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[00:00:03]

Hi, my name is Jane Lynch, and I feel chosen and honored about being Conan O'Brien's friend.

[00:00:14]

You know what? You just messed up my last name. You know, I've been in this business for 28 years, and you called me Conan O'Brien. And I'm Irish, too. I should know how to say that. That indicates to me that this doesn't mean that much to you. It actually does. You know, I'm friends with people I don't even like.

[00:00:36]

Ring the bell. Brand new shoes walking loose on the first. Some come back and we are going to be friends. Shakuntala? Hello and welcome to Conan O'Brien needs a friend. I am the aforementioned Conan O'Brien.

[00:00:58]

I really do need a friend that is not a joke, but thrilled to be here today with our stalwart producer, Matt Gawley. Matt, how are you? I'm good. How are you, Conan? Doing very well.

[00:01:09]

And of course, the woman of the hour, Seona out of session. How are you, Seona? I'm fine. Can I ask you a question? We reveal big news on the podcast, which is that you are pregnant with twins. Yeah, we talked about it on the podcast. Has anyone heard about it through the podcast who didn't know in your immediate circle or did you manage to get to everyone first?

[00:01:31]

Because I would think that would be socially awkward if, say, your mom heard it on the podcast, but you hadn't told her or attack your husband tech. He's driving on the freeway listening to but catching up and he drives into a barn. What?

[00:01:49]

Yeah, there were a few people we forgot to tell, and that's how we found out, was they they texted us and they're like, you're pregnant with twins and you didn't tell us.

[00:01:58]

Well, this is a good way to find out who listens to the podcast. I know who really listens. Well, and also, I mean, they listen because they're they're my friends and they care about me also. I guess they're fans of Conan. Yeah. Let's get some sorry. Let's do a quick correction there. They can call you any time, but if they want the pure liquid comedy gold, they've got to come to the fountain of said gold.

[00:02:22]

Conan O'Brien.

[00:02:24]

And you play a part. You're there with your ladle and and gallah. You're there with your little cup to get some of the liquid gold and splash it around. But this little thimble, a little thimble. But that's why your friends are tuning in.

[00:02:36]

You think my friends are tuning in because of you instead of me? Yes. I think they can talk to you any time, but they're like, oh, my God, is he on that podcast with you? My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my God, God, God, God.

[00:02:50]

And then they listen and then they hear you, too. And then they find out that you're pregnant and they called it they call you anyway. That would this is fun. Brief look into my mind.

[00:02:59]

Yep. Sonna, how's it all going. How's your mom handling this news? She has been waiting. I mean, I've known you for many years and for years she wanted you to get married. I mean, to the point where it was like just anybody, you know, OK, calm down.

[00:03:15]

It wasn't that bad. It was just she you know, she was getting a little restless, but she wasn't like anything you bring home, just marry you. And I did a segment in Armenia where I took you to a woman who matched Armenian men with women, did you not? Yes, we do.

[00:03:33]

You seriously considered some of those men and many of them were interested. They were in their 60s.

[00:03:39]

Oh, my God. They were all like. And also, I think that they I think matchmaking is looked down upon in Armenia. And so they had all either gone to prison. Yes. I had like five kids.

[00:03:50]

You can probably look up this segment online, but I took Seona to this little house in Armenia in and this woman was showing you people and every time and she'd show us a picture.

[00:04:04]

And it was this guy who maybe was, I want to say conservatively 65 or 70 and look like he had been in a fight and lost multiple times. And then she would say, I like this guy is good, this guy's good. Now there is a problem. She would always say there is a problem. We go, what? And then they would she would talk about he was in prison for what? Well, this is the best part.

[00:04:29]

I have followed up and I sit in prison. For what? And she said, I can't remember. He was eating with somebody and they had an argument and he stabbed him with his fork. And I'm looking at this guy who looks like a pirate long after the ship went down and and he stabbed someone at a meal who was his friend. So watch what you say at the wedding dinner to this guy. So anyway, no, I just.

[00:05:00]

But you married this the perfect guy tech. I can never remember his last name, so I just add an easy in to his first name, which is no easy. Yes. It's which is not his name but yeah. Talk you know, the keesing. That's not how Armenian names work. You don't just add an eon at the end of their first name. Well they all have an E and at the end of their last name. Right, they do.

[00:05:20]

But it's not I'm suggesting to the Armenian people, lose the middleman, just add an end to the back of your first name. So it's tactic tactics. It doesn't make sense at Baconian Indian. Yeah, you could pass for Armenian. I could be an Armenian man who's very ill. That's very low. And then I go on that website that that woman has.

[00:05:44]

And there's one problem, one problem with Koenen Canadian. What's that? Very sick. Very, very sick Armenian man, is he alive, barely, he's barely alive in this photo, he's actually been stapled to the wall so that it looks like he can stand on his own. Well, I'm glad I'm glad the word's getting out. We're all very excited. And that will be something that we talk about on the podcast in real time. You know, the choosing of the names.

[00:06:14]

I'm sure that's going to be something. Yeah, we'll be voting on that, right? Yeah.

[00:06:17]

The listeners will decide what are some suggestions. Don't say Conan and Matt. OK, Matt and Conan. Yeah, there you go. OK, that one works.

[00:06:26]

Wow, that's exciting. Is there pressure on you to name one of these children after someone in your family?

[00:06:32]

I'd like to. I you know, I love my dad, but his name is welcomed Gill. But his full name is Gilbert.

[00:06:38]

Yeah, you can love your dad, but then there's a limit.

[00:06:42]

Oh, go back. So his name is Gil Bank. Gil Bank Ghanian. That's not how the names work. It's just we've established that it's the way the names should work and OK anyway. No, it's not going to be Gil Bank. We'll figure it out. I'm on I'm on it. I'm going to get you two great names. He needs a guy too. I know a guy. He sells names out of the back of a van.

[00:07:06]

Yeah, he's got some great names.

[00:07:08]

What do you think my dad got koenen. Hey, hey doc. Doc. You want a name. You want Konan. No one will believe it. He'll probably do something great with it.

[00:07:18]

What if you just name one of them in and then you've got that Armenian suffix just built in.

[00:07:23]

Ian Anyon. It's an Indian. It's just not Ian. Ian.

