Conan the Librarian


Conan the Librarian

Conan the Librarian is a perennial parody of R. E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian that has appeared in film, television, comics, and fan fiction.

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You Can't Do That on Television

The first known appearance of Conan the Librarian is on the comedy show You Can't Do That on Television in the 1982 episode "Heroes."

Mother Goose and Grimm

Probably the first printed Conan the Librarian reference is in a 1987 Mother Goose and Grimm comic. A pig returning a book to the "Overdue Books" section faces across the desk a scowling and muscle-bound librarian, in typical Conan the Barbarian dress, who from the placard on the desk we know is "Conan the Librarian."

Reading Rainbow

Conan the Librarian appears in a sketch on a 1986 episode ("Alistair in Outer Space") of the children's television series Reading Rainbow. Unlike the UHF Conan (see below), Conan the Librarian is helpful and shows someone how to get a library card.

UHF

Conan the Librarian also appears in a brief segment of the 1989 "Weird Al" Yankovic film UHF. In the segment, the exaggeratedly muscular Guardian of the Shelves chastises—in German-accented English—a library patron who is unsuccessful in finding a book and not knowing the Dewey decimal system. He then hefts his enormous sword and slices another patron in two for returning a book overdue.

Hadley V. Baxendale fiction

In 1987, William Mitchell College of Law library staff created the character Conan the Librarian for a talent show performance, and subsequently wrote The Adventures of Conan the Librarian. This was followed by The Return of Conan the Librarian and Conan the Librarian on the Information Highway. The author of these stories is the fictitious "Hadley V. Baxendale" (a pun on the famous law case Hadley v. Baxendale).

This Conan is an ordinary librarian who lives in the mythical "Information Age".

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