While we don’t necessarily feel sorry for Michael Dell, he perhaps doesn’t deserve having fun poked at him quite so severely here. The video imagines how the Michael Dell story would be told in the cinema, in the same way the Steve Jobs life story has been put up on screen in a variety of films recently.
O’Brien sends up the fact Dell’s business model was, shall we say, slightly less exciting and visionary than that of Jobs or Zuckerberg. At a Dell press event, Michael Dell appears on stage for a few moments, telling the assembled crowd that there’s nothing new to report, and that because it hasn’t made any new computers, it’ll just carry on selling the old ones.
“Don’t think different,” says the Dell character to assembled executives in another scene, “think same,” before telling them all laptops should be thick, and have big fans so people can see them cooling the hardware down. Like many of Conan’s skits, it’s all a bit hit-and-miss, and it’s the creation of the famous Dell logo that’s the standout moment.
While amusing in the video, the days of Dell making massive, unattractive hardware are pretty much gone, and we’ve seen a few examples that have impressed recently. O’Brien’s timing is perfect through, thanks to the hype surrounding Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic, which is premiering at the New York Film Festival, and opens across the world during October.