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Conan O'Brien, live from Toronto

The talk show will be broadcast from Canada's biggest city in Feb.
/ Source: Reuters

Talk show host Conan O’Brien will bring his quirky brand of humor to Canada’s biggest city in February, a move local organizers hope will boost a tourism industry ravaged earlier this year by the SARS outbreak.The comedian confirmed Monday his “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” will shoot from Feb. 10 to 13 in Toronto. The idea was partly initiated by Lorne Michaels, the Canadian-born producer of “Saturday Night Live”.“I want to announce now that if this week goes well in Toronto we are moving the show permanently to Winnipeg,” O’Brien told a press conference in Toronto.The comedian said it would be “premature and foolish” to say who would appear on the show, but he thought “Ben Affleck, J.Lo. guaranteed”, along with J.D. Salinger and Saddam Hussein.Newly elected Mayor David Miller and other officials said they hope the exposure will help revive tourism, which slumped during the SARS outbreak that ran from mid-March until May. Toronto was the only city in North America where people died from the disease.Unlike the many Hollywood-backed “runaway productions” attracted to the city by the weaker Canadian dollar, O’Brien said the show would highlight its locale.“We’re not going to just try and replicate our show. There was an initial idea that maybe like everybody else we should shoot our show in Toronto, but say it’s New York,” he said.O’Brien said the idea of coming to Toronto appealed to him because he had been heavily influenced by Canadian comedy, particularly the 1970s classic “SCTV”. The popular low budget television show helped launch the careers of Martin Short, John Candy, Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin.