Hi, my name is Al Antojitos, a.k.a. Anthony Anderson, and I feel bloated, hungover and constipated about being Conan O'Brien's friend from school.
Back to school when the bell rang. She was walking on the first books and comes back and. Hello there and welcome to Conan O'Brien needs a friend. This is Conan O'Brien and yes, I am constantly in search of a friend.
It's true. You know, people I think listening to the podcast assume, oh, you must by now have a friend. We really get along in these podcasts and then, you know, we're in a pandemic quarantine. It's over. I don't hear from these people while no one's followed up.
Not one follow up yet on true friendship. And we're I think we're over 100 podcasts in. Yeah. Not one true friend, but fortunately, I'm always joined by two people who I think would give their lives for me. Whoa. Sunim of Session persona. You know, Seona. No, no. Give my life. Yes. Yes. No, why why would you even think that that's not even anything that even kind of crossed my mind, even if I could save you.
Sometimes I do like what you were falling off a cliff and you were like, please just grab my arm. I'd be like I'd hesitate even if you were had a seatbelt attaching you to a nearby oak tree. So that was there was no danger that I'd pull you over. You're saying even if there was no danger to you, you appear conflicted for a second about whether or not I deserve to live some more. It would be like a slight hesitation, but I would do it.
And I want you to know that I would do that. And that's how much you mean to me.
Well, thank you, Seona. To be succinct, what you're basically saying is, I love you so much, Conan, that if your life were in danger and I could save it easily, at no risk to my own, I'd hesitate, but probably still do it. Exactly. You know what I want to do? I want the people at Hallmark to make that card.
I if there was no risk to my life and it would be easy for me to save yours, I would hesitate, but probably still do it. And then you put a five dollar bill in there and you go, Thanks, Grandma.
Now, Gorley, I know you to be an honorable man, a man of tradition, a man who would always be willing to give your life for a friend. You seem like that kind of guy. Yes, sometimes. Do I take a little jab at you? Possibly. Maybe. But it's all good fun among chum's.
So what do you think? Would you give your life?
I would absolutely give my life for you, Seona. Oh, for Seona Girls, I would give my life for you, all right. That's great. Yeah. No, Kohnen, I would absolutely give my oh, let me think about this.
I don't think you should. OK, great. I'm released.
You're released from your responsibility, huh? I'd give a limb to save your life.
Which, Lamell, are you. Are you kidding? Well, it's makes a difference. I'd say my left leg. You mean you'd sacrifice your left leg? Yeah. Yeah, that's the leg we don't use as much.
I'm right leg. Yeah, it's true. Like God should you'd walk in circles for the rest of your life. Yeah. I mean the prosthetics now are so amazing. That's what I'm thinking about. They make this incredible. Yeah. Like I mean sometimes you see people running in the you know, with, with a fake leg or something like that thing is awesome.
They do look pretty cool. Yeah they do. And you think then you stand I start to think I would put a charging port in that. I don't know.
They're always charging port. Yeah. For my various electronics.
I just find it disturbing that Gawley said he would give it a limb for you and then you made him tell you which limb like that. Yeah. That felt contractual. Like that was cool. Yeah.
Well I don't know, it makes a difference.
I might have just agreed to something in the future that I'm not prepared to. That's true now. And now I'm going to say my life's in danger and that you need to give that limb, even though later on you find out by in danger. I read about a wind storm several hundred miles away. I read about it in the papers and I thought it could be of some concern. Gawley have that operation immediately. All right. I guess so.
Are you sure it's important? Oh, that wind storm is headed this way. Where is it now? It's in Nebraska. Koenen we're in Los Angeles. I know, but they say it's on a westerly track.
You wouldn't lie to me. It has a one percent chance of hitting L.A. Remove that limb. I want to hear a bone saw in the next five minutes. Oh my God. You know, when I was a kid I had appendicitis and it was really bad. I don't know how old I was. I was about ten years old. I mean, I remember being doubled over and my dad took me to the hospital and they said, we have to operate right away.
And I remembered saying to the doctors, save the appendix.
I want it. Yes, I remember that doctor being like, what? And I was like, and I'm doubled over in pain. This little red haired weirdo with a bowl cut and freckles doubled over. And I was like, save my appendix. I wanted I think they told me yes. And then, of course, the next thing you know, you're counting back from 100. And this is a long time ago.
So, you know, they just had a sponge with some ether on it and a doctor in the corner was heating a knife over a blade. And we were on a whaling ship. I remember that it was in a storm. But anyway, no, I was at Children's Hospital in in Boston, Massachusetts. And I wake up my mother's there and the nurse there. And the first thing I said was, did they say I was expecting them to hand me a jar with my appendix?
I said, did they save my appendix? And the nurse said, no, what are you talking about? And I said, but they told me they would. And they're like, You have a plum. Yeah. What are you going to do with it? I don't know. But I remembered having this very strong feeling.
It was mine. It like it was mine. It was a piece of me. Maybe I had a premonition that I'd become a character of some historic significance. Well, and then you'd want that in a museum or. Yeah.
