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Hi, my name is Gary Goleman. And I feel ecstatic about being Conan O'Brien's friend. That's very sweet. And I feel like I wouldn't be that irritating.


Okay, now wait a minute. Now I have reservations.


Fall is here. Hear the yell. Back to school. Ring the bell. Brand new shoes. Walk and.






The fence, books and pens. I can tell.




We are going to be friends.


I can tell that we.


Are going to be friends.


Hey there. Welcome to Conan O'Brien, Needs a Friend, joined by Sauna Movsessian. Hey, Sauna. Hi. Matt, Gorley. How are you, sir?


Merry Christmas.


Well, I was going to get to that. You think I wouldn't get to that? I have to say I do get the Christmas spirit. Do you? Yeah.


Are you sick?




I'm sorry. No, I think it's normal. I just saw this Dayquil thing. Are you sick?


Sorry. I thought it was because you had the Christmas Spirit and you're like, You're a scrooge. Because I got sick.


Too after we got back.


From New York. Okay, that made no sense to our listeners. I'm sorry. This is what our listeners heard. I have the Christmas spirit. Are you sick? That's what I heard. Yeah, that's what I heard, too. I got a cold about a week ago. I don't have it anymore, but I still take these to just make my voice sound a little better on air. Yeah. As a son of an infectious disease doctor? No. Easily 11 days after having a cold, I'm a threat to no one if.


That's your fear. I got sick, too. That's why I was like, Hey, we.


All got- Well, if you're sick, you shouldn't have come in. Okay.


Merry Christmas, everyone. It's literally Christmas Day when.


People are listening to this. Thanks a lot, Sona. What did I do? I would have killed Christmas. I had a nice Christmas thing, and then I started to say, Hey, I have the Christmas Spirit. You're sick. You sick fuck. How dare you have the Christmas Spirit. You pervert. You pervert. What does that mean to you? Did you watch some Christmas purvy porn? You sick fuck.


Well, I was on your side, and now I'm wondering, what did you watch? Why do you have the Christmas spirit? Because of.


Christmas purvy porn? It's Mrs.


Klaws. No, stop. Don't do it.


This is where you're lying. She's got a slam and bot, and then there's a knock at the door and she thinks it's an Elf, but it's a pizza delivery. What did you do? She's like, I expected an Elf, but I forgot that I ordered a pizza. He says, Yeah, extra sausage. She says, What? I don't like sausage. He said, No, that's double entangra for Dick. She's like, No, I just don't like sausage. He said, There's no sausage, Mrs. Klauss. That's the thing you say when you're about to take out the penis. Well, just so we're clear, there's no sausage. This is the worst.


Porn I've ever seen. Where's Santa? Is he out on his mission?


Santa is so sick of Mrs. Klauss misunderstanding Double and Tondra that he just doesn't even have much of a life with her anymore. Okay, I see. Because whenever he's trying to be romantic. Oh, man. Yeah, he'll just say some, what? Some harmless, Double and Tondra.


Like, check out this North Pole.


Yeah, check out this North Pole. And she'll be like, We're at the North Pole. Why would I have to check it out? We live here. And he's like, No, I'm telling you, Sandra. That's Mrs. Klauss's real name. Is it? No, Sandra. We haven't had sex in a while, and I thought maybe to spice things up, I'd say check out this North Pole. But what do you mean? We're at the North. No, I meant my blood engorged car.


That's all. I'm trying to put some spice. But wait a minute. Why did you say North Pole? Because the pole is my literal anatomical pole. Oh, God damn it, Sandra. I'm going back to the workshop. I'm going to go fuck a birdhouse. Well, Merry Christmas, everybody. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, you old savings and loan. God bless us, everyone. Oh, my God. That gets people in the spirit right there. Now, listen, I want to understand something because I know that is Christmas celebrated at a different time of year in the Armenian calendar?


Yes. Well, it's the Orthodox Christmas, which is January sixth.


What does that mean exactly?


Don't ask me.


Yeah, but what I would say- I don't know. Okay. I only know this because Sona started working for me, and I think it was pretty nice. I'd give you a nice Christmas gift and I'd get nothing back. She would say, Yeah, I'll get you one Armenian Christmas. I thought that for a while that was an excuse. Like, Yeah, maybe I'll get you something. Maybe I won't. But then it turned out you always did give me really nice gifts just later on.


It's better because you don't have to deal with the Christmas rush and then you have a lot of sales after Christmas. Deep discount. Yeah. So it always worked out and it gave me more time to do things. But we celebrate both.


Oh, you do both?


Yeah. That always used to make me. I had friends who would celebrate Hanukkah, but also Christmas, and I thought, Oh, come on.


Well, as a children of divorced parents, I got two Christmases, which was a silver lining.


You'll be okay. You seem to turn out just fine. Did I? You're not a weird guy at all. No, you seem fine. Because I thought maybe I was. No, no. No. They'll back together. Yeah, sure they will. They'll back together.


It's literally.


Been 43 years. There's a good, healthy reason why you spent a lot of your life working at an amusement park. This Christmas is the one. To create the joy artificially that you couldn't have.


It's so personal.


I'm at the happiest place on Earth, so I must be happy. Any day now. Here comes my dad. Your dad is goofy? Oh, no.


My dad did work at Disney, though. He met Walt Disney.


Did he? Really? Yeah. What was that like?


That's a cool story. That was awesome. But I'm a.


Second-generation Disney employee. Okay, don't worry about it. Listen. Oh, God. Help me. It's fine. I'm sure you- Oh, God.


Please don't let my daughter.


Work there. She's working there now. Oh, God. Oh, no, she's just a baby. Listen, what are you doing? I'm just.


Writing rap for when it's time to rap.


I know, but you wrote it ahead of time and also- Christmas rap. Did you hear that? Did you hear them writing I did hear the scribble. Listen, I haven't been in this business long, and you're Mr. Podcast, and you wrote with a ballpoint pen on a hard surface, and it sounds like a.


That's because when you're Mr. Podcast, you're not Mr. Radio, and all rules are out the window, man. It's the wild west. You can write.


On a podcast.