[00:07:28]

All right, listen, this podcast we need to we need it needs heavy editing. Yeah. I think we lost our way quite a while ago. Yeah. But congratulations on a very happy for you. And we'll check in in real time, very excited and very excited for the live podcast we are going to do as Sony gives birth. Very excited about. Very exciting. It's going to be an engineering feat.

[00:07:50]

Yes. We got already got a lot of special sponsors for that one. So yeah. OK, so it's going to be very exciting. It's going to be nice. Yeah. All done. Yeah. It's a contractual obligation. Have to do it. Yeah. No way. You have to sign a contract. Yes you did. Michelle Obama's coming back. Yep.

[00:08:07]

Michelle Obama is going to be there, do commentary for the live birth. It's a great use of her time.

[00:08:17]

Mrs Obama. Yes, I know you're busy, but we haven't asked from the Koenen people. Conan O'Brien, the host. Yes. He's got a pod. Yes. You've done it. Yes. OK, well, anyway, they want you present it anyway. I'm sure that's a yes. I'm so certain of it. All right. Well, we should get started. We have such a fantastic show today. Love our guest. My guest today, of course, an Emmy and Golden Globe award winning actress who starred as Sue Sylvester in the Fox series Glee.

[00:08:47]

You also know her from such movies as Best in Show and the 40 year old Virgin. Now she's the host of Weakest Link on NBC. I adore her. I'm thrilled she's with us today.

[00:09:02]

Jane Lynch, welcome. It's like a trophy on my mantle that people want to be my friend. I have chosen you. But to be perfectly honest, I also chose, I think how many of these have I done so far?

[00:09:17]

Like three seasons with 36 episodes each. I don't care. You don't care at all? I don't care. I just hope it lasts past this podcast and I have a feeling it won't listen.

[00:09:28]

If it did, you would be the first. Because I have found and that's not my choice, I, I want to have friends. I have found that a lot of people are very hot to trot, to use a saying that's out there with the kids right now when I'm actually talking to them on the podcast. And then when it's over, it's dead. They drop the mic and they move on.

[00:09:49]

Yeah, yeah. There's no loyalty. There's yeah, there's no there's no staying connection. And so I have high hopes for you because as you know, I've I've interviewed you many times. I've seen you socially. I've come to your house when you asked me not to. I am.

[00:10:07]

And I've been a fan of yours for so, so long. You are mind bogglingly funny. I'm going back to your first appearances on, you know, Two and a Half Men. And I know that you had been a working actor for a long time, but when you were playing the therapist on that show, any time I would see you on camera, I would think, oh, my God, she's funny. And this is before I got to know you at all.

[00:10:30]

But that's really nice of you to say. Well, it's true, and I hope you mean it. I'm reading off something I wrote on my hand long ago.

[00:10:38]

I say that to all my guests. It's been three and a half seasons. And I've and I say to everyone, I loved you on Two and a Half Men. And you know what? Eighty five percent of the time it works because so many people have walked through that. So now, seriously, you have I think you have one of the best deadpans in comedy when you when you are staring someone down, it is absolutely incredible.

[00:11:02]

And then, you know, just again, as I talk to you about this once, but maybe the hardest, I've laughed at at a television character in in in a long time was when you showed up as Sue Sylvester on Glee.

[00:11:17]

Oh, thank you. It was certainly an absolute joy to do, you know, and it was one of those things where the the the guy who wrote it, Ian Brennan, is basically it was Sue Sylvester was his brainchild. And we're both from from Chicago and we're both from these Irish Catholic families. And I think there was something there's a real dark side that we don't that you don't necessarily associate with the kind of the Irish. And but but we kind of shared that.

[00:11:45]

Yes. Well, guess what? I know exactly what you're talking about. I bet you do, Conan, which is there's a and I didn't know this.

[00:11:53]

I didn't know that you are truly I mean, your grandmother emigrated from Ireland and grandfather and grandfather, you know, my people came over.

[00:12:02]

We were the only Irish immigrants that got here before the pilgrims we got here.

[00:12:06]

We had to care. We had to carry their bags, meet the boat and carry their bags off the boat to see someone. And I said, come on in. Here you go. Right this way. That's Plymouth Rock right there. But you so you've got that hardcore Irish thing, which I know darkness comes.

[00:12:24]

There's there's darkness in there. And that's what I associate. It's a very Irish treat to treat, treat. It's a trait. It's not really a treat. It's the furthest thing from a treat not to treat it as a trade. It's a horrible, horrible Freudian slip. It really is a treat to watch others suffer. But I'm thinking of the time. Sue Sylvester, I can't remember the context.

[00:12:47]

You kind of there was an episode fairly early on where you let your freak flag fly.

[00:12:51]

Your character decided to just let it go and you put on a zoot suit and did a crazy dance. I can't remember what the context was, but it was one of the funniest things I had seen. I was trying to turn on my boyfriend, the guy who was the local news guy. Yes, yes. And we played Battleship together. And then I found out that he really loved he he loved, like 50s, you know, a music, kind of like a jazzy, bluesy stuff.

[00:13:19]

And so she she put on a zoot suit trying to turn him on. And it didn't work. And she did this you did this insane dance in a zoot suit. And it was so great because Sue Sylvester, who's kind of an invulnerable character, talk about armor.

[00:13:32]

And you had decided to just put it all out there. And it was it was just a complete mess. Someone who has completely defended would do it, you know, having absolutely no sense of how to actually be vulnerable, that you you know, you kind of basically walking around almost nude.

[00:13:51]

You have absolutely no protection. Yes.

[00:13:53]

My Glees story that involves Seona, we were in another part of the world far away where we in India, Seona.

[00:14:00]

We were in Dubai. In Dubai. Oh, wow. We were in Dubai together. And I was. I think I was working for the military at the time and I was in it military intelligence, so Seona was with me and were flying back and I'm and I'm looking out the window, as I do, and I'm checking the map to see where we are. And I see that we're crossing the Russian steps. And then I see that we're crossing this town at Hackenburg, which is where the czar's family, the czar and his family were murdered.

[00:14:33]

And I mean, we're like we're like, whatever, 30000 feet above it. You can't really see anything. But I'm like sonar. So I get over here, look out the window and Seona, look out the window. We're over Russia. Look down. There is a cat, Dornberg and Seona was wrapped up practically with a blanket over her head. And she had missed the entire like first she missed all the excitement about Glee.

