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Conan the Barbarian

He's no Letterman: Mayor Parker defends city's honor against Conan's anti-Houston jokes

Elizabeth Rhodes head shot column mug December 2013
Conan O'Brien trashes Houston in song
Conan, shown singing, his anti-Houston song. The mayor tweeted a response. Courtesy photo

If you're a lifelong Houstonian, like I am, then you probably hate Dallas. Conversely, if you're a lifelong Dallasite, then you probably hate Houston. For whatever reason, there's a great deal of competition between Texas' largest cities (here's looking at you, Austin). 

During a week-long series of shows in Dallas this week, Conan O'Brien chose to disparage Houston in a song, though we're not sure exactly why. (Probably because he was in Dallas and knew he could get a cheap laugh.)

The song, in which he twanged that Houston is "comprised of burning garbage piles" and is "home to every serial killer that's alive today," left many Houstonians cold. Mayor Annise Parker made sure to fire back when her city was attacked and responded on Friday with a Tweet about the incident.

Houston-based entrepreneur Robert Marsh, CEO of the online sign and banner company, commissioned a parody song from singer/songwriter Dane Sonnier, which can be viewed in the video above. Sonnier videotaped the song Thursday at Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar.

The parody, titled “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Watch Conan,” is adapted from the song, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys," popularized by Willie Nelson.

It's pretty surprising the misconceptions people have about Houston, even within Texas. We know our city for its incredible museums, a burgeoning food scene, unique shopping destinations and tons of green space. Yes, we have traffic and chemical plants, but that doesn't define our city.

I mean, international design magazine Architectural Digest did just name Houston "the coolest town in Texas," so I think we know where we stand.

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