You're going to leave that in. You can edit it out.


No, he's going to keep it in because this is me busting him on, You threw me off. I am a... Sorry. An artist? Oh, God. This is my medium.


Oh, okay. No, I am. Now you threw me off.


Okay, that's nice. Was that your sleeping?


I was snoring. Sorry. It's terrible. I fell asleep while you were talking about being an artist.


Okay. I'm glad you're awake now because as an artist. It will always make me laugh at the three Stooges snore in unison, like in synchronized ways. I don't know. It's gold. It's just gold. And anyone who disagrees should never judge comedy. Sorry, Sona. Sorry, Sona. Well, I.


Didn't say I didn't like it.


Why are you just assumed? It was implied. Well, you didn't laugh. You can laugh on our meeting on Christmas.


Okay. Oh, my God. No, I like it too.


Are your kids going to, on the 25th, will Santa visit your kids? Yeah. Okay. Does Santa show up on the sixth? He doesn't really show up on the sixth for us. An Romanian figure.


Who shows up. No, we say we go to church, but we don't.


Is there an Armenian Santa?




Like an equivalent?


Like a.


Gharan Baba? Is it January sixth, 3, Keens Day?


Isn't that why? Don't ask me the specifics.




Should have been asking- Yeah, we should have been.


Asking- -Edoardo knows better than I do. Eduardo is married to an Armenian woman.


Apparently, one who cares about the religion and the heritage, she does it. Okay, but tell us what you know. Well, January sixth is Dio de la L'Oise. Well, in Spanish, Dio de la L'Oise is the Day of the Three Kings. That's when they bring gifts.


Yes. Was that when Jesus really got his gold, frankincense, and myrh or something?


Correct. Many people say, many Conservatives say that what happened on the Capitol on January sixth was just people celebrating.


I see. No, no, don't connect it.


No, listen, that is a theory- Don't connect it. -that people were so whipped up about Armeian Christmas that they wanted to gather together and celebrate. Don't do it. Don't be Armeians. They thought, Hey, let's go into the capital. Hey, the door is locked. Well, we can probably push it open. Rap. Let's push it open. Rap it. January sixth was an Armenian hoax. Rap it up.


I hear those slaybells ringing and ding.


Ding, ding. Let's go back to Disneyland. Nope, we're good. Hey, man, that was an insane opening. So stupid. Stupid, but also in its own way, really stupid. You are an artist. I am an artist. I'm very excited about our guest today because he is an absolutely hilarious comedian. He's ingenious. I will say that. That's a good word for this man. He is ingenious whose latest stand-up special, Born on Third Base, is now streaming on Max. He also has a new memoir entitled, Misfit: Growing Up awkward in the '80s. He's a delight. He's a fascinating guy. Brilliant. Gary Goleman, welcome. I'm going to start by paying you a compliment, which is a gentleman who worked for me for God, almost whatever, 30 years, is Brian Kylley. And Brian Kylley, I adore because he's the best joke writer I've ever known. One-liner joke writer and also just a great guy and- The.


Kindest, most generous.




Kindest, most.


Generous, but writes a deadly joke. Like, he can just make an ice bullet of a joke. And it's beautifully. And I'll tell you, Brian Kyley has always raved about you. Oh, wow. Even before I really got to know you, he was like, Oh, that's so nice. Gary Goleman is such a good... And then I started watching you. We had you on the show. You did what became this viral sensation. You did this bit about how the states- Got their abbreviations. -got their abbreviations. And what I remember is the architecture and the thought that went into it. You're so goddamn smart and and the intricacy of it. And just immediately thought, Who is this guy? This guy is fantastic. And then, of course, I keep checking your clip from your appearance on your show where you did this. Millions and millions and millions of people keep seeing that. That's really cool. And keep going back to it. And it makes me very happy that so many people now have joined the cult because it is a cult of Gary Gullman. Yes, there are.




Questions allowed. No, no, no, no questions allowed. You have to follow my orders. Yes. And you have certain rights with the other women in the cult. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Well, he does because he wears the red robe and everyone else wears the blue robe. Oh, come on. This is.


Cult 101. Oh, sorry. Okay. Sorry. Sorry.


I'm interested.


Oh, you're in, buddy. Uh-uh. You and I have a bunch of things to talk about. First of all, I want to compliment you in another way, which is you have a stand-up special, which has dropped literally like two days ago, I think. Now everyone's correcting me with four. Oh, great, because we would have had a lot of calls. Why did you guys have to correct me on that?


Because you were looking at us like, Am I right?


Yeah. Yeah. Just say yeah, sure. Okay, yeah, sure. Close enough, idiot. That's all I need.


You were wrong.


It's just wrong with the soft key.


Don't do it here now. It's not wrong. Don't do it here now. Don't do it in front of Gary, please.


Okay. Don't you mean Jerry? Yeah. Born on-Born on third base is your stand-up special, and it's hilarious. Now, full disclosure, I'm such a fan that I had some involvement with my people in helping to bring this to reality. But I'm saying this as someone who hates himself. How can I be? I'd be more than happy to shit on it if I could. It's really funny and beautifully done. Thank you. It's really nice. And so I'm Congratulations.


Well, I had a lot of fun touring it and that people liked it. And I shot it in Toronto, where they're just so nice and really love comedy and.


Some- Oh, my God. Canada. Very grateful. Toronto. Oh, my gosh. That's where my ghost is going to go when it roams the earth doing bits. It's going to go up to Toronto because they're- They have the.


Best taste and they're so nice.


They're really smart and they laugh and they're fun. And what's wrong? Why are you looking at me like that?


What a weird thing to say. I don't want to go up- Your ghost is going to go to Toronto and you're just going to do bits?


Yeah. I don't want to go to heaven.


Okay. You're just going to be stuck in.


This purgatory. I don't want to go talk to Eleanor Roosevelt on a cloud. I want to go up to Toronto and do bits and then go to a cool restaurant afterwards.


Wouldn't heaven, by definition, be a bunch of people who love your bits?


Yeah. No, I don't like that. That seems patronizing. I wouldn't like that.


But you think... I'm sorry, just going back to this. You think you're going to go to Toronto, you're going to appear as a ghost, and people are just going to be like, Let's see what bits he has.


Yes. Gary, if you were in Toronto and you knew that I had passed away in the last year or two and you heard that my ghost was in Toronto and he was doing bits somewhere, wouldn't you check him out?


I would check him out. And then I would also spend a lot of time seeing Rush.


But now in this scenario, they're dead too. But they're also playing.


No, this is my idea of heaven. Rush is touring and Conan is doing stand-up associated with it. And we're also spending time breaking down some of the licks, the guitar licks and things like that. And also the drum solo. I love it.


This man gets me.


Now it makes sense.


Now listen, Gary, you are a fellow Massachusetts masshole like myself. You're from Peabody? Yes. You talk about this a lot in your special, and you've touched on it before, but it really does inform a lot of your comments, which is, I think, quite beautiful. But you grew up poor. There's no other way to say you grew.


Up poor. Yeah, we were broke Jewish people, which people think, Oh, that's a thing? But most of us, especially in that time in the '70s, a lot of people were broke. So yes, half the Jews would be broke, too, right? Everybody was. Yeah. That informed me. Also, it developed my personality in terms of my resentment towards certain kids growing up who had more than us. And it didn't have to be much. It could be an above-ground pool. And I would be like, Oh, look at the opulence with the power that these people, they don't know what it is to struggle. And Christmas used to just blow me away. These kids would just get so much for Christmas. Right. And I would get a thing, eight nights of a thing, but some of them were practical, which you don't want for holidays. What?


Well, give me an example of a practical Hanukka gift.


I remember everybody says socks, but I would get pajamas, which I very rarely wore. It was either freezing cold in my house, which required an electric blanket, which I can't even believe those things were legal at the time. They were just Fire Starters, but also you could.


Be electrocuted. I just know this in Massachusetts. But every time a house burned down in the '50s, '60s, or '70s, you'd see firemen walking away afterwards because I'd hang out at these things. And they'd always... As a true arsonist does. But they'd always be shaking their heads going. And you'd always read in the paper that it was an.


Electric blanket. An electric blanket or there would be a fire chief holding up a melted light bright. Hopefully, it would be the clown because the clown face would melt into a frown. Because he was upset by this as well, the clown, not just the fire chief. But yeah, those were the two biggest fire causes, I think, in the '70s.


Because what could go wrong if you took mid 20th century knowledge of electrical wiring and ran it through a bunch of cotton and nylon? What could go wrong?


And then you go.


To sleep.


And crank this thing. So people would just burst into flames. So you grow up in puberty. What's interesting is you said that it gave you a completely different perspective than a lot of kids have when you grew up not having. You grew up not having stuff. And so that you knew just by rote what things cost. Oh, yes. You had that all down, which you said when you don't have money, you know.


All of this stuff. Yes. That's what always irritated me. I remember I had this neighbor who went to a summer camp, and I was interested in it because he came back with it. This is a phenomenon of Jewish summer camps where these kids who werewho were average athletics and attractiveness would go to summer camp and they would walk taller when they returned because they had called all the Gentile kids from the group. So it was just the Jews were standing out. The only choice the girls had or the boys had were other Jewish people. So there was this thing and they would be so confident because they had made out with a girl over the summer where they weren't getting any make out sessions in junior high or seventh grade or anything. And then they would come back in the fall and they had more confidence. And I envied this. And I remember asking the kid, Well, how much does this thing cost? He said, I don't know. Would I know how much things cost? And I said, Oh, you would ask for something and your parents would tell you, No, we can't afford it.


And then they would tell you how much everything costs.


So you knew how much everything-.


I remember I wanted this robot called the 2XL, which was really just an eight-track player that they had somehow... It was a brilliant thing where it would ask you questions and it would ask you questions and it was a trivia thing, and you got informed and it was $54.87 in Toys R Us. When my mom worked at the mall and she couldn't afford a babysitter. So I would, at nine years old, walk around the mall for three hours while she worked. And then when the boss left, I could go in there and hang out at the stationary store. But I would walk around, hang around at Toys R Us and at Sears, you could play the Atari for a while. And then the Orange Julius Kids would give me free Juli-I.


I love that you did the plural of Julius. That makes me so happy.


This sounds like heaven.


It was incredible.


Did you ever have fried octopie with your Juli-I?


I was like the mall mascot, basically. I would hang out at the Toys R Us. And there was this robot called 2XL, and I knew it was '54, '87, and every year I would ask for it. But I also would ask people if I could borrow $54.87, which is so specific. So specific. But I hadn't worked out the fact that it would probably be 5 % tax. And also the parents would always say $55, but kids would always know that that was 54, 87. That was a big kid thing.


Did you ever get it?


I did get it. My mom, there was a neighbor who got it and outgrew it several years later. My mom bought it used from them and gave it to me for my birthday. And it worked 100 % that just the box was damaged.




It's been opened.


I remember Christmas as being perilous, meaning something great could happen, but also if you're one of six, you can get lost in the shut. And Santa is busy because he's working at the microbiology lab. And sometimes Santa has a short fuse. Anyway, I remember once we had this tradition where we're asleep and Santa would put the gifts, they weren't wrapped, but each one of the kids in the family has a piece of furniture in the living room. It's where my parents still live, mind you, in Brookline, Mass. There's a different piece of furniture and Luke's toys would go on a chair. Most people had a chair, and then mine just arbitrarily became there's this long white couch. Now think about it. Everything looks tiny and insignificant on a long white couch. And Santa is busy and there's a lot to do. So there were years where Santa is like, Okay, I got Neil covered. I got Luke. I got Jane. I got Justin. And then he's down there and he's throwing stuff around. He's like, I got to get back to the lab. I think that germ got out. I've been working on something called COVID.


