Posts Tagged ‘conan sarah erin “oldy olsen”’

Cross Posting is the New Productivity

February 20, 2009

This has nothing to do with the theme of this blog. Maybe I should really screw the theme. (PS. Jen’s pretty much fallen off the face of the Earth. Or maybe she’s just spending too much time on the East Side.)

Sarah wrote this post about Late Night with Conan O’Brien on her¬†tumblr, and posted it on Facebook as well. I’ve written a response. So I’m going to cross-post it as well to my WordPress. OH INTERNETS WHAAAT.

I haven’t watched Conan recently with as much frequency or appreciation as I did, say, for the first 11 or so years. (Honestly, I’m pretty sure I started dropping off not long after Mike Sweeney took over…) But the last couple months, especially the last couple weeks, I’ve really started reflecting on just how much Conan and Late Night really meant to me.

Maybe it’s saying too much to credit a television show with contributing such a large chunk to your development; but it’s the truth. Conan appeared the same year that I got a television in my room. Much like sarah, I spent many nights attempting not to laugh so hard or loud that I woke my parents. I’m pretty sure there were plenty of times I didn’t succeed. Maybe I would have made it to more classes in Catholic school if I hadn’t discovered Conan… I doubt it.

I don’t remember every time I went to Conan. (Mostly because the memories all run together.) But I definitely remember the times I went with sarah. Lurking around the basement of 30 Rock. That building is almost magical to me, it might be my favorite place anywhere. I remember the early (and cold) mornings standing in line, I remember painting our nails, I remember waiting for Erica to show the eff up, waiting for guests after the show. I remember obnoxiously filling in Mike Sweeney’s punch lines because I’d heard them so many times and I thought they were horrible. What an asshole move. Besides for the newsgroup, I spent a bit of time on this weird AOL message board with only about 5 or 6¬† folks that were all weirdly obsessed with the 7. But hey, I mean, who would I be if I didn’t know who Mark Pender was?

In 1996 I sent away for tickets to the Third Anniversary show. I remember the day I got my tickets in the mail, I cried. At the time, I thought it was maybe the most awesome thing that ever happened. I had definitely won the lottery. My mom brought me because I wasn’t old enough to be in the studio without a parent and she stood on the line with me for several hours to make sure we got in. We didn’t know who the guests were going to be. And then I saw Janeane Garofalo walk in. Scott Thompson, whom I embarrassingly yelled, “I love you!” to when he walked in the studio was also on the show. The whole thing could not have been more amazing to a 15 year old me if I’d booked the show myself. In fact, I felt like I had.

I met lots of random comedians and B-celebrities in the lobby at 30 Rock, and some super-crazy fans and autograph collectors, but I never actually did meet Conan. He always took too long to come downstairs. I met Andy once, at Caroline’s at a Scott Thompson show. I gathered the courage to walk up to him, I was probably 17, and as I stood in front of him, my neck totally tightened up and all I could say was, “Oh my god, this is so awkward, my neck won’t move.” (I only just recalled this moment thanks to Paul F. Tompkins’ twitpics of the wrap party.) It might have been one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

I don’t have any memorabilia as cool as sarah does – I always used to envy her website making skills (I still do), and those cookies – but those experiences of going to Conan and bonding with friends really changed my life. Most of the time I barely left the house and I didn’t have many friends, but that one time every so often going into the city to meet my friends and hang out at 30 Rock for a day seemed to make up for it all. Without exaggeration.

It’s corny, it’s sentimental, and maybe it is just a tv show, but I really do agree that tonight marks the end of an era. A lot of the time, I don’t feel like an adult either, but at the same time, Conan taking over the Tonight show makes me feel really old. Time fucking flies.