This article is from the archive of our partner .

As Leno gears up for his comeback with Sarah Palin, Conan's using his sabbatical from TV to grow a beard and flirt with commentary by opening a Twitter account. Sound like a defeatist strategy? Think again. With one tweet, the red-headed comic won 257,248 followers. The maiden tweet was classically Conan--both quirky and self-deprecating.


Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.

With that, fans and celebrities have been showering him with Twitter love. Actress Christina Applegate wrote, "If this is really @conanobrien on twitter, then my life is complete!!! Coco! Coco! Coco!" Others responded in kind:

  • LeShad: @ConanOBrien If Andy's not up to it I'll be your sidekick/announcer. "It's the Patio Show with Conan O'Brien!!!"
  • Ken1788: @ConanOBrien Conan you are the best can't wait till you are back on the tube, whether it's porn or nightly talk show.

How does Conan's Twitter love match up to Jay's? As many have pointed out, Conan chalked up more followers than Jay almost instantly. As of this writing, the big-chinned comic boasts 30,377 followers.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.