“Die! Death! Rot! You’re in a never-ending hooooooole!” Watch Conan O’Brien’s hilariously disastrous attempt at death metal vocals

Conan O'Brien in 2023
(Image credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Conan O’Brien’s done tons for the heavy metal scene over the years. During his days as the host of Late Night, the comedian and ex-Simpsons writer put a spotlight on Lamb Of God, At The Drive-In and Linkin Park in their prime. That said, we never want to hear the man attempting death metal singing ever again.

Earlier this year, Coco was hosting his podcast Conan O’Brian Needs A Fan and talking to an admirer called Davyd. The quiffed comic asked Davyd about his music taste, and is told it extends through everything from reggaeton to death metal. “Oh, you like death metal?” Conan asks. “What are your favourite death metal bands?”

“I like Slipknot,” Davyd replies – who, as co-host Sona Movsesian correctly counters, aren’t death metal. Nonetheless, Conan and The Nine have history. The band raged their way through The Heretic Anthem on Late Night in 2001, and the host later pranked one of their audiences by making them watch an opening band called “The Slipnutz”: four singers slipping on peanuts for a bit.

“Slipknot used to come on my show regularly,” Conan says. “I like those guys.”

Davyd also says he’s a fan of US deathcore band Dr Acula. “Oh, I see what they’re doing there,” Conan says once he hears the name. “I’m just piecing it together now. Their other band is Frank N. Stein.”

Then comes the death metal voice. “Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for orthopaedic surgeon Frank N. Stein!” he shouts. After an enthusiastic “2! 3! 4!” comes intense gargling, with some “death”s and “die”s thrown in. It’s standard death metal parody fare, but Conan’s done a lot for heavy music over the years, so we’ll let it slide.

“Is that what you think death metal is?” Movsesian, quickly becoming the metalhead hero of the piece, laughs. “They just say, ‘Die, die, die’?”

“Death! Death! Die! Die! Rot! Rot! Rot! Rot!” Conan persists. “You’re in a never-ending hoooooole!”

To Conan’s credit, though, the bit begins to break cliche when the pitch on his microphone is turned all the way up. At that point, we’re blessed with the idea of death metal being roared out by chipmunks – and, yeah, it turns out pretty damn funny.

Watch the full clip below:

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.