Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hey, so I started a blog.

Friends, associates, confidants-

I'm sure the very few of you who care about what happens in my life or what I think about things will be happy to know that I'm becoming a proper internet-age grown-up and starting a blog. The one big reason for this is because I'm currently doing an internship at Late Night With Conan O'Brien and I want to forget as little as I can about it. I'm pretty bad at keeping a journal, so I feel like if I took the plunge of actually getting a blog and just putting SOMETHING in it once a day, whatever it is, it might get me into the habit more and more, and eventually when I think about writing about what happened in my day it won't feel like such a chore.

The other reason I'm starting this blog is that I used to be pretty good at writing. I'm not anymore. With practice, hopefully this will change.

So, here are some noteworthy things that have happened in my three weeks so far at Conan:

The most active contribution to the show I've had so far was tracking down a copy of the 1978 movie Piranha, directed by Joe Dante. After obtaining a VHS copy for rental at World of Video in Greenwich Village, I was sent to find timestamps for as many piranha attacks as I could in the film, for use in a sketch. So, no, I haven't been on television, but two to three seconds of footage from a 1970's b movie that I was told to find were on television.


There's a television in the bathroom that, whenever we're not taping or rehearsing, is tuned to MSNBC. Once while I was in there, a voice came on that I assumed to be Chris Matthews. When I exited the stall, I looked up at the screen and realized they had cut to commercial, and it was Billy Mays.


People I've seen in/around the elevators in 30 Rock: Jorma Taccone, Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Rachel Maddow


One morning I was covering Conan O'Brien's assistant's desk, which means I was sitting there and taking phone messages in case anyone called. Usually what happens is that because Conan has two assistants, either the one you're covering for or the other one will show up and shoo you away. But occasionally--very occasionally--Conan will show up for work before either of his assistants do. This is what happened that morning.

He came in, said hi, then unlocked the door to his office and went inside. After a moment, he came out and asked me my name. I told him, and he introduced himself--a fairly unnecessary gesture, but courteous--and we shook hands. The conversation went like this:

"So, where you from?"

"Ah, Los Angeles, actually."

"Oh, yeah, nice place. I've lived there a couple times, when I was writing for The Simpsons, and back in the 80's."

I figured it would have been kind of weird to say, "I know", so I just kind of uttered a very noncommittal "Yeah, cool".

"Yeah, now I guess I'm gonna try and raise a family there now."

"Oh, yeah, it's nice. It's, it's... I like it there."

"So, do you go to school in L.A.?"

"No, actually, I go to The Evergreen State College. It's in Olympia, Washington."

"Oh, Washington. I like it there. My wife's from Seattle, so we go over there a lot."

"Cool, yeah, Seattle's awesome."

"All right, nice to meet you, Ryan. Have fun and don't take anything."

So, in all, about one to two minutes of small talk with Conan O'Brien. I'm sure I left him impressed by my natural charm, wit, and intellectual depth.

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