I hope it's- Oh, it's true. But anyway, that was my dad. And so he would be... There was one Christmas where I think he was throwing everything around and then he got to the giant white couch and there was some socks and there wasn't much. So I'll never forget that that was the year he got a toboggan for everyone to share. But I come running downstairs and I see this giant toboggan filling out the couch. And I'm like, I got a toboggan? This is insane. I never forget my dad went, Oh, interesting. Santa told me on his way out that it's actually for everyone. And I went, Huh? But it's like the one thing that's on my couch. And he went, Santa said it. You get to be in charge of it, but it's for everyone. And I'm like, First of all, you're having a legal conversation with Santa about ownership? And then how are you in charge of a toboggan? I get to decide who sits where. But that- That, hey, I got over it. I'm 60 and bitching about it on a podcast.


That tracks with the socialism of 1970s Massachusetts.


Oh, my God. And I'm still to this day when I go home and that white couch is still there. Really? And I'll still look at it and I'll be like, Fucking toboggan. It was a toboggan and then some post-it and some socks. Oh, my God. And an electric blanket. Anyway, enough about me. I'm just saying we all suffer. I remember.


One year I did get a bunch of Duns and Dragons books.


And you talk about this?


Yeah. You talk.




This in the special. I got the Duns and Dragons books, but unfortunately, it came with all these dice and the maps and everything like that, but it didn't come with any friends. And that is the greatest oversight of the T. S. R. Company, was that kids who are into this stuff are lonely.


Yes. The other thing that says your word choice is always so good as a comic. And in the special, I think you said, No one could foresee this. You said something like that. But it didn't come with friends. You've talked about, as I can relate to this, you have an OCD about honesty. If I had this, too, growing up, which was very important to my mom that we all be thought of well. One of the things I remembered is we'd all be gathered around Christmas, Thanksgiving, and we have company over. Or any time company was coming and we got to sit in the dining room and people are sitting around. She'd say, And now, of course, we always say Grace. And I'd say, We only do this when company's here. And she would say.


That's not true. Oh, that's so good.


But I just could not.


Yeah, the dishonesty. Part of it is I grew up always feeling God was watching me all the time just because of the... I just took everything everybody told me seriously so that I would act up in the house. I would stub my toe on the corner of a counter. That doesn't make sense. Not a counter, a cabinet. And my mother would say, See, God punished you. And I was like, Oh, my gosh. Instead of thinking, Gosh, what a prick. I would think, Oh, I better.


Not act up. I used to think it doesn't have other things to do? Hey, Goleman just cut out of line. I can give the old stubberoo. Hey, what about that? What about that tsunami that just wiped out 3,000 people in Indonesia? I was dealing with Goleman.


Then I went to Hebrew school. I don't know if you went to Catholic.


I went to Hebrew school. I was immediately asked to leave. I went to Catholic instruction, actually, with Brian Kiley. Oh, that's.


So interesting. I would go to to Hebrew school and they would say, Well, this is a sin, adultery, and covening, being jealous and bearing false witness. Are there any others? Yes. Leaving the finger paints out. Is that also a sin that God will smite you for? But playing with clay without permission? That's another one that God punished me for. The thing is, I was learning in Hebrew school were not matching up with the little I had learned at home.


Am I correct that there's probably really not much difference between if you're a kid, Hebrew instruction and if you're a kid, Catholic instruction, meaning they're both leaning on guilt, beware, watch out, someone's watching. Because that was my experience. Then the few times that... Well, actually, I grew up in Brookline. More of my friends were Jewish than were Irish Catholic. I would sense that, wait a minute, this is supposed to be a completely alien religion. This is all sound and pretty.


Familiar to me. Totally. I went to a Catholic college. I went to Boston College, and I befriended some Jesuit priests. They would say, Yeah, there's a lot of intersection in our liturgy. Not so much the words as much as the ideas and where the stresses are, which is on a very angry judgmental God.




As a lot of fathers do, when they have a son late in life, they mellow. That's where I see Protestantisms as a mell or a god, not as likely to smite after having Jesus.


Yeah, the protestants have a... It's a God that's wearing loafers and dockers. And he's- It's Pete Holmes. Yeah, it's Pete Holmes. It's Pete Holmes as God, as opposed to Bill Burr is the Catholic God. I like figuring out religion just using stand-ups. Oh, my gosh. Specifically, Northeastern standups. You know what I mean?


Now I'm trying to figure out who would be the Jewish comedian. God, it wouldn't be Crystal. It wouldn't be the- No. No, too light. He would have Feverish.


Finkel's voice. Louis Black. I just got it. It's Louis Black because he'd be saying things like, Do I get this straight? Let me understand something. You, a post office wants me to spend money on a stamp and then I spend money on the stamp. That thing. Wow, that's good. You know what I used to do? The Demaurins and the Saudomites are having blow jobs. You know what I used to do? I used to do a Lewis. I like Lewis Black. I love him. But I used to do a Lewis Black impression where he's gettingbecause his whole thing was getting worked up over something that's small. I used to do a Louis Black impression about things where he's worked up about something you should be worked up about. So it'd be like, Have you heard about this thing called shitnapping? Someone takes a child. They take a child who is the only son or daughter of these loving parents, and they take them away, and they say you'll only see them alive again if we get money. And it would really make me laugh because I'd be like- . Yeah. Just him getting mad about stuff he should get mad about.


Kylie used to always tell me he would say, You have no idea how funny the meetings are in Conan's office. And initially, I was skeptical. I thought-.


You said, Conan's not that funny. How can he be.


Funny in a meeting? I said, Yeah, everybody's going to laugh at their boss. Then I just started listening to the podcast. But also, he would tell me the stories. The bits you would do, which was one of my favorites was the dirty Brian Kylay.


I would do. It's called Brian Kylie at the Apollo. Now, Brian Kylie, again, as you know, tells really clean jokes, and he wears with creased chinos and a blue- And schmaltz-less.


-puts nothing.


On it. The jokes are just, I mean, I can't.


Even- They're just perfect. You could read them. They're beautiful, but also the characters.