Way or what would we do with it? Well, look, it's inevitable. There will be a Koenen museum one day and let's not you guys are going to do OK. Yes. And you're going to do your. Oh that's ridiculous. So that's stupid. No, you never know what's going to happen. And what if they actually had my you know, you go you went to the Conan O'Brien Museum and you're like, oh, there's a scrunchie from sonas hair.
There's, you know, don't worry about it. There's Matt Gaullists, Watch FOB. You know, whatever you go through the museum, these are different shows. These are different, you know, little pieces of memorabilia. There's a microphone he used. Oh, look, look what they have in this in this case, his appendix removed.
Yeah. That's when they'd go get your things. We're leaving.
No, I'm just putting this out to anybody out there who's had an operation and something's been removed. Ever notice they don't give it to you?
It's yours. You made it. It's your cellular structure. Huh? I just I want my appendix. It's out there somewhere. Somewhere there's a jar. Definitely in a landfill. Someone knows something somewhere. There is.
First of all, if he is in a landfill, it'll be easy to see because it'll be glowing. But why is it special? Yeah, look for it faithful and you'll see if you see a glowing landfill, you know that my appendix is in there.
No, you're just getting people to go into a toxic waste dump, you know, nuclear waste.
Let me let me read 40 year old appendix. Let me rephrase. It's either means that it's the holy site burial site of my magical appendix or there's a lot of nuclear grade plutonium in that one or the other. But either way, get on your knees and start digging with your hands as quickly as you can.
Now, I'm not saying I'm good at transitions, but I don't think that's the point of Conan O'Brien needs a friend. The point is not professionalism, but intention and pureness of heart. And I'm very delighted about our guest today. He is an absolutely hilarious actor and comedian who stars as Dre Johnson in the ABC series Blackish. He also hosts the game show to tell the truth. He is a lovely human being, just a fine, a fine gentleman.
And I'm honored to know I'm so excited to talk to him today.
Anthony Anderson, welcome. First of all, you know, I'm a huge fan of yours and I've loved having you on the show and thank you for doing this because I've been really looking forward to talking to you. You are such a funny guy, such a talented guy. You've had spectacular success. And I feel like every time we talk, we end up talking about your mom. And I love it because she's one of my favorite characters. She's well, she is a character, Konan.
She is. I don't even is. I mean, I think you script things for Doris because the stuff you tell me about Doris sounds like actually it sounds better than what any writer's room could come up with because it's real. You know, we live in a world where art imitates life. Well, when it comes to my mom, life is imitating art.
She's just she's got this Lucille Ball in the old I Love Lucy show quality about her, which is the person who wants to be in show business. She's show business adjacent because you've had all this success. But she wants in on show business the way Lucy wanted in on show business because she was married to Ricky. Don't you feel that sometimes like your mom really has the bug? No, she does. And and quite naturally, my mother always wanted to be an actor.
The one thing that two things stopped her. She was a single mother at 17 when she had me. But more importantly, she's a horrible actress.
That is that small, tragic flaw. What did you see her in where you realize have you seen her in something as a child where you thought like. Yeah, you know, what was your experience of seeing your mom perform because of her lack of talent? I really didn't see her in much. Nobody would give her an opportunity. But I remember we were there. She was in a production of A Raisin in the Sun at Compton Community College, which is where I grew up.
And I'm the oldest of four, the three boys and a girl. My sister is the youngest. But at that time it was just the three boys. And we were in the back of the theater and I happened to look up on stage and see my mother performing or rehearsing A Raisin in the Sun. And I said, that is what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. Wow, that's impressive. Yeah. So that is where the bug bit me.
Right. But my mother and I, I was eighteen months old and she put me in a production of a play called Bread, Beans and Things. And so that was our first time working together and we haven't really worked together professionally on until we started doing our game show to tell the truth.
Yeah. Yeah. You putting her in that. So it's been a long time coming. But again, she put her dreams on being an actor on hold to raise an actor, not knowing that's what she was doing. Right. And my mother has always been so excited for my success. Yeah, that's sweet. That's nice what she should be. But, you know, I want to tell you something. This is where you and I can bond.
I got the bug because as a kid, I saw my mother perform in a production of Raisin in the Sun and it was in Compton.
I remember the crowd being very, very unhappy.
There was a lot of a lot of people didn't think she belonged in A Raisin in the Sun. This this this Irishwoman. I thought it was very progressive, but I remember the crowd getting very hostile and we both had to run out of there. But that's when I knew I want to alienate crowds. I was. Well, well, well. Conan, your mother being in the production of A Raisin in the Sun as an Irish woman should have changed the title to approve the Irish.
Let me admit the Irish, we we have various skin problems. I, we don't age.
Well, let's put it that way. You're going to look like you for the next one hundred and ten years, Anthony. Yeah, yeah. I am already starting to I look like a parade float from six years ago. It was. But it's funny because now you're working with your mom. My parents were never in show business, had nothing to do with show business. But it's tricky to work with a parent.
I would think, you know, it would just be unless.
Does she ever pull rank on you, even though you're Anthony Anderson, you're you know, you're the sort of a CEO. She tries to koenen she tries to shoot. And and and I let her think that she's the actual star of the operation. She thinks it's all because of her. Yeah. And I was like, OK, Mom, if that's what you want to believe. Sure. Believe it. You know, like I say, you know, my mother's my biggest cheerleader.
