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Booker Preps for Epic Conan Battle on Ashton's Facebook Page

Trying to squeeze every drop of media whoredom out of his Friday night appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien," Newark mayor Cory Booker dropped by Ashton Kutcher's ustream channel and Facebook page for a "Live Pre-Game Show," hosted by filmmaker Jason Pollock.

"Who would have thought [Booker] would entangle himself in a national feud with none other than Conan O'Brien?" Pollock gushed to the few hundred people watching the hour-long webcast.

He was referring to the sparring the two men have been doing in the media since O'Brien joked on his Sept. 23 show that Newark's new health care program consists of a bus ticket out of Newark.

That gag just never gets old -- we still laugh every time we hear it.

And, here's news: Booker admitted on the webcast he too thinks Conan's crack is pretty priceless.

But, he explained, that can't stop him from taking public figures to task every time they think they can make some Newark joke. Booker reminisced about the time he got ESPN's Barry Melrose to come back to Newark to apologize for having joked that Newark's new sports arena was nice, but people should "hold on to their wallets" when they stepped outside the arena.

Actually we don't think that qualifies as a joke.

"Now, tonight is the night. So how do you think [Conan's] going to treat you?" asked Pollock, who wanted everyone on the webcast to know he, Pollock had directed "The Youngest Candidate," a documentary about teenagers who run for political office, which was produced by Worldwide Pants which - OMG, is the company owned by Conan's late-night rival David Letterman!

Booker said he had "some trepidation" about going on Conan's show, but that he was going there to "be our authentic self" and hopefully "have some fun, but also talk about some serious issues as well."

Apparently, "serious issues" is a very serious buzzkill for the ustream crowd. After viewer numbers jumped from 400-ish to nearly 700 while Booker yakked about the Conan kerfuffle, they went into a nosedive when Booker began to launch into the no-laughs part of the webcast, and as our Booker Correspondent Emily Yahr began to lose interest and went off to check The TV Column mail, the numbers appeared to still be on a downward slide.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  October 16, 2009; 8:37 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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