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Conan O’Brien talks shakshuka, Israeli women

In Tel Aviv-Jaffa, American comedian discusses plans for the rest of his Israel trip and how he dresses like a vampire in the August sun

Conan O'Brien visits Jaffa, with the Tel Aviv skyline in the background, on August 26, 2017. (Screen capture: Facebook)
Conan O'Brien visits Jaffa, with the Tel Aviv skyline in the background, on August 26, 2017. (Screen capture: Facebook)

American comedian and talk show host Conan O’Brien kicked off his trip to Israel in Tel Aviv, where he encountered Israelis, the local food and scorching August sun.

In a Facebook video, which was filmed Saturday at the port of Jaffa with the Tel Aviv skyline in the background, O’Brien shared his initial impressions of Israelis.

“Fantastic, really funny nice people,” he said of Israelis, adding that “all the men are incredibly buff and all the women are beautiful.”

O’Brien said his first dinner in Israel was at a Thai restaurant, despite his desire for Israeli food, but shared his excitement over eating shakshuka, a North African dish of eggs and tomatoes, and sampling the Jewish state’s most popular local beer.

“Shakshur?” O’Brien asks, struggling to say the name of the dish, as an Israeli woman standing nearby tells him how to pronounce it.

“You gotta get yourself some shakshuka and get it today,” he said.

“I also had some great Israeli beer, Goldstar beer,” he added.

Later, the comedian returned to his Irish roots, finding himself a Guinness for breakfast while he watched the Mayweather-McGregor fight, which was broadcast early Sunday morning in Israel.

“Found the only Guinness in Israel,” O’Brien wrote on Facebook.

Watching the #MayweatherMcGregor fight from Tel Aviv. Found the only Guinness in Israel. #ConanIsrael

Posted by Team Coco on Saturday, August 26, 2017

Addressing his plans for the rest of his trip, O’Brien said he will visit Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

“I hope I can get a room,” O’Brien said of Bethlehem, referring to the Christian belief that Jesus was born in a manger because there were no rooms in the inns.

The comedian said while he looked forward to visiting ancient sites during his trip, “the best part is the people.”

Asked about how he been dealing with the August heat, O’Brien joked he has been walking around with a tablecloth on his head.

“It’s very hot, so what I do is I bought a very big tablecloth and I just wear it over my head,” he said.

“I have a hat, but I try not to wear it too much because I look like an older woman walking down the street,” he added.

“I am like a vampire, when the sun comes up here I just start shrieking and hissing.”

While en route to Israel, O’Brien posted a video shot Friday in an El Al airplane bathroom of himself “brushing up” on his Hebrew.

The late night talk show host is in Israel to film an episode for his “Conan Without Borders” series.

For the filming of the episode, which will be shot at locations across Israel, O’Brien will spend five days in the country barring any last-minute changes, the Ynet news site reported earlier this month.

It is O’Briens first trip to Israel, although the comedian has often poked fun at the Jewish state, including joking that then-candidate Trump canceled a trip to Israel in 2015 since “they already have a wall and a fear of Muslims.”

O’Brien has previously filmed a number of his “Conan Without Borders” specials for his show outside the US, including most recently in Mexico in March.

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