It's been it's been twenty five plus years for me now in this industry, working consistently as an actor where this has been the only job that. I've had to be able to provide for myself and my family and all of that, and my mother still is so excited as this, as if this is day one for me.
And I was like, my you got to you got to calm down. You got to relax. We've been doing this almost three decades now. This is nothing new to us. But because her thirst for fame was never quite quenched when she when she was growing up that, you know, every waking moment, what are we doing, baby? Where are we going? Who are you talking to? Who are we talking to today? Where are we going to go?
And I was like, mine. You've got to relax. My mother would go to Kinko's and print pictures out of myself and she would forge my autograph on them and just hand them out to people. And she'd be like, I mean, my mom is like, if I don't give a damn. And Conan, I really had no, I was like, mom. I was like, one day somebody's going to snatch you off the street and kidnap your ass and hold you for ransom, thinking I got more money than what I have.
And I'm going to have to tell them that, hey, if you call it for ransom, I'm sorry, this is all I got. And if that's not enough, cut feed off first because she doesn't like her feet. So I'm going to want to do some, you know, start with the feet. That's great. You can always put grocery cart wheels on the bottom of the feet, you know, I mean, just Jassam, she'll roll around.
She won't always go in the direction she wants to go, but she'll eventually get where she's going. I love that. I have told I've put it out there that, you know, to all kidnappers, I tap out after six thousand dollars. That's six thousand dollars my limit. And, you know, that's and that's like that's fifteen trips to the to different ATM. I haven't I haven't really thought about what my limit would be, but it's between six and ten grand.
Yeah. I'm telling you. I'm telling you, I'm telling you. It's very clear when you think about it for just a second, people act like, oh, I don't even know if I can put a price. When you think about it for a second, you get your price and mine is six thousand dollars. If it's sixty five hundred dollars and friends are saying, I'll spot you the five hundred, I'm like, no, no, I draw the line.
Yes. I don't like these people that much, you know. No, I actually think, I think it's, I think it's sweet and it's appropriate.
My mom the same way, always never quite got used to the idea so I could be walking along the street. And this is after years of being on television, I'd be with her and someone, you know, nine hundred yards away would shout Koenen and I would just turn and wave and go hey and then keep walking.
And she would say, That person called you, you should go back over there and I'd be like, Mom, they're walking the other way, they're nine hundred yards away but they called you, you should go over there and you know because she really thought like how exciting that someone recognized you.
And I am I think probably like you. I'm I try to be very generous and nice to people. But if someone's nine hundred yards away and walking in the other direction and doesn't even seem to want me to come back. Right. I think if I started following that person, they would have called a cop. So Khloponin, mine is just the opposite. My mother goes out and gets people and brings them to me. That's what my mother does.
She goes out and it's OK. And then as she's bringing them back, she was like, So do you watch my show? And they're like, What's your show, man? Oh, I'm I'm the host of To Tell the Truth. That's my show. So that's yeah, that's that's what my mother does. My mother, I swear to God, she used to go to the star market in Chestnut Hill and she would say to the guy bagging groceries, do you like television?
And the kid with, like, acne would be like, oh, no, no. I guess I watch television, too, like late night shows. Oh, sometimes I watch him. Do you ever watch Conan O'Brien on occasion, if nothing else is on. And then she would say, well, guess what, I'm his mother and I have a keychain for you. And she had laminated keychain in her pocket and the guy wouldn't say like he if the guy would take it the way.
If someone handed me sort of a wet, dead butterfly, I'd go, OK, I guess I'm not sure I'm going to put it, but OK.
I guess that's something your mom and my mom are the same except for. You change, my mother would literally walk around with a gross of black and white, eight by tens glossies of me that she forged my autograph on. So I would just they would just be pictures. And then my mother would write. The person said, what's your name? What's your name, honey? OK. All right. Anthony wrote this to you and see what happened and how she would walk around with just a satchel.
Anthony wanted you to have this. Yeah, OK. Well, God bless them. And she's got to be because what you've done is singular. I mean, yes, I talked to a lot of people who have made it big in show business and, you know, God bless them all.
But you more than anyone I can think of, you had a conscience about what it is you wanted to do, what message you wanted to put out there with black ish and with your cast and your writers. And it is, I think, exceptional. I think what you've achieved is quite unusual. And and and it's meaningful. It's really meaningful to to so many people. And I would say that in any community to show that you can take the format of television and say, yeah, but this is what we want to say about this moment in time.
This is what we want to say that we think has value and needs to be said.
Yeah, that's yeah. That's so important. What can you Barris, who is my partner in this and who created our show, we sat down and we talked about the landscape of television and what was missing for us as viewers eight years ago now before we shot the pilot, before we had an idea of anything. And we we both realized that we had the same sensibilities. You know, can you being from Inglewood, me being from Compton, both of us being first generation successful, and the shows that we watched, all in the family, Good Times, The Jeffersons and Cosby shows that that spoke to the moment in which they were in and from characters that were unapologetic and opinionated, who stood firm in their truth and what what they believed in and what they felt.
