Conan O’Brien Hosts 110th Annual Monte Rio Variety Show


For the second year in a row, as the state and county gradually reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Monte Rio’s venerable annual variety show is presented online, this time with the TV talk show host. late night Conan O’Brien.

The hour-long virtual show is free to watch now here.

Dressed in a red bandana, O’Brien jokes that he’s dressed both to comply with the lingering COVID-19 restrictions and possibly also later to steal a train. He also notes that the old Monte Rio variety shows were hosted by Bing Crosby, Ray Bolger, and Art Linkletter.

“Just to show you how this country fell,” he adds with his self-deprecating humor, “this year it’s me.”

O’Brien recently wrapped up the 11-year series of his TBS show “Conan” and previously hosted “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” from 2009 to 2010 and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” from 1993 to 2009, both on NBC. Prior to that, he was a writer for “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”.

Local organizers are encouraging people to watch the recorded show, hosted by O’Brien, and donate to their auction, which begins July 23 and ends with a live event for major action items. 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 29.

The July 29 live auction, which can be found at, will have three large items for sale and will include recipient and donor interviews, as well as entertainment.

To date, more than $ 30,000 in contributions from the Bohemian Grove, the Dawn Redwood Trust and several other longtime community supporters have kicked off the local fundraising event.

You can contribute by going to and clicking “donate now”.

The beneficiaries of the virtual show and auction are St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, the Monte Rio Fire Services Foundation, and the Monte Rio School Foundation.

The variety show, which raises funds for community groups in Monte Rio, practically continues the traditional live performance at the Monte Rio Amphitheater, featuring well-known artists and musicians and members of the Bohemian Club.

The variety show began in 1911 when a group of men from Bohemian Grove, in their forest retreat along the Russian River, teamed up with the local Catholic parish to build a church in Monte Rio.

Since then, bohemian artists such as Jimmy Buffet, Clint Black, Zac Brown, Roy Rogers, Billy Valentine and Kix Brooks have performed at the annual variety shows. Stars of the past have included Crosby, Bolger, Linkletter, Merv Griffin and Phil Harris.

Planning for the event begins months in advance, which this year prompted an early decision to bring the show back online, said organizer Michele McDonell.

“We couldn’t predict in January that we might meet this summer,” she said.

You can reach Editor-in-Chief Dan Taylor at [email protected] or 707-521-5243. On Twitter @danarts.


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