Great TV Shows That Never Were: Conan the Librarian

After initial consternation, the very ordinary frequenters of Bolton library soon grew used to Conan’s frequently psychotic ways.

After Conan the Barber Man came to a timely end, we now have a new spin-off: Conan the Librarian. It follows the misadventures of Conan the Barbarian (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s breakout role from 1982) as he ditches his barbaric ways in an attempt to fit into polite society. He decides to become a librarian and, hahaha, a lot of funny hijinks and decapitations await!

Over 12 seasons and 312 episodes, we get to know and love Conan and his demented ways. The locals, although fearful of him, also get to know and put up with him in the way northerners are casually good at. This critically panned sitcom focuses on Conan’s unsuitability for the role and the many hilarious ways in which he goes about his job. It’s a bloody good one!

Conan the Librarian

The setup is a humdinger! Although having zero experience for the role, upon handing in his CV (a decapitated head) to Bolton Central Library of Greater Manchester, officials hand him the job out of sheer terror. However, they are able to pluck up the courage to warn him not to turn up half naked whilst carrying an enormous sword.

The next day, Conan turns up completely naked whilst wielding a pike atop of which is an accursed enemy’s skull. He’s quickly rushed into the back office and ordered to change into a cardigan, trousers, and pince-nez, a move which takes several hours as Conan struggles to fit a cardigan onto his overly muscly physique.

The first season then explores what it means to be a barbarian in modern life. Conan comes to comprehend behaviour such as shaking a person’s hand without ripping their arm from their shoulder-blade. He also learns the ways of saying “Hello”, “Have a nice day”, and “Thank you for returning this book” without severing limbs from bodies or going on a psychotic rampage due to perceived threats (such as the cleaner arriving and setting off the hoover).

Ultimately, Conan the Librarian adjusts to life in England and becomes a well respected, if completely feared, member of society in the Greater Manchester area. The show stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan, Helen Mirren as the manager of Bolton Central Library, Macaulay Culkin as the library assistant, Amy Adams as Conan’s love interest Doreen from the local Aldi supermarket, Amy Adams in a double role as Doreen’s twin sister Barbara who works in the local McDonald’s, and Sylvester Stallone as the local beefcake who proves to be Conan’s great rival. This award-losing show would have been a real treat!

The Very Best of Conan the Librarian

With Schwarzenegger on career best funny form, it was only natural the show would be crammed with some absolutely hilarious moments. Here’s a collection of the very best, although the show would be cancelled before the end of season 12 due to dismal ratings, so don’t get too attached to these shenanigans, eh?

  • Conan’s first attempt at closing the library for the day involves stripping naked, ripping off his assistant’s head, and running through the book aisles bellowing furiously whilst clutching at his assistant’s skull. It works a treat! Never has Bolton Central Library been removed of library-goers so efficiently. However, Conan receives a stern warning from his supervisor about cold blooded murder and public nudity.
  • Conan learns to read and write and begins with Spot the Dog and Where’s Wally?, but is soon onto Mein Kampf, In Cold Blood, Fifty Shades of Grey, and the Art of War. Proving surprisingly proficient, he begins handing ill-advised notes to library customers in an attempt to prove he’s in charge and will take no shit from no man (or woman). Scrawled out in blood and entrails, these notes cause considerable distress and land Conan with another warning from Helen Mirren.
  • Conan is besotted with till girl Doreen (Amy Adams) at the local Aldi. During his first visit, he heads to the milk fridge and drinks 17 litres of milk. Doreen attempts to chastise him, but is quickly subdued with a mighty bellow. On subsequent visits (after Conan learns he has to pay for items), the two begin flirting at the till. Inspired by 50 Shades of Grey, films he’s seen (such as The Terminator), and Bolton attitudes, Conan drops lines such as: “Your clothes, give them to me, now”, “Get your cloak, love, you’ve pulled”, “You’re well fit, you are”, and “Greetings, woman. I guarantee my seed is the purist in the land”. Adams, infatuated with his mighty man muscles, swoons and it’s game on.
  • After a book isn’t returned by unreliable old Mr. Shelby again, Conan heads round to his home, smashes his way into the property with an axe, and remonstrates with Mr. Shelby about the importance of returning books. Unfortunately, so terrified is he of Conan, Mr. Shelby promptly snuffs it due to cardiac arrest.

As you can see, this would have been a show for the ages. Conan the Librarian would have worked wonder for gender politics, public opinion of barbarians, and it would have also provided Schwarzenegger with the chance to get in and out of skimpy clothing to show off his man muscles. Everybody would have won!


  1. I hope there is a straight-to-cassette budget price computer game adaptation for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 just to attempt to recoup some of the inevitable losses this unappreciated-in-its-own-lifetime masterpiece will almost certainly make. I am desirous of half-naked library management in four clashing colours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know what, I’d bloody well buy that for a dollar. Well, a pound… let’s call it an even fiver and a copy of Private Eye. Hey, I bet Schwarzenegger would be up for this TV show, seeing as his best film opportunities have been (wait for it)…. terminated.


  2. I would have loved to design the costumes for this hit that never was! What a treat buying a cardigan for Arnie, a cashier’s smock for Amy, and a smart pencil skirt, white blouse and jumper for Helen. Sigh! Some things were never meant to be, but should have been.

    Liked by 1 person

Dispense with some gibberish!

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