[00:14:55]

So she was binge watching the whole thing and howling. And I said, Pushpa, so like now I'm watching Glee. And I said, Seona, we're crossing the Russian Russian statis, the Russian steppes. This is historic down. There's a cat in just about tinkly go away and like, put the blanket back over her head. Yeah, I think I made the right decision. I think you did, too. Yeah.

[00:15:19]

Russia smashy. Yeah. Really. That's some dark stuff. Yeah. But anyway I the anger of Sue Sylvester, I know and I am not an actor and I don't pretend to know anything about acting, but I know that has to come from somewhere.

[00:15:33]

Yeah. There's like that seething rage and I mean I definitely that's just you scratch the surface of me and you will find that seething rage. It's, it's in there. And I'd love to be able to access that and throw a tracksuit on it, which was basically her armor. You know, it was like her uniform. And, you know, she lived in her own action hero movie that she narrated in her own head about how she was victimized and wronged and she was out to save the world.

[00:16:04]

She would have been storm in that capital.

[00:16:06]

Yes, that's what I was actually thinking about, is that everything is everything you're describing dies. Yes. In full camo tracksuit. Right. She went on, this is all you know, because some of us would be very comfortable in a world where people lived through their own false narrative.

[00:16:25]

And that would be for you. And she would have found a lot of people to line up with the narrative. Absolutely. And she would be carrying the Trump flag, beating the hell out of us.

[00:16:35]

So here's a question, because you are I know you to be a very lovely person. Where does this anger come from? And I ask because I grew up in a nice place and I was surrounded by nice people and I had enough to eat. And I remember just being very angry as a young man and thinking why he was so angry.

[00:16:58]

Was I so mad about what were you mad about? You know, that's so funny. It feels like it's so far away. But I mean, I devoted the first four or five years of therapy working through this. And even my therapist said, I don't know where this is coming from because I had these really great parents who loved me.

[00:17:15]

And we you know, there was really no reason for it. But I had, like, this whole thing about how it was basically about rules. I actually did a character. I did a monologue in therapy. She said, come back, write that down, called The Angry Lady. And it was about how people don't follow rules. You know, when you when you when you're driving, you should you should indicate your intention to turn. And some people don't.

[00:17:40]

And it drives me mad. It was about following rules. And like we all agree on these these rules and we need to all abide by them. We have laws for a reason. I mean, I went nuts about that stuff.

[00:17:52]

It's so funny that your therapist said, I want you to come back and act out basically a one woman show and you're this known, talented, famous.

[00:18:01]

I was like, no, no, no. I mean, she knew I was an actor, but I was. But I wasn't that, in fact, that character, the angry lady, I ended up doing a one person show like everybody was doing in the late 90s. And she was my one of my characters throughout the show was The Angry Lady. And she wore a neck brace and had an eye patch because she was always hurting herself. She was all through the hell out of someone that she spoke like this.

[00:18:29]

She spoke and I came on to Ride of the Valkyries was the music that I did at that. That is fantastic. And I know you have the distinction. I know this is high on your resume of knowing Andy Richter. Before I did, I met Andy.

[00:18:51]

You know, I mean, it's coming up on thirty years ago when I was looking for I was twenty eight years, I think because he wasn't a writer, I mean, because I knew him then, he was just kind of the kind of cynical guy who was doing comedy every now and again and. I think he wanted to be an actor. Yes, we had, but we had, you know, a lot of fun together, doing a little crazy stuff in Chicago, but I didn't know him as a writer and I know he was hired as a writer.

[00:19:16]

Well, you know, it's so funny because we we didn't have a budget for a sidekick or anything. So and I'd even know that we were I was going to have one, but I was looking for writers. And so I met with Andy and we sat together in this diner here in L.A. He ordered this big bowl of borscht in the summer, in the summertime, which I thought I was like, what is going on? Why is he who eats beet soup in the valley in the summer?

[00:19:41]

And he just immediately I clicked with him and I thought, oh, this I love this guy and he's hilarious. So I told Robert Smiggle, who was the head writer, we've got to hire this guy, Andy. And he went, well, no, we've got to he's got to submit a packet. Yes. And I was kind of saying, no, no, no, no. We just have to hire him. And I'm sure he'll so but he and he did have to submit a packet.

[00:20:03]

And I remembered reading it for like two seconds and going, yeah, OK, submitted a packet, whataya so.

[00:20:09]

And then one thing led to another. But you got you guys did stage production of the real Brady Bunch. Really The Brady Bunch.

[00:20:16]

I remember I was a writer on The Simpsons and everyone in the writers room was saying, you've got to go see this real life. Virtually hilarious.

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It was at the Westwood. You were at the Westwood's. You guys had done it started in Chicago, and then you brought it to L.A. and it became a thing. And of course, I'm this, you know, 28 year old bachelor at the time, constantly. I mean, a different, different woman every night as postman lady. So there was no time for me to go and check the show cause I was hitting I was in the clubs.

[00:20:48]

Of course you were. I'm you know, it's a miracle I'm alive, but I regret not seeing the show.

[00:20:59]

But everybody said it was it was fantastic. People still talk about that show.

[00:21:04]

It was madness. It was messy and crazy. And and we took that beautiful Westwood theater, which is now the Geffen. And we ripped out all the seats and we put ratty couches in there. And you could drink. I don't know if you could, but you could smoke every where else we had done it. You could you could drink and smoke. But we turned it into just this. We destroyed that theater. But it was really it was it was a lot of fun.

[00:21:27]

It was just crazy and off the charts. I'm thinking that I other than seeing you occasionally in television things and really liking you, what really turned everything around was you met Chris Guest and he started he made you part of his troupe. And I got to think, first of all, how did you meet Chris Guest?

[00:21:44]

I did a commercial while I was, you know, doing a lot of commercials while I was in Los Angeles in the late 90s. You know, I was auditioning a lot, let's put it that way. And he cast me and Kellogg's Frosted Flakes commercial. Were we you know, we improvised very much like what Guffman was. And now Guffman was this preposterous fantasy that I would get to do something like that. So meeting him, seeing that he was the the director of that commercial at the callback, just just I was so excited.