Perfect jokes. But Kyle and he'd stand up there and he's very Catholic and he tells these wonderful jokes. And he always is doing this with his hands. He doesn't move his body really at all when he's up on stage. And so I started doing Kyle at the Palo where he's up there and he's like, Hi, everybody. Good to see you. I'm Brian Kyle. And the other day I'm going down on this bitch. I'm eating her out. And he's still the same mannerisms. And then I work my way down to her asshole. And I start licking at her ass. Oh, God. And then I'm like, Bitch, you've got to wash your ass. And he's killing, murdering. But then he goes backstage, kills. And he goes, Well, that's my time. Thank you. And then he goes backstage. And I would always have him sit in a little iron chair and read a Truman biography quietly. And then someone would come and go, Get out there again. They want more of you. He'd be like, Oh, okay. And he closed it and he'd go back out there and he'd go, The other day, I'm I'm whippin' this guy with a...






Weird to hear you even talk.


Like that. I know. But the thing is, when I'm channeling Kylie, the whole rule was none of this helps the show. None of this can be on the show. None of it can help the show.


It's just funnier because I know who Brian Kylia is, and I hope people go and look at his comedy online.


Go look at Brian Kylay.


-to see how different it is that what you're saying.


I took a shit the other day. I hate all of this. Why? I love it, but imagining Kylay do it, it's crazy.


Because he is the most... I think he might be the.






Person I've ever met in my life. And just now I have the mental image of him doing- Also, you know what I always do? I'd always add him driving home in a very small, sensible, square car and then going home and pulling the blanket up to his chin to go to sleep. And then the phone rings- With a nightcap. With a nightcap. And then the phone rings and it's at the club going, They're screaming for you. They want more. And so he gets out, puts on his blazer, gets back in his little car, goes back there, and then goes out and becomes this other person.


Yeah, I picture him with a pipe carousel. Yeah, probably. And the other thing is that he's the person who reads the most long books like Robert Carroll, those LBJ books.


Well, not the person, one of the people. He and I have that same affliction. Oh, I didn't.


Realize that. That was one of the questions I was going to ask. No, we both do that. Did you like that Robert Carrow documentary? Have you seen that?


I'm in it.


Oh, yes. You fucker. I'm sorry. You fucker. I got confused because you were also in the-.


You thought that was Dennis Leary going on and on about Carow? I'm in documentaries I shouldn't be in about sex trafficking in Sweden. And Conor O'Brien- I think you should be in that one. Well… I was cleared.


I took notes today on things I should bring up. The fact that Rupert Murdoch gave us two of the most important comedy things in history, like the same Summer Simpsons and Get a Life. I was like, This man has done really nothing forthe world but then... You think that's true. Then these two really important things that brought so much joy and helped me get through all these things that he caused.


You should just for a second, because there are going to be people listening or young people that don't know what Get a Life is.


Oh, yeah. He had this show that was short-lived, of course, because it was so good and so it's time. But it was on maybe 30 episodes on Fox called Get a Life. And he played Chris Peterson, who was a 30-year-old paper boy who lived at home with his parents but was arrogant.




Arrogant, a little bit nuts, believed in himself, got laid all the time. It was very.


Forward with women. Well, then also it got.


Very- And so beautifully written and like Odenkirk wrote on it. Odenkirk wrote on it. Charlie Kaufman.


Yeah. And then as the series later on, they started having him die at the end of every episode. But then not explaining why he was back. Yes. And I just always remember as a comedy fan, when people do that, I'm just, Yay, thank you. Oh, yeah, 100%. Thank you for not trying.


To- His dad played his dad, but unlike every other dad in a sitcom, his dad hated him and was rooting for his demise. And yeah, it was incredible.


There's a couple of things that I want to make sure I talk to you about. Your obsession with comedy or your interest in comedy goes way back to when you were a kid. And you got to do something that I dreamed of doing but never got to do, which is you got to go to a live typing of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Oh, yeah. And that's something I never experienced. Can you tell me what that was like?


Yes. I was 13. I had just been bar mitzvah. And my brother Max had gone to spring break and been bumped three times. And back then in the 19-.


From the audience?


No, I'm sorry. That made it sound like my brother Max was a guest on The Tonight Show with Carson. No, he had been bumped by the airline- Oh, I see. Okay. -and flying on spring break. And so he had gotten these tickets. I don't know if they were a round trip, but they afforded my mother and I to go to Los Angeles. My brother couldn't use them because he was starting a job in Florida. So he gave them to us. We used them to go to Los Angeles, stayed with my cousin, Della. We waited in line and got tickets to get into. But I was 13. You had to be 16 to get into a live taping. But I was already 5'11, almost 6 feet. Right. And so my mother said he's 16. And then I got in and I said, Oh, my God, we made it. And then an usher said, Excuse me, how old are you? And my mother got right in her face and she said, Do you think I would take a child into something as important as the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and my mother? I mean, the lying.


God, bless her. Yeah, she really.


Got her face. I want your job. It'd be great if she got her... If she got that kid fired and ruined her life.


She was so convincing. I felt like I was 16. I had just turned 13. And anyhow, it couldn't have been a better... First of all, Johnny did the monolog, and he screwed up one of the lines and retook it. And then when they went to break, he said, I really blew their shit out of that joke. And I said, Oh, my gosh. He swore. And you didn't hear.


Johnny Carson. You know what? I talked to... I've been swearing. I talked to Robert Smygle told me that he went to a taping of Johnny Carson. And Johnny Carson, when he knew it wouldn't because it was pre-taped, said shit in front of the crowd and they went wild. Back then, the idea of someone that you knew on TV that intimately, saying the word shit was impossible. And so that must have been electrifying.


It was electrifying. And then the guest was Cary Fisher and Gary Sandling.


Oh, my God.


Yeah. So Princess Leia, at her Leia-est. And then.


This- And Gary at his Sandling-est. Oh, my gosh.


And then this comedian who I only knew from The Tonight Show. And he was so funny. And then he did this bit with, it wasn't a bit, I guess, but it came off as a bit with Carrie Fisher, where he says, I know your parents, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Do you know my parents? Irv and Muriel Chanling. And I was in love. I was like, There's this guy who's Jewish, neurotic, and miserable, yet he's flirting with Carrie Fisher. And that was the thing that I always found so interesting about comedians. They really had nothing to speak of in terms of being attractive to women, but they had all this confidence. And it just really captured me at a very young age. I was like, That is the only way I'm ever going to get married is if I'm super funny like Sandling or somebody like that.