And you you knew where you stood with these characters. And we talked about shows like that and what we wanted to do. And and then we just started talking about our families and we were sharing these stories about our families and the the struggles in which we were going through as black fathers, raising black children in white suburbia with with the success that that we've had and, you know, the challenges that our children were facing. My son in particular, was the only chocolate drop not only in his class, but in his grade for three and a half years.
Wow. And I was sharing those stories with Kenya. And, you know, my son at 12 years old said he wanted to have a bar mitzvah, you know, and I was like, that's not that's not what we do. That's not who we are.
Yeah, but but, Anthony, you have to admit, they're pretty awesome. I mean, I think it's so much good stuff. I want a bar mitzvah now. I think they are they are coming. And, you know, it's crazy. I said, son, we can't do that. But I what I will do, I will throw you a bro mitzvah and.
Oh, that's a great idea. Yeah. And I went and I went. I went and I trademarked the name Bro Mitzvah and I threw him one and he's twenty, he'll be twenty one next month. To this day all his friends, all of his Jewish friends saves the best bar mitzvah they've ever gone to.
What can you describe. What are the differences with a bro mitzvah.
Just black people, I guess. I guess I asked a pretty stupid question. You know what I say? You're so you're still reading from the Torah. There's still a lot of. Because, you know what? If there was a bar mitzvah? Look, I have a lot of respect for the Jewish people. And I love their culture and I love their religion. And I have been to many, many bar mitzvahs, both as a kid and as an adult.
I don't they lose me sometimes with the readings from the Torah. So if you were throwing a bar mitzvah minus the Torah readings plus the food plus even, you know, so I want to go to a bar mitzvah. That's what I say. You should come. There was there were slight modifications at the bar mitzvah. You know, I had I had called cango and had cango since Buckett had. I felt like I called Adidas and I bought his entire eighth grade class Shuto Adidas I had.
I had a graffiti artist who were airbrushing out white t shirts throughout the night for whoever came in and that that was our party, we passed them around in a chair. That was probably the only thing that was, oh, wait a minute, you can't you stuck with the chair, the raising up of the chair. That's fantastic. Yes, we did that and passed him around the party, man. He had a ball. You know, it's great.
I wish that in, you know, because what they do at a lot of bar mitzvahs is they give you a yarmulke and then it has the name of the the boy being bar mitzvah and embroidered on the inside of the yarmulke.
And it's making me wish that you would given out Kangal caps. But it said instead of your son's name on the inside, this incredibly Jewish name. And I. Well, Myron Goldbloom, you know, I wish I had you there to talk to me about that, where the modifications came from as opposed to putting the name in the yarmulke or the hat. I had the graffiti artists there airbrushing white t shirts for everybody. That's fantastic. It's funny, I've had the the honor of talking with former first lady Michelle Obama a couple of times.
And one of the conversations we got into and that she talks about a lot in her book is the complications of you know, she came from the south side of Chicago, but her parents were aspiring for her to have a better life. And they put this sort of, I think, emphasis on her speaking well and studying hard. And she remembered getting flack for that because she was saying, you know, she talked about that. She talked about getting flak for it's almost like trying to try to put it, but trying to aspire to to move up into this culture.
And then you realize how complicated that can be. You know, like it can be complicated for and I think this is something you talk a lot about in Blackish, which is we we we want to be successful and live in the suburbs because guess what, that's a nice way to live. But there are these complications that come with it.
Yeah, well, I get where you were going with that Michelle Obama story in the hood, we would call it that. Oh, you just trying to be white. It was like. So when when did speaking proper English, intelligible English and being understood, I mean, that I'm I'm trying to throw away my blackness and become white. No, I'm just I'm just trying to be well-spoken. Yeah. I'm just trying to be able to communicate and have people understand me when I communicate with them.
So that's that. We talked about that on the show. But but that was a dilemma that being from the hood was all about. I'll never forget my very first television show was on NBC and I was called Hangtime. It was a Saturday morning show about a high school basketball team. And I was the lone black guy on the show. And I never forget I met one of my co-stars, Mom, and when I met her, we had a brief conversation and she turned to her son and said, Chad, he speaks so well.
Yeah. And I was like, so well for what? A fat guy. So he went over because I don't know what you mean by I speak so well, ma'am. And you know, Chad, Chad was slightly embarrassed by that. I was like, Chad, it's all good, man. It's all good. No no harm, no foul, but foul. But yeah, yeah, it's it's a very interesting dichotomy coming from places like that and just trying to be worldly.
I'm going to say, unfortunately, our culture and the news of the last couple of years has provided your show with all kinds of things to discuss, which, you know, I think in the tradition of those Norman, many of those Norman Lear shows that you were referencing, you want to take things that are happening right now in the culture and discuss them on the air and on the air on your show and have them be part of what's happening on your show, which I imagine is, look, I wish there weren't so many opportunities, but it also has been, I think, vital for for Blackish, don't you think?
I do. I agree. It's it's been it's been a great learning experience for all across the board, for myself, for for for our community and for the community at large to witness. And so some would be the fly on the wall as these stories are being told in these conversations are being had. Yeah. You know, yeah. We we all love. And from one another, and we all learn about ourselves, you know, when when the mirror, when we're forced to look into the mirror and that's what we're doing on our show.