[00:22:11]

And so we we did that commercial. And then he he said to me afterwards, you know, I do movies. Maybe we'll do a movie sometime. I was like, yeah, I know you do movies and I would love that. And then we ran into each other at a restaurant when he was casting best in show and he was getting Pank. I was getting pancakes. He was getting a muffin.

[00:22:30]

So funny how I do the same thing. I just said Andy Richter had borscht. Now that's almost 30 years ago. You remember that you were getting pancakes and he was getting a muffin. It's yes, I always remember that stuff.

[00:22:42]

Me too. It's always my light went out. Sorry, I do too. And also what people were wearing. And I could tell you he was in a tracksuit, which is kind of interesting.

[00:22:52]

He worked out Comedy Insider thing that people don't know about. Chris Guest is that he's this brilliantly funny guy. Yes. And he has made so many iconic films and so many people know him. You see from Spinal Tap, you know, or as far as his character in Waiting for Guffman. And when you meet him, he is the most low key person, almost like a butler.

[00:23:18]

He's very.

[00:23:19]

Yeah, I mean, like the butler from Arthur, you know, just very Jonquil good. Yeah. It's it's hard. You know, he was always really nice to me, but I have seen people go up to him, go, Oh hi, nice to meet you.

[00:23:30]

And he just shut it down so hard. Yes. He's, it's oh it's like hard to watch.

[00:23:37]

I did a show at the comedy at the Aspen Comedy Festival once and I think I was out there with Jim Carrey interviewing him and it was raucous and it was I don't know, this was in the early 2000s and it's just incredible energy or late 90s. And it was just this this incredible energy in the room. And and I remember the thing was over and I was like, you know, Thanks, Jim Carrey, everybody.

[00:23:58]

Goodnight, everybody.

[00:23:59]

And I walk offstage and there's a lot of just energy and cheering. And the first face I see is Chris Gas, because he had been in the audience and he had walked back. And he and I went, hey, you know, Chris, you know, when you have that energy, you expect someone to hug you and go, Oh, man, yeah, you nailed it.

[00:24:13]

And he just went, Hello, Conan in Aspen as well.

[00:24:19]

And I hope you enjoy your time. Good day to you. And then I was away, and it wasn't I mean, he's always been very nice to me and he wasn't being mean. His energy just he refuses to raise his energy knob. He won't do it. If you went to his door and knocked on the door and said, I have a giant check here. Christopher Guest, you have randomly been you just won a billion dollars in this completely random sweepstakes and people were shooting confetti and everything.

[00:24:42]

Chris Guest would say, that's the check and go over there. I suppose just because it's it's rather large but rather large, I suppose we will find a place check is more of a prop. I suppose actual money will be wired into my account. But I wish you well.

[00:24:59]

Yeah. So I didn't quite. But the brilliant thing is that obviously he he saw you and saw what you could do and then so you're in the first one was best in show. Best in show. Yeah. And then are you in a mighty wind as well with John Michael here. That's right. That's right. The Christy Minstrels. No new Main Street. Yeah.

[00:25:18]

Your character, I remember had a fascinating back story. Yeah. She was a porn star, former porn star, a former porn star, turned, you know, very clean, kind of up with people.

[00:25:28]

Christiani, a folk folk band.

[00:25:32]

Yeah. Yes. That probably happens. Yeah. Oh, I'm sure it does.

[00:25:36]

More often than we know. Yes. We've all done porn. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:25:41]

Another reason I couldn't make it to your show as at the now Geffen Theater.

[00:25:47]

And then, of course, Judd Apatow comes along. And it's interesting because, you know, he cast you in a four year old virgin and you're working in that Best Buy.

[00:25:56]

You have so many memorable moments in that movie and you have that magical thing where I don't know what your total screen time is, but you made every second of it count, like literally every second of it count, you know, that kind of like it is every time you're on screen, it's dense with with good comedy sauce.

[00:26:14]

Oh, well, thank you so much. It was that was one of the most fun things to shoot to because when we shot in the store, the Circuit City type store, there were like maybe say two or three weeks where we shot in there and he called everybody. And even if you weren't on in the script in the in the scene, so he would just, you know, like a good coach he'd, like, pull into the game.

[00:26:36]

So it was really fun. Yeah.

[00:26:37]

Judd has this and I imagine we're talking about Chris Gas and we're talking about Judd Apatow. And these are two people that rely on improvizational actors and finding that natural good rhythm. But they're also quite different because what Judd is known for, and I've heard this from so many people, is he practically has you think of it as like a bench in an NBA game. Yeah. And he gets incredibly talented people sitting there. And so you're not necessarily even in the scene.

[00:27:06]

But then he might just say, Jane, jump in. Exactly. And tell me what that's like.

[00:27:10]

Well, I got thrown into one scene and I knew I wanted to do that Guatemalan love song.

[00:27:17]

We have to please talk about that.

[00:27:18]

I thought that while sitting around on the bench and and I thought if I get an opportunity to go in there. And so I didn't tell anybody that I was going to do it, but I saw, you know, when he said, Jane, get in there, I thought, well, I'm going to give it a try. And I did say to Steve Carell, I said I might I might sing something.

[00:27:38]

And he said, OK, but that's so that's what it turned out to be, is that you're kind of sitting around, you're hanging out with really funny people and you're you know, you get inspired. And that's where, you know, like that idea came and and, you know, he throws you in a scene with Seth Rogen.

[00:27:53]

And, you know, it's just the greatest thing in the world because, you know, according to the script, we didn't really have any interaction, you know, and then we get to get to do stuff.

[00:28:02]

So he's really smart that way. He shot a lot to the way Chris does to Chris. Always shoots a lot of film, but Judge shoots tons of film. You know, he just keeps going and going and going.

[00:28:12]

Chris Guess and Judd Apatow know how to use improv. And I think what happened is I think a lot of people saw, especially in the last decade or so, they saw Judd's work and they said, oh, I get it, I can do that.

[00:28:29]

What you do is you get people to just improvise. And and that's what kids like, let's do that. And so what happened is I saw a lot of people who weren't judged and certainly not Chris Guest make these movies. And I could see everyone was improvising. Maybe improv was not their background, but there was a lot of. Yeah, well, OK, let's roll. If you call that a dog. Yeah. Looks more like a cat.

