Last night on the final episode of Conan, surprise guest Will Ferrell decided to record advance video messages that would allow him to skip the next several shows that O'Brien might plausibly launch and then end. Ferrell, who also appeared on O'Brien's final episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien and the final episode of The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien, also made a joke that was much more timely and specific to this week: one about the Batman oral sex controversy that has been driving so much social media conversation since the producers of Harley Quinn first revealed that DC has a very specific idea in mind for Batman's sex life.
Ferrell was unable to appear in person, becuase he was reportedly filming a project in Baltimore. After telling Conan repeatedly that it was a secret project, he finally "broke" and claimed that he was shooting a Batman movie.
"It's Batman. I'm shooting Batman," Ferrell told O'Brien. "And guess what? In this version, Batman gives oral. It's graphic. Full frontal. Batman like you've never seen him before!"
If you missed it, Harley Quinn producer Justin Halpern recently did an interview in which he suggested that doing a show about supervillains came with fewer creative restrictions than doing a show about heroes. As a for-instance, he offered an anecdote from Harley Quinn's production, where somebody at DC reportedly objected to a proposed sequence in an episode that would have depicted Batman performing oral sex on Catwoman.
"And DC was like, 'You can't do that. You absolutely cannot do that,'" Halpern said at the time. "They're like, 'Heroes don't do that.' So, we said, 'Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?' They were like, 'No, it's that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It's hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.'"
Unsurprisingly, social media had a field day with this claim, with Batman and Harley Quinn trending in the days since. Even Batman actor Val Kilmer got in on the conversation, sharing a GIF from his film Batman Forever that referenced the flirtations Bruce Wayne/Batman had with Nicole Kidman's Chase Meridian.
This is not the first time Batman's sex life has become the subject of public debate. A sexual relationship between Batman and Batgirl in an R-rated movie adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke from 2016 ignited a passionate debate among fans and, most recently, Batman: Damned (from The Killing Joke screenwriter Brian Azzarello) depicted a backlit shot of a nude Batman in which his anatomy was clearly visible, resulting in DC censoring future versions of the book, including digital copies.