I know one of your cast mates very well because he was a writer on our show and then we toured together and got to know each other really well, Don Cole and who I know is an exceptionally funny guy.
And and also always brought a great perspective, too, to my show, because I'm afflict I'm afflicted with a kind of whiteness that's just stunning.
You know, I I'm not I'm not just a white man. I am the whitest man many people have ever seen to the point where people are always trying to take me to the hospital.
So but I mean, but but I know that Deon, I'm just so happy that that you guys found each other and that he found such a great place on your show.
Yeah, no. All right. So am I. And I actually met Don on one of my appearances on your show that day. So that's how I know that. Yeah. That's how our friendship forged. I was hosting something or doing something. And I've always respected Don in his brand of humor, what whatnot. And one of the times I was on on the lot at Warner Brothers doing your show, he was around and I introduced myself and we just hit it off.
And I was like, Hey, man, I got some things that I'm working on. I'd like to collaborate with you. And that's that's how it all started. And that's where our friendship began. And then, you know, years down the line blackish, I come about and, you know, Kenya and I were discussing who we could bring in for this particular character. And we brought Don in for Charlie. And that and that was the beginning of this love affair and this history.
I want to know, how did you and Danco connect? That's it. Well, Don did a standup set when during the eight minutes that I was hosting The Tonight Show at was on and he blew me away.
And so that's when we started talking right then and there about how do we work together. Then I went on this national tour and we got Don to come out. He was a writer, you know, he became a writer on my show. And then when when when I ended up going on that national tour between shows, Deon would come out in the middle. Reggie Watts opened the show, who's brilliant? And then I would come out and do my stuff for a while.
And then when I needed this break in the middle, I would bring Dionne out and he would consistently kill wherever we went. And then we just had all these adventures on the road.
It was kind of he's been on the podcast and talked about some of those stories. And I encourage anyone who wants, you know, after this one. If you want to listen to another funny podcast, listen to me with with Don Cole, because he had really hilarious stories. Just I just had a wonderful time with him. There are kinds of comedians that are funny when they need to be. And then you can talk to them and they they won't turn it on.
And you and I'll say it of Don to our guys that just are like now, you know, you're you're always fun.
If I if we bumped into each other at a bro mitzvah, say, but a bro mitzvah that neither one of us were invited to, especially not me. And we just started talking, you'd be really funny. And so that's it's just like I always am attracted to to people that I always gravitate towards, people that are like they're not they're funny professionally, but they're also just really funny all the time.
Oh, yeah. Thank you, man. Thank you. And you know, it's crazy because every time we have seen each other, you know, it's been just that even even though no matter how brief the conversation or brief encounter is between you and I, it's always fun banter and before and as we're going our separate ways, I was like, damn, Conan's really cool dude. Well, that's nice.
Well, I remember one moment we had where I was doing some kind of they were having some big junket where all the shows had to show up. And I don't just mean on one network, but all the shows had to show up for this one junket. So I went out and I did something and I was done. And I'm coming one way. And all of a sudden these double doors open up and you and the entire cast of Blackish are just about to go do your thing.
And you walk out. You we literally ran into each other and I just said, hey, and you guys were like, hey, Conan. And I said, You guys Blackish. That is my story. With one small exception, you ripped off my story and you guys were like laughing at me, like, what an idiot. I would just like to see it in the trades if I was suing you guys for car. You guys ripped off my story with Blackish and I am suing for a six hundred million dollars.
What would you have called your story koenen sic sixish I think. I don't know. Palest, sixish. How about noxious, noxious, nauseous? That's a good nosh ish. That would be mine. I know you know everybody and you're so widely respected, but you've got one celebrity friend. And I have to ask I usually try to restrain myself, but I have to ask because he's one of the biggest stars of the 20th 21st century. And I'm fascinated with this man.
I'm talking about Michael Jordan. And you've spent time with Michael Jordan. And I've always been fascinated by him and admired him. And then, of course, like all of us during quarantine, I watched that incredible documentary, which only made me 10 times more fascinated with Michael Jordan. And you're one of the only people I know who hangs has hung out with this guy for extended periods of time. What can you tell me?
I'm very competitive. Oh, really?
Talks a lot of shit, Conan and has a great sense of humor and just a fun dude to be around, man. But yeah, every little thing with MJ can be a competitive thing from, you know, we're we're both avid golfers. He's a much better golfer than I am, but I'm pretty decent. So he gave me my strokes. It just so happens that I was on fire that day. Yeah, we were in the Bahamas and we were playing and I beat him because of the strokes that he gave me.
And he threw the money that he he owed me at me when he just threw it at me and said, you're never getting strokes again. From here on out, we're playing straight up. He's like a four. I'm a 14. So he had to give me 10 strokes. And I but I beat him by about four or five. I was on fire that day. But since that moment, he he never plays me. That's unbelievable because I know that, you know, OK, basketball.
Is that competitive? Maybe golf, he's that competitive. The sense I get is that if you guys were playing the game operation, you know, where you have the tweezers and you have to reach in and pull out the thigh bone. And Michael was playing and the red nose went at that, he would smash the board.