[00:28:55]

It had a haircut there anyway, and they put a lot of that. That's actually it. Maybe that was me just making something up. And of course because of my abilities, it was very, very wasn't very good. It wasn't. No, no, no, I was going with it was very good. Where are you going? Sorry. No, you were right. That was just really off the top of your head and brilliant. Yeah, there you go.

[00:29:16]

Yeah. Yeah.

[00:29:16]

And I think what happened with that is that you put the you put the cart before the horse and you and you don't have a story. You don't have defined characters with character arcs and you just kind of throw people out there. Yeah.

[00:29:29]

Just, you know, play it loose. And I think you have to have that, like when Chris and I know Judd does this too, they as they're watching the day unfold, they're thinking in their mind how, oh, how they'll edit this, you know.

[00:29:42]

Oh, I have an idea. They know the story that they're trying to tell and they know the arc of the characters. And so they always start from there as opposed to just say whatever comes to the top of your head.

[00:29:54]

Right. And that's what I think happened, is I started seeing a lot of movies where people were just shooting the shit on a movie, on a giant movie screen. And I paid twenty dollars, you know, and I'm I'm I was like, no, no, no, no. This has to be done correctly. It has it has to be used just right because it can be misused so easily. I always liken it to jazz, you know, really great jazz players.

[00:30:19]

You know, they know they they know their instruments. They know the scales. They they understand how songs work. And once you got that kind of urine, you built a little musical prison, technical prison for yourself. Then you can go outside of it. Then you have the right and the privilege of of of riffing.

[00:30:36]

But before you know the dynamics in that it technically what you're doing, you shouldn't be improvising so much about improv.

[00:30:45]

And being funny to me is watching you in a structure. And they put you and Seth Rogen and Steve Carell, you put these very talented people, but you're in a structure, in a story where you do have to care about Steve Carell and his journey. Right. And then you watch you guys playing around on that structure and occasionally bending one of the bars or slamming up against the side and maybe poking an arm through. But that's the fun that makes me feel like that's where the real magic is, in my opinion.

[00:31:15]

Yeah, I agree.

[00:31:17]

I always said I like to build myself a little cage, a little comedy cage, and then I bounce around freely within that. Yeah. And like you said, every once in a while an arm gets out or you bend a bar. That's what I tell my writers exactly what you just said. Well, four years, four years. I say it as my four years. I would tell my writers, build me a jungle gym and then people will see me playing on it.

[00:31:37]

And that'll be. And for many years they built me an actual jungle gym, which was huge, and they didn't know what they were doing.

[00:31:45]

And I would get hurt if it wasn't up to wasn't well-built. Yeah.

[00:31:51]

And I think to that kind of is what draws people, you know, erroneously to want to do this because it looks like you're having fun. Yeah. And it looks like you're playing, but it's it's very well crafted play. Yes. And the audience should never feel like, oh my God, what are they going to do next in a bad way. Right. You know, they should be delighted when they feel comfortable. They know feel comfortable.

[00:32:16]

Absolutely. That's the difference between a really good stand up and someone who hasn't really laid the foundation of their point of view and what and how they're presenting it.

[00:32:25]

No, I think the first two years I was on on the air, people would tune in to see, is this the episode where he starts crying?

[00:32:32]

And once I got past that point, it was OK, but the audience felt comfortable. Yes. No, I think the whole time you were you were very honest to God. I don't know how you felt.

[00:32:50]

There's something about and this is another place where I think we could maybe connect or have a discussion is told people you are very tall and a very tall, slender person. And I've always found and I think I am who I am, I am when I was like, I don't know about, you know, slender goes in and out, especially during covid I put on my slender goes in and out tiff's.

[00:33:15]

But I've always thought there's kind of a I know I think about John Cleese. There's a tall person kind of comedy there.

[00:33:23]

Sure. And and you, you know, in all the different roles you've played, you're very aware of your height and you use it so well. I don't know what it is.

[00:33:36]

You know what I'm talking about when I talk about you and see Dick Van Dike was was somebody to Dick Van Dike has a very gangly kind of, but he's quite elegant at the same time.

[00:33:48]

Do you remember Eve Arden? Yes. Yes. She was very tall as well. And if you look back at her stuff, you know, she was basically head and shoulders over the other ladies in the scenes and she just had a way that she moved. That was just it was so beautiful and lanky and funny, you know?

[00:34:04]

And so I maybe emulated that on some level. But I remember, you know, watching her and just thinking that she was physically so funny.

[00:34:12]

Guys like being tall for the most part. Right. Women have told me over the years when I've interviewed them, when they hated it, when they were younger, I don't know.

[00:34:20]

Yeah. There were times when I wish I weren't as tall, but for the most part, no, I didn't. And my mother was great about it, too. She was tall, so she grew up tall. And she her mother used to tell her to to bend over and not look so tall. So my mom was very instilled. You know, I'm not necessarily pride, but just, you know, it is what it is. You know, I didn't have much.

[00:34:43]

And also, you know, I'm gay, so I didn't care if I.

[00:34:45]

Wait a minute. Can you go back a second? Breaking news here. OK, this book now you listen to me. This is a certain kind of podcast with certain values, if you know what I mean. I do. Well, anyway, I didn't care about what guys thought, and it wasn't like, you know, I just didn't.

[00:35:07]

And I don't know, sometimes guys treated me kind of like a fellow guy. Yeah.

[00:35:12]

So, yeah, I didn't have what I'm sure a lot of women have about being tall.

[00:35:17]

You I know you talked about this in your book, but did you know you know when did you know. Oh, OK, I'm gay.

[00:35:26]

When were you aware of that boy.

[00:35:29]

I mean where I started to go. Oh my God. Was it during this interview. Yes.

[00:35:33]

Minutes ago, more people have awakened sexually on my iPod to your podcast. Yeah. Seriously, it's Springstein when I talked to him a couple of months ago and you know that it's not his name anymore. It's incredible. So so when did you how did you wrestle with all of that?

[00:35:55]

Oh, it was you know, it was a terrible revelation. I remember when I was about twelve or thirteen, I learned what the word gay meant and I was like, oh, my God, I'm the girl version of that.

[00:36:07]

Yeah, it was I remember saying to myself, like, even in college, you know, no one will ever know because my crushes were becoming undeniable. I was not having crushes on guys. I was having crushes on girls.