All kids throughout history take an inventory early on. When I found out that I could make people laugh, thinking, All right, I've got this. I'm going to develop the fuck I'm going to do. Yes. I'm going to- Yes. -mostly being interested in I want that girl to like me. And then the big barrier is she's laughing really hard, but I see her going to the dance with that other guy. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. He has no comedy, but he has a developed body. Who needs that? My shallow chest should be enough for anyone. My wasted legs? What's wrong with these? My 19th century cough? The little bits of pink foam from dissolving lung?




Wrong with that? Why are you saying those things, though? My dad took care of everyone but me. A brilliant scientist who never noticed that I was dying of consumption. You were the control experiment. I was.


The control experiment. I think consumption is my favorite old timing disease because a lot of people will go tuberculosis. But the people who are familiar go consumption.


Consumption. Also- What? It's true. You and I speak the exact same language. I like that people used to have stuff called the flux.


Yeah, or they'd call you a lunger. If you.


Had a lung- If you had consumption, they'd call you a lunger. But also I love that when you got sick back then, they would apply a poultice. They would apply a mustard Pultis to your chest, which basically means just covering your chest with mustard. They're no problem. Yeah, exactly. But they did it for you like someone might get shot in the head. I believe when Lincoln was dying of a bullet the size of an Oreo cookie in his brain, they were like, Apply a Pultis. A mustard Paltis will save the President.


Did it work?


Kind of, because when he died, he smelled like a hot dog, and people weren't quite as sad.


I'm sure there were other Pultises. There was the mustard. I always.


Hear about mustard.


The Remelade Pultis.








That way he doesn't pull through, but we have a dip. We have a dipping sauce.


After Lincoln died, everyone sat around and they were very sad. And Stewart said, now he belongs to the ages. And then somehow someone produced a bag of tortilla chips and they just started dipping into this stuff. A little salsa. They all just start crunching. Mary Lincoln comes in, What are you doing? We can't let this go to waste. The coffin isn't here yet. I want to make sure I mentioned your book, too. You've been busy. You have a new memoir.


I didn't want to be a snore, which is a Yiddish term, meaning like.


A taker. I learned that word from Groucho Marks.




Yeah, he used to sing a song about being, I'm not a snore, which I think was- Oh, really? Oh, no. Yeah, Captain Spalding, I think, has the word snore in it. My name is Captain Spalding, the African explorer. I'm no snore. Oh, I love that. Oh, a little Yiddish. And I remember as a kid as being a huge fan of the Marks Brothers and thinking, Snore. What's snore? And then someone explained it to me.


That's a great feeling for a Yiddish, well, a Jewish person who knows some Yiddish to explain it to somebody because when you show interest, we get very excited. Yeah.


So Mysfit, growing up awkward in the '80s, is your memoir? Yes. And was this cathartic for you? Because you've famously, you've talked about it a lot. And I think people say, Oh, it's brave. And I think it's like, Well, it's great that you talk about your struggles with mental health, and I applaud that. But it's that you do it with so much empathy and you do it so intelligently and you're funny about it. Oh, thanks. And I think that is a man, that's a bomb. That's all the Prozac in the world.


It was something that I aspired to over the years to finally get to a point where I was far enough away from it. And also that it was a success story of I overcame this because in the midst of it, I wasn't able to write about it. And also my brain wasn't working well enough and I didn't have enough confidence. But I was so elated and grateful to be on the other side of my depression, which I received ECT about four months before I did that abbreviating the states thing. Really? Yeah. Ect just to be- Yeah, the electroconvulsive therapy. I was inpatient in Wilde Cornell Hospital, New York Presbyterian in Manhattan.


And then- And you said one of the patients actually.


Recognized- -recognized me from TV. And yeah, he said, Am I crazy? You've got a gallman. Which is just, I mean, you can write an entire act. You should both.


Apparently both.


You are crazy, but I'm getting there from context.


Yeah, exactly.


But it's not because you think I'm Gary Goleman, although I would say maybe shoot higher for who you're imagining.




Can imagine anybody.


Yeah, Napoleon. There's so many people to.


Aim for. Yeah. And so anyhow, I was so grateful and I wanted to tell the story because I wanted to share that there's hope because that was one thing my doctor and my wife never gave up on me, but I gave up on myself many times. I kept going through the motions and trying new medicine and treatments and ECT finally was the thing that worked and the hospitalization. And it got me to a level that I had never experienced in my life. I had spent my entire life working at 70, 75 %, sometimes 80 % if I could get some momentum. And then it had a cycle where I would be productive for nine months, and then I would fall apart and have start all over again. So it was very frustrating. But since I have been, I guess I would say, in remission, that was probably October of 2017, I've had the most joy and experienced life in a way without the heaviness and the fatigue that accompanied a lot of my depressive episodes. So I'm so grateful. So I was happy to share this story so that it would give some people hope.


Because what I didn't realize is that people thought... I used to think when somebody famous would either commit suicide or come out about being depressed, I would say, Why would that person be depressed? I didn't realize that I could be that for some people. That some people would say, Oh, if he can get depressed, then it's not a matter of accomplishing something. It's a matter of chemistry. And that's the thing that's very hard for people to understand because the same thing you're trying to work with is telling you this isn't chemistry. It's you. You're lazy, you're dumb, you're untalented. So it was important that I was able to get that story out.


I'm guilty of the same thing when I was a kid or even well into my teens and twenties when I would hear about a brilliant author or just a performer I loved or anyone getting really depressed. And I would think, But I don't understand. Elvis? Yeah. Why would Elvis be depressed? Why would anyone who has that be depressed? And then as you go through life, you realize that material things, success or getting recognized.


It's nice.


But it is really true that it doesn't have anything to do with your brain chemistry. And sometimes it can exacerbate it and make it feel worse. Like, Oh, my God, I have.


This, and I'm- This was supposed to be the thing that made me feel good about myself. Yeah.


So many people get into comedy or get into this business because they think, once I get that and everyone knows who I am and I'm driving a car that looks like that, then all my problems will be over. And when it doesn't happen, rage.


Painful. Rage. Yeah.