Not far from the truth, not far from the truth. Another Bahamas story years ago. This is when we became friends. It was the opening of the cove at Atlantis. We were all there. And I travel with dominoes. And I had no idea that MJ was going to be there. So I brought my cast iron, red, aluminum, jumpman dominoes. It has the Jordan Jumpman on it. And I was like, Hey, MJ, I would love to play you.
I would love to play some bones with you, man. You know, I said I have my I said I have a pair of Jumpman bones with me. He said. How did you get those I, I don't worry about how I got them, I got them because I consider myself to be the MJ of dominoes and I'd like to play you. And he turned to my wife and he said, Sweetheart, I suggest you go to the bank and take out as much money as you can, because after I whip his ass, he will not be able to provide for you and your.
Oh, my God.
Oh, man. I was right. I just wanted a friendly game of basketball here. And my wife turns to me, says, well, Michael, I will not let him play you for money, but this is what him and his mama do. And he looked at her and said, Oh, really? Meet me at the cabana at twelve o'clock tomorrow. And we're laying out laying out by the pool. My wife comes to me, she says, Babe, she's real excited to spend M.J. just got to the cabana.
You ready? I say, yes. So I run upstairs, I grab the dominoes as I'm leaving. I said, Babe, grab the camera, she gets the camera. We come down because I want to document this.
It's M.J. Ahmad Rashad, myself and somebody else he brought to play dominoes with this. I'm just having this regular game with him. I'm not talking trash. I'm just excited to be in the all of this. Yeah, yeah. This is historic. Yeah. MJ is talking cash shit. Koenen he's talking, he's talking about my mama, he's talking trash trash and I have to sit there and just take it. He's like, he's like I saw her in Raisin in the Sun.
About twenty five years ago, she was just she was shit, she couldn't do it, so she was blown off the stage. So Kohnen were playing to one hundred and fifty. MJ has one hundred and twenty five. I have forty five. The guy he brought to the table to play with us has seventy five. I get Domino and that and Jordan is playing after me. So I turned to Jordan and I say MJ, this is going to be the hardest.
Twenty five points you've ever had to score in your life.
Let's go now. The gloves are off. I was like, you know, I'm I'm no longer and of this man he's been talking about my momma. I'm like, fuckin OK. This is how it was going down. Koenen I commenced to whip his ass. Yes. No Kohnen he doesn't score another point. I'm talking so much trash that before I domino I say oh my God. I said MJ, I wish me and my wife could go upstairs and make another baby right now because we would name him or her MJ just so we could relive this moment right now.
And my baby would go over and say, Daddy, why did you name me MJ? And that's it. Really relive the moment that I just want to ask. Yes, so what does he do? He plays another game, I whip his ass again. Oh my God Koenen we are on an island together for the next three days. He can't go anywhere. He can't go anywhere. I can't go anywhere. He refuses to talk to me for the next three days whenever we're taking a group photo or a picture.
He asks, no, I'm taking it back. He doesn't ask. He tells me to get out of the picture. Nobody will know who I was anyway. So that's how he treated me for the next year. And that's that's how our friendship started. And that's that's my buddy. And he loves my mother. Will do anything for my mother.
That's great. That's great. I mean, first of all, that is one of my favorite stories I've heard. We've done, I don't know, 100 plus of these podcasts. That's one of my favorite stories.
And it's also so much about partially what it takes to be great, because obviously, you see, he this man had great he has great athletic talents. Yes. But that was not the key a lot of people do. He just found a way to make whatever it was who can eat the most pistachios in 20 minutes, decide to make that a live or die situation. And that is you know, that is exactly what he did. A Konan Deong courageous face time.
We can we face time. Yeah. All right. Hold on. All right. He might be butt dialing you.
There he is on call. It's Conan O'Brien, Di Di, where are you? Oh, drive along five. And he's driving and face timing. Oh wait, are you driving yourself and face timing at the same time? Don, driving place to go. Yeah. And no, no one can see us because this is a podcast, but you are wrapped up like you're driving through the Arctic Circle. Why why the fuck are you wrapped up in 15 layers of of of of parka and shearling?
What's going on? You know, for Chicago. I know, but you're in Los Angeles right now. So I know that you're from Chicago, but it's seventy four degrees out. Oh, my heart is down. This is crazy because we were just talking about you. I'm serious. We just had a whole Danco cold love fest. And then suddenly you're calling Anthony and you look like you look like you just are going to plant a flag right now in the North Pole.
You look I know you are you are my two favorite guys, man. You know, I love you. I love both families. And both of you are made me very rich. Thank. Well, that's why we want to talk to John, we both think we should get a cut. Yeah, I can't hear you. Sorry. I want my money. I want my fucking money, is he on his own? Of course. He hung up on us because we asked for our tax cut.
We asked for a cut. That's hilarious. He is texting and driving. He's wearing sunglasses. And you got to picture this, ladies and gentlemen, listening. He is Danco looked honestly like he was on the back of a dog sled in a blizzard. He said he's in and he's inside his car in Los Angeles. He looks like he was about to plant the first flag in the North Pole. Yes. You doing? What's he doing? Oh, my God.
Let me let me ask you something, because this has been God damn, it is so much fun talking to you. And this has been an absolute delight. I just want to ask you, you've accomplished so much. What do you have your eye on or anything you can talk about? What's that's the next level for you or is there a next level for you?