[00:36:18]

And I remember, you know, kind of on some level saying to myself, no one will ever know. You just you cannot no one can ever know.

[00:36:28]

And that makes me sad. That's too bad. It is too bad. Yeah. Yeah. But you know what? That's all right. It's all right. You know, I think it's given me, you know, compassion for what kids have to go through who don't, you know, live on the coasts or in grow up in, you know, and not friendly places and that, you know, they still exist, as you know.

[00:36:49]

Yes. That that makes me really sad for kids. But, you know, being in the theater, it's just teeming with the gays. So I was very much one of many in theater and people didn't care about it, you know, so that was a good place to come of age in my twenties was that it was in the theater with a bunch of people who, you know, couldn't care less.

[00:37:09]

I was always amazed, impressed that there's something about the human spirit. People, for the most part, will find a way to get to where they need to be. And I think often, you know, I'm talking about Seona for years and years and years. One of my favorite people that worked on our show and has since retired is Bruce Bramich, who, you know, I would talk to him about his story. And he grew up in West Virginia and he grew up, you know, I think in the 1950s in West Virginia and gay and very different.

[00:37:47]

And I just used to think about I don't know how he. Did it, but you can only imagine how difficult that would be, and he found his way to New York City and he found his way to the theater and he found his way into working in this thing that he loved. And then he found his way to, you know, our show. And I always thought it was a miraculous thing that people somehow there's something in us that says, OK, this is where I got to be and, you know, I have to get to the theater or I have to get to where people are making funny stuff.

[00:38:28]

And I have to be in that room with them. And I don't know how I'm going to get there, but goddammit, I'm going to get there. I'm going to get there. Yeah. You know what I do remember that it gets better.

[00:38:38]

The Dan Savage program where people talked about it was basically for kids who, you know, are having a really hard time of it in places like West Virginia, like growing up there, that it gets better.

[00:38:49]

And you find your people, you you you become, you know, compelled to find your people and you go where the love is. And I'm glad that, you know, New York is still that place for people. Los Angeles, any place where there's a theater community or. But if you know and if you're driven to be in the theater, that's really a great thing because you're going to find your people. But you know what? If you want to be an accountant, know.

[00:39:14]

Right. Right, right. I guess what they need, you know, look, Broadway desperately needs accountants. Exactly. Exactly. Tons of accountants in show business there. So where the love is now, despite all that, I'm told that you did have a crush on one boy. You had a crush on Ron Howard. I did. What era? Ron Howard. Happy days, Ron Howard. No. Yes. Happy Days, Ron Howard. Absolutely.

[00:39:42]

I did I he came to Chicago to promote Happy Days, and he was on the radio show. And I called in and I got to talk to him.

[00:39:51]

And I was just thrilled, absolutely thrilled. And, you know, I used to dream about him and John Travolta, too.

[00:40:00]

I used to draw their faces.

[00:40:01]

And I don't know why, you know, I guess, you know, I guess I'm sexuality fluid. But, yeah, there was. And also there was something about Ronnie Howard that was very safe.

[00:40:14]

He was he was a nice guy. Yeah. He would never ask you that, you know.

[00:40:19]

Right. Didn't do anything. Sexual damage. Boy, he is.

[00:40:22]

And he is. You know, over the years I've interviewed him many times. He is one of the least affected nicest people you will meet in the business. He really is that guy. And I got was thrilled because I was some event a number of years ago, some kind of fancy event. And I got, you know, please, this is your seat over there. You know, they separate one of those events where they separate the wife and the husband.

[00:40:48]

Yeah. Oh, my God. I'm sitting next to Ron Howard. And afterwards my wife said, What did you guys talk about? You guys? We're talking intently for two hours.

[00:40:54]

And I said, you're not going to believe it, but sunblock we took the whole time red headed. We're too pale red headed guys. And I swear to God, he was like, you know, he was like, he gets intense. So he was saying, well, you know, zinc. And I said, no thanks. A fallacy. You don't want to have zinc in there, you know? No, no, no. Here's what you want to do.

[00:41:13]

There's a French cream they make and he's like, no, I've tried that cream. And we were just going and exchanging formulas and was I thought, OK, you know, everyone I talked to after which was disappointed because they wanted to hear really cool Ron Howard stories. And all I came away with was, you know, there's this special chemical that they're working on in Iraq that might be of use. Yeah, a nice guy. Nice guy.

[00:41:40]

But so I think it's sort of another gift that comes and it takes a while for it to come. But people know your rhythm and they know your talent and people just that takes years and years and years to get to. I felt that way about my marriage to this is going to be a lot. That's how it felt anyway. So I'm a grower. Yeah, exactly. Well, OK, well spoken to my doctor, but I feel like there's so much to be said for confidence.

[00:42:14]

You know, that happens. Confidence breeds more confidence.

[00:42:17]

Right. And I think that once I started feeling successful and not just in the level of the jobs that I get, but how I did in them and showing up for a job was it was you know, I showed up like this, like, I'm going to show them what I've got. And after a while, you develop some confidence and there's nothing more attractive to people, I think, than confidence. You know, this kind of where you play down about yourself and, you know, you kind of don't want to hire that.

[00:42:48]

You'd rather just hire somebody who is. Who's confident and they're going to show up and do what they do and you've already decided you like it or not, you wouldn't have hired them. But I just have to say that over over the years, the thing that has saved me is the confidence that has come from, you know, showing up and showing up and showing up.

[00:43:08]

No, it's the confidence that, like Donald Trump had when he was first running, you just knew, like, this guy can do it, you know?

[00:43:14]

Yes. But you know what? That's what I think. I go the wrong way. Did I go to the wrong place with this? Kind of. But it's the same principle. The same principle. You know, I think it's. No, I know. Think I know what you mean.

[00:43:31]

I my one wish, you know, people I never buy when people say no regrets, you know, that kind of no regrets.

[00:43:39]

And then you think about a scotch and I think, no, no, no, I have regrets. I you know, if I could go back and have more confidence, it took me it took that so long. Absolutely.

[00:43:50]

I would do the same thing to if I could just start, you know, didn't didn't have to go through a lot of that self-doubt and the suffering over that and fearing the fear of being unmasked, that, you know, it's going to be revealed that I don't know what I'm doing, but that I would like to have a race that.

