. The picture caption reads, “Brought my assistant Sona home to Armenia. It was this or give her a raise.”
Conan O’Brien’s twitter post.
O’Brien has a history of referencing Movsesian and Armenians in past episodes, such as a visit to Armenian-owned Hollywood pawnshop in Glendale in January 2014.
Internationally-beloved late-night star flanked by Assembly Board Co-Chairman Anthony Barsamian (left), Assembly Regional Director Arpi Vartanian, and Assembly Board President Carolyn Mugar (right), and Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Garen Nazarian on October 13, 2015, at Marriott Armenia Hotel.