I'm talking about myself. But it was- But it was- But it was mage mostly that the car isn't nicer. Oh, wow, okay. Come on. Tesla is nice, but I want a Bugatti. And I never got one. And that fucking sled. Sprawled out, but it's not mine.


Did the have a name.


Yeah, exactly. That when I die, I'm just going to say tobacco. It'll be like all these reporters will be scattered. Yeah. Tobog. Yeah, tobacco. Yeah, whatever, glide right. Well, I'll just say it again. Pleasure to know you. That's so nice to hear that.


I feel the same way. You've brought me so much joy.


I really admire you because you're such a highly intelligent and empathetic comedian and you do such beautiful work. You've been through a lot, which makes me sad. But also you've come through the other side and you're very honest about it. I think it's going to help a lot of people. But mostly, if I didn't know any of this, I watched these specials, I watched your comedy. Every time I've seen you perform, I think, Man, that guy is so gifted. He thinks so differently than everyone else. Everything is so crafted and beautifully done, the work that goes into it. So thank you. What you do is, as the Irish say, a mitzvah.


I'm pinching myself because that means so much to me. But also, and this was one of the things I wanted to mention, just the exposure you gave me on that show all those times was, I mean, it changed my life and it gave me a touring career. So I'm so grateful for what you've brought to me. Even before I was on the show, just the joy and knowing that, Oh, there are other people who find this funny. And I thought it was just me. Right, right.


Well, we found each other. Yeah. And now we're two gangly, depressed guys from Massachusetts who know each other. Who love to read. Who love to read. Yay, us. There aren't enough. Hey, Gary. Thank you. God bless. Thank you. Thank you.


This was so wonderful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Thank you. Thank you. And we'll see you again.


We haven't.


Done a state of the podcast in a while, and I think it's important for the state of the podcast that we do a state of the podcast.


I'd be convinced if you had just said state of the podcast one more time, but I agree. I think we should take stock. How are we doing? I think also, self-criticism is very valuable. It's good for us to really kick the tires on this thing and make sure that we're living up to people's expectations.


How do we proceed? Well, as we always do, we bring in Adam Sachs. He runs this place, he makes it happen. He makes it work. He does the dance that keeps the floor thumping.


So Adam- Awful. Where are we? Awful monolog.


So stay to the podcast. I brought some notes with me. We are five years in. It's five years now. November 19th, 2018 was our first episode, the release of our first episode, Will Ferrell. So we are five years in over 400 episodes.


Are we over 400 episodes.


I believe that's right. If we count the fan episodes and our interview, sure. Which we do, those are important. Yeah. So over 400 episodes, and we're actually seeing growth still, which is pretty amazing. Still seeing growth? Yes.


So people have been listening to this and more people are.


Still showing up. More people are showing up. And because the catalog is so evergreen, the episodes that we recorded five years ago still hold up. People show up and then they go back and they listen to the back catalog. So on a given month, we get 40 % of our listens happening on old episodes.


People are telling friends, but in a good way.


Yeah, in a good way.


That's my first experience with that in-show business. My previous career was you got to check this.


Guy out. They're warning people.


Yeah. So that you don't accidentally stumble on him, you need to know. No, but all kidding aside, that's very exciting. I will say that we made this decision to try and, and it's also just naturally the comedy I like, but we're not always talking about the day's events. And in fact, anytime a guest starts to say, Isn't it funny that today in the news, I reach over the table and slap them?


Yeah. We're still getting crazy, amazing guests that are coming on for the first time. Even recently, we've had Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Steve Martin, Sir Paul McCartney, Kelly Clarkson.


You know what's great? Schwarzenegger, we didn't even invite him. And we tried to keep him out of the building. He's like, I'm coming in. You're and we were, Remember? And I said, No, we're here. We're talking to Ted Dance. He's like, It's nice. It's going to be me. He smashed his way through. Yeah.


Incredible. Sorry, did you need more.


From me? No, you're giving me what you always give me. I just.


Have so much to add to this.




Other thing I wanted to bring up, which is interesting is the industry has evolved. If we look back five years, if you think about the advertisers we had at the beginning, it was mostly what are called direct response advertisers, DR advertisers, where oftentimes they're like, digital advertisers. Fracture Prince was a good. Remember the backstrather. Fracture. Yes. And they have an offer code, right? Offer code, Conan or you go to this specific URL, and that's how they know if the ad is working, its attribution.


So we've grown out of.


That now. We still have plenty of them, but we've gotten into more brands, big brands. And that's, I think, different.


Listen, I like that things are moving in the right direction, but sometimes you're the victim of your success. And I will say I miss... I mean, Fracture, that was a great company.


Do they still exist?


Yes. No, they do. Well, for Conan's 60th birthday, I.


Got him a Fracture print.


Can we just edit that so it's 40th? And anyway- We're in the same age. Thank you. No, it's fun being, well, I guess I'm 41 now. There's a thing that can happen sometimes in life where, yes, you've had good fortune, but you missed that old little apartment you used to live in. Remember where the shower didn't quite work? But boy, did we have good times in that old little... And that's how I think of the fracture print ads.


Well, it's funny you say that because the brand... So now we have a lot of brand advertisers. We have Miller Light, Chevy, these big brands that don't have.


The - And by the way, those are.


Terrific products. They're fantastic. But brand advertisers, so direct response advertisers don't necessarily... They're not that sensitive about the content that they're advertising on. They just, for the most part, care that the ad works. They want the ROI, the return on the investment.


God, do you ever just speak normally?


I'm getting somewhere.


Is this what it's like in the bedroom?


But brand advertisers really care about associating with talent, right? And so what they have been doing more and more is brand safety analysis. And I actually brought some brand safety analysis for -.


Boy, you're fun at a holiday party.


Here's my question, though. Because he was on television for like 20 years before the podcast. That brand wasn't enough. Well, that's.


A good question. You can see how we rank here.


Thanks, Sona. This is funny. All right. So thisis...


I think this is mostly-.


Wait, what is this now? Can you take a second and.