[00:44:05]

Yeah, but then you wouldn't be you. That's that's the catch 22. That is the flip side of the whole thing, is that I also am a believer in the long arc. Long periods of insecurity are somehow necessary. I can't tell you why. I don't know why I'm here. I'm sure they are. Yeah.

[00:44:23]

And if that insecurity doesn't destroy you and ruin your expression of your art, then.

[00:44:30]

Right. You know, it's a really great thing because some people just, you know, they crumble, they just crumble. And, you know, they're done by thirty five. Right.

[00:44:39]

Well we'll know next year when I turn thirty.

[00:44:43]

I'll be watching you. I'm going to have so much work done next time you see me. I have a question, Jane. If I had a lot of work done and it wasn't good work, but during and you saw me at a party and it was I was like, oh, shit, what did Conan do? Would you say something to me?

[00:45:01]

I probably would with my eyes, I you would, you know, I probably wouldn't say anything. And I try to say something back to you with my eyes, but I wouldn't be able to be able to move them. They'd be just plastered. And I'd be trying to figure out was, is it a lift? Is it just too much filler? Is it is it too much Botox? Is it a combination?

[00:45:22]

I think, you know, when when men get a facial surgery, sometimes it feminized them and they're looking like old ladies.

[00:45:31]

Yes, yes, yes. That's the kind I want to get. I want to the feminizing. Well, I want to get something done that's just horrifies people. And then I want to just I want to see who do I know is going to come up to me, go, what the fuck did you do?

[00:45:44]

And who was just going to go like, oh this is really good carrot cake. Well you are you're one of those people where I get up in the morning and I think, what am I doing today? And then I, I look and it says, I'm going to talk to Jane Lynch and I say I have a good life.

[00:46:04]

This is a really good life because you're hilarious and you have a very generous spirit and you're one of the funnier performers that that roams this spinning blue globe we called Earth.

[00:46:17]

And I'm just very happy to get to talk to you.

[00:46:21]

Same here. And you're very kind. Thank you so much. I so appreciate it. That's right.

[00:46:24]

And I'm you know, I'm funny, too. You are. You're very funny. You and you just from the start. Excuse me, you just said kind. And so I had to do something that was so sad the way it was a sad, very funny. And you're very kind. Oh, that's what that's what she did.

[00:46:41]

You saw what Jane did. She said Konate I said you're very funny. She said well thank you and you're very kind and I'm like what am I, Mother Teresa over here.

[00:46:49]

Oh what's wrong with Kindt. Have you seen her improv. She was very kind and she bathed the feet of the lepers but her improv sucked. She was a terrible improviser.

[00:47:01]

She would always and she would always go blue like word of gynecologist's, like Mother Teresa. Do that anyway. Thank you very much, Jane.

[00:47:13]

You're a terrific person and I bless you. Thank you.

[00:47:15]

Back at you takes one to know one. Here you go. See? Yeah, you did return it. And it's true. Yeah, well, we can't use any of this is unusable. You want to start now.

[00:47:33]

This is a little unusual, but I do have a favor that I would like to ask our listeners, and in order to ask this favor, I need to give you the setup. Just a couple of days ago, my son and I decided to take a little road trip. You know, we're all cooped up and my son, strapping young lad in the midst of a massive growth spurt, he confided to me that he's hungry and he loves in and out.

[00:47:56]

And I think we all do. This is not a this is not an ad, but who doesn't love. They're in and out of it can make an ad. No, no.

[00:48:03]

I mean, delicious. I'd want to know it's delicious, but I'm so you know, we're not getting paid to say that. So so screw it.

[00:48:08]

Maybe the is food now plays in and out if you're out there. I'm working. I'm just saying and I'm not getting paid. My son want to stop it in and out and I'm like OK with me. So we want to eat it right then. So what I do is I drive over and I pull into a parking lot that's pretty much empty and I want to stretch my legs. So I get out and I've ordered some food too. So I put my food on the roof because I want to stand, you know, get these long legs and they they get cramped up.

[00:48:35]

I hand him his burger through the window and I put mine on the roof and I was deejaying. I think I was introducing him to the group, The Cars, my best friend's girl, which is a great pop song, you know, fantastic guitar lick, just great production. And I was going to play that for him next. So what I did is I got out my iPhone and then I set it down on the roof of the car next to my food.

[00:49:02]

I think we all see where this is going. Eat the food in a reverie. It's in and out, not getting paid, but in a reverie. Yeah, finish the food responsibly, leave the car and go and put it all in that in a trash can that's right there.

[00:49:16]

Then jump back in the car and then get on the 101 freeway headed north and I'm chugging down the freeway and life is good and I'm loving it. And then I'm like, it's time to hear that song. And I'm about to reach for my phone and play the song from my son. When I hear Stop, Stop and I go, What? And then I immediately know that I left my phone on the roof of the car accelerated and it stayed for a remarkably long time.

[00:49:49]

But then just as I needed it, the phone knew it was time to go and went tumbling off into the pitch black night. It's now like nine o'clock at night and went tumbling on to the 101 freeway. And I'm like, Oh my God, I can't believe what I just did. And I tell my son and he loves to laugh at me. And so he really enjoyed, you know, you're an idiot. You're you know, it calls me a boomer, even though it's technically I don't think I'm a boomer, but he's like, you're a boomer.

[00:50:15]

You are stupid. I wish I had a different father, but wow. Mom's mom's great. You suck all the time. That's fun. Riff's. Oh, my God. Yeah. I'll never visit you and you're old. All that kind of fun stuff the kids say to their father. Yeah, you're my least favorite late night host of your podcast is a waste of time. I like Matt. I like Sona. But what do you offer?

[00:50:38]

You know, all the fun stuff kids throw out.

[00:50:41]

But then he's like using Find my iPhone. He's like, I can see your phone. So for a second we turn around and we go back on the highway to even try and find it. And then I'm realizing, like, I sort of start to think about pulling over on the shoulder of the road. Cars are going by it 80 miles an hour. Yeah. And it's like a five lane stretch of the 101. And I'm thinking I'm going to run out into the night dodging traffic, looking for a no, I'm not going to do that.

[00:51:08]

This is dangerous. It would have been a good story. Yeah.