Oh, there's always a next level I'm not sure of. I want to do more directing. I want to I want to continue to create content and give opportunities for other people to tell their stories. But can you bear just secured the rights, the life rights to Wally Amos, famous Amos, the cookie man. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And he wants me to be famous Amos. Oh my God. I'm sure. And I, I don't know much about that story, but what I know is pretty spectacular.
Yeah. Yeah. No famous name is basically created the gourmet cookie world in which we live in today. But before famous Amos cookies, before that there were no gourmet cookies. And this is what he started. This was the empire that he started and he started three and lost three empires in the cookie world. And now he's reinventing himself all over again. And I think it's a great story to tell. And as I say, Canibus has the rights to it.
And we were just talking about this last night, man. So looking forward to possibly doing that and playing Donny Hathaway well, before it's all said and done.
It's always occurred to me every now and then.
I know there is way too many talk shows or we have a lot of them in this country and probably some of us should shut up and go away, myself included.
But you are one of those people who have always thought you are so built for that format.
I know it's time consuming and everything, but you're such a vibrant personality and you're so curious and you're such a great, just natural conversationalist.
I've always thought that's a guy who could easily I know you're probably too busy for it, but if you wanted your own show and it was syndicated or network or whatever, you just seem like a natural for that format.
No, I've thought about that. I've thought about that for years and I would love to do that. So that's also part of the plan. Not sure when we would carve out the time and make the time for that, but that's that's definitely part of the plan. I'm on your podcast right now and didn't even dawn on me. I'm starting my own podcast with my mother. Oh, you're kidding. No, you've got to have me out. You got to have me on that.
I would go on that in a second. I will marry just sticks of it right now, man. But, you know, a mother son podcast team is just what it is. And that's a great idea. And that's that's a great idea. I will be picking your brain about the best way to do it and how to accomplish that. I don't think you need I honestly I mean, you're welcome to you're welcome to pick my brain. But I don't think you need to know anything from me.
You're just be yourself and your mom, Doris is Doris. You are you. And you got a microphone and you're golden. And that's a story. I swear to God, that's all you need. And then occasionally mention a mattress company or something like that. Yeah, that's it. That's it. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Most of the ads I do, I don't even have permission to do ads for them. I just start making up a product and they don't, I don't get paid.
It's get paid. I guess that's the point I'm trying to make. I don't do it my way. You know what, Anthony? I just adored this conversation. I love talking to you and I'm proud to know you. Just really proud to know you.
And, you know, just happy to have you in my life.
Oh, brother. That means a lot to me. And the next time there's a bro mitzvah that you hear about. Yeah, I want to be there. I got you. I think I got you. Yeah. I want to be at the next bromet say let's say less koenen is probably what America's been telling you for years now, but I mean that in the best way possible. You know, God trust me, that's all I get is say less and most people mean it exactly how you would think.
All right, Anthony, God bless. So happy for all your success and my best to your mom and. Tell her I really want one of those eight by tens with a forged signature, you got it. I got it. I want one. I want one.
On the Reddit message boards, people are talking about how they'd love to hear you do a history podcast, Kohnen, we might have mixed feelings about that and you just kind of moonlighting with another podcast. But other than that, is that something you'd be interested in?
Well, first of all, I'd like to point out that they didn't say in addition to it could mean they want this one to end. Oh, no.
And they want something with a little more fiber in it, a little more protein. I always go to the negative right away when someone says, hey, you know, you'd be really good at I think. You mean you don't like the thing I'm doing now.
Oh, that's an interesting concept. I am a history buff. That's probably well, come across in our during our ramblings on the podcast the last couple of years.
I also am a consumer of history podcasts. I've said this before, but I absolutely love Dan Carlin's hardcore history.
But the other one I've been listening to recently is, you know, I just took a long car trip and we started listening to this podcast.
That's by a guy named Mike Duncan, and it's called Revolutions. This guy is Thoreau. And I think the point I'm trying to make is when people say, hey, Conan, you should do a history podcast.
I've listened to real people that should be doing history podcasts like Dan Carlin and Mike Duncan and men Mike Duncan. He did one on the French Revolution and I'm listening to it. I've listened to 10 episodes and they're like 40 minutes each.
He hasn't even gotten to the revolution yet. That's the title of the show. Yeah. And but he really takes his time and it's brilliant. He's I give it up for Mike Duncan. I am not dissing him in any way. He's a brilliant guy, but man, very intelligent and he really knows his stuff. And I think that's where I get intimidated. That's where I think I know some stuff about history and I can maybe shuck and jive and bounce around and but it's not going to be credible.
What era would you start? Man, that's a really good question. Let's have a little take.
Well well, first of all, and before we say what er what I start with, what about this. Look at my team. I've got Seona who doesn't know about anything that happened. No. Before In-Sync formed and then I've got Gallie now I know you know some stuff but you kinda know some stuff. This is my team. So keep in mind whatever podcast we do it's going to be the three of us doing a history podcast and we're going to say, Hey, Conan O'Brien here today and we are talking about the Russian Revolution.