Explain what this is? This is our brand safety analysis that's done, I think, primarily by AI and transcription. So transcription is done on the podcast and then some algorithm decides how brand safe the show is. This is real. This is real. Yeah, these are real ratings on the show. And so brand advertisers, when they're deciding whether they want to advertise on a specific podcast, will look at these ratings and decide if the show is safe for them to be associated with. Okay.


All right. So adult, sexual, explicit content. That seems low. That seems very low. We talk a lot about.


Dicks and stuff.


But down here, obsenity and profanity, it's in the red for 83 % and 71 % high risk.


Yeah. So we're killing it with obsenity and profanity.


Maybe this is just all our clinical talk. Whenever we say.


You know what?


I don't.


Like hate speech.


7 %.


That's you. Acts of aggression.


That's you. Oh, acts of aggression. That's you. There's no hate speech here, but there is me routinely trying to take a.


Swat at someone. You're also crime and violence because you say the word murder on a regular basis.


That's true. Yeah, I mean, you're 11 % high risk. Wait a minute.


Military conflict. Do you want to.


Just run down what the sheet says to give us.


An overview? Well, adult and sexual explicit content, four %. Alcohol, two %. These are risks. High risk, zero %. Pursuitability. Crime and violence, 12 %. Wow. Death or injury, three %.


Not totally. Remember one time we did a segment about robbing a bank and what would our masks be? So things like that are factored in. Okay.


Death or injury, three %. Epidemic, three %. Hate speech and acts of aggression, seven %. It's a little high for me. Illegal drugs, one %. We don't really talk about drugs a lot.


Yeah, we do.


Yeah, we do.


But those aren't illegal. We're smoking that weed. They're not illegal. Everything you do is legal.


Yeah, that's true.


Obsenity and profanity, 83 %. Wow. That's ZUS. Fuck, that's a high number. Fuck. Tobacco, E-cigarettes, vaping.


Zero %. Well, now it's going to be in there, though.


Will it factor this in? Oh, yeah, now it's going to be in there.


Look at this. This is a category? Violence of human rights.


Oh, that's just us working for you.




That's you. It's a violation of human rights to work here, and that's one %. I don't.


Understand military conflict.


Yeah. What is military conflict?


Well, we talk about World War.




Quite a bit. The term Nazi will pop up every once in a while.


I think it is like just talking about-.


World War II. Basically, World War II, facts, trivia, Stalin comes up a lot.


But is this a concern that us discussing these things right now will bump these numbers up?


I hadn't thought of it.


But yeah. And then next year when we do this again, it'll compound.


I think so..


But I think the truth is like this is more... Sona made a really, really important point, which is you were on TV for 28 years. Your brand is established. You had advertisers on that show. Yes, I did. So it was a brand safe show. You're brand safe talent. This really is more done for talent that is maybe lesser known to advertisers when they're making the decision if they want to advertise on a specific show. I see. But I did think that you would just find it interesting that.


We're being analyzed right now. What do you take away from this?


I actually take away that there is a high sensitivity among advertisers now. Higher than ever, it seems to be associated with brand safe content. So I think for us, we should just be monitoring your language, primarily everyone's language here. And thinking of these categories every time we go into an interview or do a segment.




If I'm told not to do something, I just want to do it more.


Adam, you're coming dangerously close to being the man censoring the artist here.


Also, I don't think I use profanity. I mean, cuckoo, is that really profanity?


I don't know.


I love that answer. I love the way you said it. I don't know.


Well, there was talk of Gerbles is all.


Hidden- Not unless you really getting to know what it's all about, Kethees. It's obscene and profane.


I don't think this thing understands context either. It's just literal.


Yeah, it doesn't understand context. So talk of Gerbles is quite a... That could be a children's story. It could be. It might take.


Gerbles and think Joseph Gerbles and make it a Nazi thing.


No, that's Gerbles.


They know it. It's written in a transcript.


It doesn't know. It does. It knows the difference. They're spelled completely differently. It's ridiculous. I think the state of the conflict, I think the state of the show- There we go. Our numbers are going up on military conflict. I think the show is doing well. It's doing great. We are marching forward. We're like the Allies pushing in to France. We're pushing forward. We're moving our way.


We're penetrating that hole.


We're having sex with the other army.


Listen, don't ruin a good thing. I'm pleased. I'm not doing this in a good thing. I do nothing but say I have gratitude that we've been doing this for five years. I've been having a very good time. I love doing this with you people. I got to learn your names. So close. And I think we should maybe tone down the peepie, poopoo, a little bit.


You got it, cockface.


But I do want us to keep getting more and more brand-friendly. I really do. I want to just keep chiseling away. I want to- But peepie and.


Poopoo is what we are. That's who we are as people.


What a wonderful story this is. No, but.


That's just who we are. I feel like you're.


Trying to be trying to change ourselves. I'd like the HomeArk channels to one day advertise with us. I think to get that and probably also Disneyland. So to get those brands, those are the ones I really want. We need to really shape.


It up. We're bringing these.


Numbers down. I think we definitely need to check back in. We need to do quarterly state of the podcast and see the trend of the numbers. Can we do that? That's a good idea. Yeah.




83 %. Yeah.


That's high. It's red.


83 %, absenteany and profanity. Let's get that number down and let's get violation of human rights way up. I don't know how, but we will.


Conan O'Brien needs a friend. With Conan O'Brien, Sonomu O'Sessian, and Matt Gordley. Produced by me, Matt Gordley. Executive produced by Adam Sachs, nick Leau, and Jeff Ross at Team Coco, and Colin Anderson and Cody Fisher at Year Wolf. Themed song by The White Stripes. Incidental music by Jimmy Vivino. Take it away, Jimmy. Our supervising producer is Aaron Blaire, and our Associate Talent producer is Jennifer Samples. Engineering by Eduardo Perez, additional production support by Mars Mellnik, talent booking by Paula Davis, Gina Bautista, and Rick Kohn. You can rate and review this show on Apple Podcasts, and you might find your review read on a future episode. Got a question for Conan? Call the Team Cocoa Hotline at 669-587-2847 and leave a message. It, too, could be featured on a future episode. And if you haven't already, please subscribe to Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend wherever Fine podcasts are downloaded.