[00:51:11]

What about Ryan gets hit by a car on the one on one looking for his phone.

[00:51:15]

Yes. Last words. Eat it in and out. Delicious.

[00:51:19]

Worth dying for.

[00:51:21]

So anyway, here's the point. I have one of those cases where you can put it. So it's your some of your vital stuff.

[00:51:31]

Yeah. Like that. Yes. Holding it up. I have one just like that. I have that case just like the one Gawley just held up, which I found this on the one on one the other day.

[00:51:41]

It's got a French fry in it from in and out, not an add on a French fry in your wallet. I always keep one free. I always keep one fry so that later on. Yeah, later on. It's your question. If you're later on questioned by the police and they say, where were you, you can say I have a fry to prove that I was it in and out. So I'm looking at my wallet and now I'm realizing, oh, I have my cash card and my credit card.

[00:52:08]

OK, those can be canceled, dammit.

[00:52:11]

My license. Yeah, my driver's license is in there and it's lying out there in the night in a phone case on the 101 freeway. And here that was where I get to the crucial part of the story. OK, my request to the listeners out there, OK, it's possible that one of you will. Roaming the 101 freeway, maybe that grass strip that runs along the side, maybe you're just roaming the center because that's what you do. There are people that just like to roam highways.

[00:52:44]

There might be a super fan. It's like there might be someone who just doesn't even care that much about me. But they find my dead iPhone. It's dead. It's been wiped automatically, but they find my license. And here's my fear. As you know, I love murder documentaries.

[00:53:03]

Oh, yeah. And I am obsessed with murder. My big fear is that someone's going to plant my license at a murder scene.

[00:53:11]

Oh, yeah, you're my fear is that some crime, it doesn't even have to be a murder. But my mind always goes to murder. There'll be some terrible crime. And at the site they'll find my I.D. and I will be arrested. So I want to get the word out now that this is my story. That's why my license is out there somewhere along the one on one freeway.

[00:53:35]

Now, this is highly suspicious. I kind of think you've already committed a crime and you're just laying an alibi.

[00:53:40]

Yes. I also think it's weird that the one thing you're afraid of by losing your license isn't that someone will steal your identity.

[00:53:48]

Who's going to steal Conan O'Brien's identity? Oh, what Tilda Swinton. What old Korean woman is going to walk into a store and put down and say, hi, I'm Conan O'Brien.

[00:54:00]

That's not going to work. You know, no one's going to do that. But what they could do is commit a murder. Yeah, drop the license. Their people love it when a celebrity gets arrested for murder. It's big news. And I think celebrities are more vulnerable than anybody to being accused of murder because the the paps love it. So I'm putting it out there. If that ID is found at a murder scene, that's my story.

[00:54:29]

Now, what do you say that you say that you think that I committed the murder already and that I'm trying to retrofit an alibi?

[00:54:35]

Possibly. It's terrible in a terrible way to do it. Yeah.

[00:54:42]

This is my this is how bad a murder I am. I committed a murder along the one on one freeway, in some grassy knoll, on the one on one freeway. Then like a villain in a superhero comic, I left a calling card, which is my which is my driver's license. Then I knew that I could get on the podcast and plant the idea that I lost it because I left it on the roof of my car. Yeah, your son will have to be deposed.

[00:55:10]

I know his beckert even there. Do I even have a son?

[00:55:15]

Oh, no. I mean, what am I making up? And guess what? I don't particularly like in and out. Oh yeah. And I'm. I'm vegan. I only go. None of this holds up. I don't own a car. I don't drive myself. I am driven by my by my chauffeur. And you don't have a podcast.

[00:55:34]

We just tell you you do this thing doesn't go out. This thing doesn't even go anywhere. No. So the whole thing is a sad ruse. But anyway, I'm just putting it out there that somewhere along the one, two, one freeway, probably nestled under a dead raccoon is is my ID. Mind if anybody finds it?

[00:55:51]

Should they just send it to where contact us, which I do.

[00:55:56]

If you find a license, you can't just dump it in a mailbox and it'll get to where it needs to be. That's the way it works for anyone else. Yeah. If you ever find a license, just pop it in the mailbox. I can I can I ask a question that's going to make me sound self-involved in vain.

[00:56:15]

But maybe that's true for you or for you, Matt. OK, but if someone finds Conan O'Brien's I.D., isn't that going on eBay? And then a hundred thousand one hundred thousand dollars later, you know, you figure your license is worth a hundred thousand dollars?

[00:56:32]

Well, especially if it's evidence in a murder. Yes.

[00:56:35]

They put the evidence on eBay. I looked on eBay.

[00:56:40]

I'm not seeing anything. OK, this is crazy because this is a third story of this vein because you lost your wallet or your phone that way, Seona, and you lost either a phone or a wallet before we've talked to.

[00:56:52]

Oh, that's right. You left one on the roof of your car. And, you know, I did I did the same thing. So you and I are basically the same.

[00:57:01]

And I don't I don't want to say you were mean to me about it, but you did make fun of me for it.

[00:57:06]

That's right. For leaving my wallet on top of my car and then driving off. You made fun of me for it. It doesn't sound like me. Doesn't sound like something I would do. I'm a compassionate person.

[00:57:16]

I worry sooner because you're soon going to have twins.

[00:57:19]

Yeah. You know what? If you're like, I'll just put these twins on the roof. Yeah. While I eat this burrito.

[00:57:26]

Time to go. Well, I mean, babies are resilient from what I've heard, so.

[00:57:34]

Did a little tuck and roll. I love a tuck and roll to twins tucking and rolling in baby seats and being perfectly fine, and they land in the center and the on the side strip and they look over and they pick up a wallet.

[00:57:54]

Conan O'Brien needs a friend with Sunim Obsession. And Conan O'Brien has himself produced by me, Matt Cawley, 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 Bozena. 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 this show on Apple podcast and you might find your review featured on a future episode.

[00:58:25]

Got a question for Conan. Call the Team Coco hotline at three, two, three, four, five, one, two, eight, two, one and leave a message in two could be featured on a future episode. And if you haven't already, please subscribe to Conan O'Brien needs a friend on Apple podcasts, stitcher or wherever fine podcasts are downloaded. This has been 18 cocoa production in association with.