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About (Late) Last Night: Jack Black challenges Conan O'Brien to guitar duel with Slash as special guest

December 23, 2010 |  6:12 am

According to Jack Black, he and Conan O'Brien are like "two rock stars passing in the night." The pair had run into one another on tour over the summer, at the Bonnaroo festival, Black with his group Tenacious D and O'Brien with his own band. Last night they collided on stage during "Conan," when Black started mocking Conan's musical pedigree.

"You actually play music and stuff?" he asked. "You're not a real band -- my band is like a legit band," he said.

"We went on a 32-city tour," O'Brien insisted. "And we rocked people's faces off -- their faces came off."

O'Brien's band is more of a "hobby," Black said, while his is a "passion." O'Brien feigned incredulity. "I rock way, way, way harder than you," said Black, chuckling maniacally.

And so they dueled. First with nunchucks, and then, more successfully, in a "guitar-off," as recommended by O'Brien's sidekick Andy Richter. Black strapped on a sunburnt acoustic and Conan, a matching Gibson electric. The two traded licks, O'Brien awkwardly towering over his counterpart, both in height and sound.

When O'Brien's bluesy soloing got to be too much, his squealing distortion overpowering Black's rhythm guitar, a frustrated Black pulled back the curtain and revealed Slash, the guitar god himself, playing in place of O'Brien. The host had been cheating, but the gag was a big hit. 

-- Joe Coscarelli