Oh, no, wait, an incredible revolution. I'm here with my team of history experts. Sunim of Session. Oh, God. So you know about the Russian Revolution, right?
They had a revolution in Russia. Yes. Well, you know, it's all relative.
But, yes, it sort of broke out during World War One. Many people say it was a tottering regime and World War One was going so badly that it pushed it over the edge. But, yeah, you know, 1917, I think is a nineteen eighteen around then. Those are Russian Revolution years. I stopped paying attention right after you said World War One. I'm so sorry. Did you say it was tottering. I heard the word tottering.
Yes. Yeah. OK, see this is how it would go now Gawley you would jump in every now and then. Right. You know your stuff.
That's the one where there are all a bunch of wooden dolls that lived inside each other. Exactly. Now we're talking what happened was in Russia in the early 20th century, basically everyone was forced to live inside of someone else and they were all made of wood.
And so this became now that that's how it was for hundreds and hundreds of years. But then as you get into the 20th century and technology's improving, the little doll, the smallest doll at the you know, at the very centre doesn't want to live inside hundreds of thousands of other dolls. And those other dolls don't want to live inside. And so the dolls start to rebel and suddenly they burst open and all the Babushka dolls come out and they're fighting with each other.
OK, yeah. Now I'm loving this podcast. I think this is a green light.
I want to know when the Russian mail order bride system started. I'm more interested in that than this like revolution you're talking about.
Well, at the time, Seona, they use telegraphs. And so what would happen was that they would post a picture of a babushka lady made of wood, and someone in the United States would see it in their local newspaper and they'd send a telegraph and say, I like that babushka. That's one right there, send her to me. I live on Delancey Street in Sioux Falls. I'm enclosing four dollars and fifteen cents. Send the Babushka doll to me and I will have sex with, it seems like top of the charts.
Apple podcast, three apps running.
Yeah, this is the premise of the podcast. Would be, you'll know, less than you did before, this podcast will actively make you stupid. So then, of course, Rasputin enters the scene. Oh, he had a big dick. That's what I know about Rasputin. Oh, Jesus. Didn't he? That's the thing that I know. That's the kind of history I think people are interested in, is that he has a very large penis.
Well, that's never been confirmed. But it was a that was a rumor about Rasputin who was said to Rasputin, of course, the mad monk who had the ear of the Tsarina and many people believe helped alienate her even further from the Russian people and helped foment the revolution. Many people thought that that Rasputin had to go and in fact, he was assassinated. But I digress anyway. Yes, big probably. Big cock. Yeah, big cock. Wow.
That's right up there with Catherine the Great. Having a bunch of sex with horses. Have you heard that?
No, that's. Yeah, but that's not true. That just didn't.
I'm sure it's not it's not true. Just hear about Catherine the Great. I've talked to the horses. The Catherine the Great died long ago, but horses keep very good records. And so I've read many of a horse I've met I've read many horse diary from the period and they all say, no, didn't happen. And we we take offense. That sounds like a bunch of better horses that weren't selected for the big night.
Yeah. That could kill you. Yeah. Having sex with a horse. How could it not kill you? Hey, now you know what? Here's the thing. It's clear it's clear what our history podcast would be. And if Dan Carlin's listening or Mike Duncan, my apologies or to anyone in the true history community. But this is what my history podcast would be like. I would start by saying, of course, Harry S. Truman was faced with a very difficult decision.
Do it does he fire MacArthur because he has gone north of the parallel line in Korea and incurred the wrath of the Chinese government? Or does he and then Seona would cut in and go, did MacArthur have a big dick and not get wet?
And then the next thing you know would be off and running? It would be me trying the best I could.
Yeah, I think that's pretty good. And I say to Dan Carlin and Mike Duncan stepped up a little.
Yeah. Do we need all that information? And so you can't talk about Rasputin without talking about his penis because that's what everybody knows about him or that song.
You remember that song rah rah rah rah scootin over the Russian queen. There was a cat who really was gone. Is that the lyric?
Yes. Well, there you have it. Our take on the Russian Revolution. You're now ready. If you've been listening and you are 17 years old, you're ready to take the AP exam in Russian history and probably qualify for college credit.
Just remember the words to the Rasputin's song did he had a big dick that everyone in Russia had to live inside someone else and they were all made of wood and pretty much all set for the test?
Well, that's this week's episode of Big Dick History.
Yeah, we covered the Russian Revolution, Babushka dolls living inside each other, Rasputin, the old tripod, as they called him, next to Milton Berle and the rise of vaudeville next week, Milton Berle, the rise of vaudeville.
And then we'll be talking about a scandal involving Bess Truman. And, boy, you don't want to miss that one.
Class dismissed. Class dismissed.
Conan O'Brien needs a friend with Sunim Obsession and Conan O'Brien as himself produced by Lee McCauley, executive produced by Adam Sachs, Joanna Solotaroff and Jeff Ross at Team Coco and Colin Anderson and Chris Bannon at Airwolf. Theme song by The White Stripes. Incidental Music by Jimmy Vidino. Our supervising producer is Aaron Belayer and our associate talent producer is Jennifer Samples. The show is engineered by Will Beckton. You can rate and review the show on Apple podcast, and you might find your review featured on a future episode.
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