Esquire writes that Sylvia’s Restaurant history is long and lauded. It’s been serving soul food to Harlem since 1962, when Sylvia Woods herself started up the joint, and it’s still in the family. It’s one of those places celebrities want to have their picture with the owner up in, and it shows: Denzel Washington, Bill Clinton, and Beyoncé all have a photo on its walls.
It’s also the kind of place generous enough to let Conan O’Brien do what he does best: drop in on an unsuspecting populous and make an ass out of himself. So Conan donned an apron (and the most unnerving hairnet ever worn by a food service employee to date) and got to work. And, like in any good Conan-among-the-people shtick, he plays the whimsical idiot quite well—and learned that serving food is pretty damn hard, no matter if it’s at Sylvia’s, Eleven Madison Park, or your neighborhood Applebee’s.
The reviews from Sylvia’s patrons on the service were… unenthusiastic. As for the hairnet? As one man announced, “I like white girls.” Ouch.
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Here’s the video: