Hi, my name is Kenan Thompson. And I feel great about being Conan O'Brien's friend. The bell, brand new shoes walking along the fence. Hello there. How was that was that the secret you just put on this broadcast, her voice when you say hello there, usually from destroying me? Yeah, talking about getting help to just suddenly be like I'm a professional guy. No, look, your voice changed eight registers. You went to the sauna like ultra high frequency to.
Hello. Hello there. I'm trying you know, I'm trying to to become professional when I do the podcast. And it's not working. The biggest the biggest note that we get about our podcast is that it is by far the least professional operation anybody's ever encountered.
So I thought I'd start with.
Hello, I'm Conor and welcome to Conan O'Brien. Needs a friend. But I should say, just before we started the podcast today, Seona had a total technical meltdown.
And it's it's been a joy for me. I've been and I've been loving it because usually the joke is, ha ha, Conan the old fool.
What an idiot. You know, everyone laughs at me because I'm not very good with tech. Obviously, I way outperform in other areas. But when it comes to tech, not great. But I think I've really learned how to do it pretty well. I got on my computer early today. I set up my ringlet. I adjusted my mic to the various correct frequencies. I did everything right and just an eleven o'clock when we were starting, I was ready to go.
Seona immediately froze. And Seona, you said your problem was that you were you didn't have you weren't hard wired. You were in a different room. Are you hard wired?
Do you know what hard wired is? Yes. What is it? It's a thicker coating around the wire.
Makes it harder to bend. You're not hard wired.
You know how I know you're not hard wired either is because if you need to be hard wired, we need to bring our I.T. guy, Chris Hayes, to your house so that he can hardwire your computer. So. So you're saying that the thing that I was making fun of you for not having, I also don't have. Yes.
You haven't even achieved that level yet. You have you don't even know where your router is. So you couldn't even hardwire yourself even if you wanted to.
I could try. I've seen the movie Weird Science, and I happen to know by watching Anthony Michael Hall that all you need is a computer and then some some pictures of girls in magazines from the eighties.
And then you need to wear underwear on your head and get hit and the house has to get hit by lightning. And then a real life sexy woman will come out of a closet with a lot of steam.
OK, so everything you know about tech, you know, from that nineteen eighties, everything I ever needed to learn about technology. Kelly Lubbock s correct. I saw that movie when I first came out to Los Angeles and it was like one of the first movies that I think Greg Daniels and I who were writing partners, we had nothing to do. We had no girlfriends, we had no social life. We we wrote jokes all the time. We shared a car.
We went over and there was a movie called Weird Science, and we watched it.
And in it, these guys, these idiots, literally, they want to create the perfect woman. So they cut out pictures from a magazine. I mean, and they feed them into I don't know what they just feed them. I think it to a print computer or a computer. Yeah. And then the house they wear helmets, made a foil and they were because oh they were bras on their heads. The house gets hit with electricity and then suddenly a closet opens and there's a lot of the same light they used for E.T. and the Goonies and every other movie made in a.D.A.
Kelly Le Brock walks out in her underwear. And I thought, oh, so that's how computers work now. Sex, yes. And sex. So I tried for years afterwards to create a woman by shoving pieces of paper into any hole I could find in the computer and then hoping that I'd get hit by lightning and nothing nothing happened. That's not actually true. Now, that's I did create Andy Richter. So that was it wasn't quite what I was looking for.
But he's hilarious. It's one of the funniest people I've ever met. So I didn't get exactly what I was looking for. And but it was still, you know, it's it was a great achievement. Andy Richter, I should point out, was also wearing the same underwear, Kelly, that was wearing, which was it again, what my favorite thing, but not my least favorite thing either. Do you remember that?
I think she was wearing, like blue briefs and a cut off like half.
Top sweatshirt? Yeah, well, I, I, I want to I want to pretend I don't remember, but I remember exactly. So that had that movie had a big impact on me, weird science, because I decided then that computers aren't so hard.
He just needs it sort of in a weird way, it was anticipating the secret, you know, which is if you the whole Oprah philosophy of if you just think about it, it will happen. It's the same. It's the same. Yeah. It's if it's if nerds don't have a girlfriend and they want a sexy girlfriend, they just have to buy a lot of softcore porn magazines and shove shove pictures. How do you feed it into a computer?
I'm looking at my computer now and I want to say this is my big problem. I love Apple products. My big problem with Apple is I don't see a place for me to shove. Yeah, a photograph of Kelly LeBron, right? No, I don't see it anywhere. We should talk to Tim Cook about that. You should. I've called you your power. I've called many times. Oh, no. I left messages with his assistant.
So somewhere there's a bunch of memos that say to Tim Cook saying Conan O'Brien called Ari.
No, no, no portal in any MacBook pros where he can insert photographs of 80s sex symbols to create them while wearing a bra in his head and getting hit with lightning. That's what it says in the memos to Tim Cook. There were at least 50 of them and he's never returned my call. I love the image of your computer on a desk. And below it is a bunch of crumpled Kelly that brothers tried to shove into it. And you just try like I get frustrated.
And for a while I was trying to use what I thought. And it was just like, no, that's just a small that's just this. The power cord goes there. No, that's you know. So anyway, get on that apple, because there are a lot of freaks like me who are, you know, we're ready to go.
Yeah, this is important. Wherever else you're working on, stop. We need portals to put in pictures of 80s fixable. Well, I also and this is going to be controversial. We've got plenty of vaccines now out there. Oh, boy. Oh, I'm just saying, let's pull up some of those people in research and development. You've got at least five vaccines. Let's put the person working on the sixth working on creating Kelly le Brocks using MacBook Pro.
Hey, so who's who's on the show today? Conan Yeah. Let's please let's please change the subject because I really don't want to update my resume. So who is on who's on the show? Well, I'm glad you brought it up. Oh, good. Because I'm pretty sure what I just said was unacceptable.
You're pretty sure I am. Sixty percent sure that my idea to pull research and development people off of more vaccines and putting it put them into making what happened in weird science a reality, probably most people will think I'm a little off kilter.
So I think it's a good time to bring out the guest. Yeah, yeah, probably. My guest today is a hilarious comedian who's been a cast member on Saturday Night Live for eighteen seasons.
Good God. Making him the longest tenured cast member. That's fascinating. That's fantastic. I've been the longest host of the Conan show. You know that no one else has hosted Conan longer than Conan. OK, I made it about myself. Let's not do that. I'm thrilled to have him here. I can't believe he's been on SNL for 18 years. He's so funny. He also stars in the new series Keenan on NBC. I'm excited to chat with him today.
Kenan Thompson, welcome. You know, people love you, they really do. I was talking to they you are absolutely beloved. I appreciate it. Now, it's true.
You have a you have a you were saying other things before we got on.
Well, before we got on, we were just getting started. And all I said was I asked Kenan, you know, where he was right now, and he said, he's in L.A. because we're doing this remotely. I could feel your presence. And he said, what's that feel like? And I said, it's it's covid like symptoms. It's a it's a heaviness in the chest. It's a minor. It's a mild fever. And but I mentioned as a compliment.
Yeah, absolutely. And that's how I took it. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. The power of your personality. Many people have thought they were having covered and then it just turned out Keenan was nearby and they were picking up on his vibe. And it's such it's such a powerfully good vibe. Their immune system can't handle it. That's what's having the chance. Yeah. Heavy in the chest. Yeah. Yeah, it's in the chest. It's respiratory mostly.
No kidding. Seriously, I was talking to a friend of mine and he's always saying who's who's on the podcast? And I'll always say who it is. And I said, I got to go soon because I got a podcast. And every time I tell him who's on the podcast, my friend Rick, he's he's like, oh, I really like that person. I like that person. And I said, well, I got to go. I'm going to touch a key.
And Thompson and he starts kind of yelling into the phone, He's the best.
He's the best. He's the funniest guy, my favorite cast member on Saturday Night Live. And it's just like, all right, I got OK, that's good, Rick. That is exactly. Yeah, it was the ghost of James I was talking to. And that's incredible. I knew I knew you were spiritual. Like, yeah, I'm very spiritual. And I only talked to into I only talked to only. Right. Is the message really.
Yeah. Through that. Yeah. Through the, through Dave Chappelle. I talked to the ghost of James, but I understand that reaction because I know I'm friendly with Bill Hader, who I think is one of the funniest people in the world.
And absolutely he's such a huge fan of yours and he talks a lot about you and your serenity kind of on stage.
You're very you're so happy when you're performing, but you're also serene and that it's very comfortable to be around. And he's do in sketches and thought, man, I wish I could I wish I could channel more of that, which is, I think maybe the highest compliment. Absolutely.
I mean, that's amazing. I guess I'm putting up a good front because I'm actually, you know, pretty terrified doing that stuff at the same time. Are you are you really, though?
Because I don't I don't pick up any of that energy from you. I mean, you've been doing this. You started being a professional sketch performer on television. How old are you? Like, fifteen.
Yeah, my God. But, you know, we were still, like, recording to tape. You know, I'm saying, like, the live element is a whole nother level. So true. True. It's just it reminds me of theater, you know what I mean? It's like you you're so nervous before you do your play. And then as soon as you get out there and say your first word, like all of that stuff just like goes away or whatever.
So I try to anticipate getting to that moment more as opposed to being nervous. But I also get to shake my jitters, singing the warm up, you know, I mean, it gives me my chance to, like, be in front of those strangers that are going to be looking at me or whatever and get past that, you know what I mean? And then I can focus on the actual work. And I think it's different for people when they their first time seeing the people is for the cold open or if they're in the monologue or something like that.
It's just like all those jitters up to that point. And then it's about waiting on your first laugh, you know what I'm saying? Yeah, I know. Hopefully the first thing you say is a laugh and you can just get through that.
Here's the way I look at it. I look at it like a any audience. It's a blind date. Do you feel that that's a unique thing to comedy? Because like, if you're doing like Shakespeare, it's always Shakespeare or whatever. Yeah, but comedy, you have to earn a reaction every time. Yeah, right.
Well I can't say with any authority because I'm not an actor.
I've never been actually been told not to do Shakespeare and that was in the part you it I did it basically and I don't look good in tights and they, they didn't like the whole thing, they want to be gone. And it really wasn't Shakespeare. I was just trying to talk to women in tights and the whole thing kicked everybody out. And then later at my lawyer said, let's call it Shakespeare in the park. Yeah.
That guy, by the way. That's right. That's my banker. Yeah. Yeah. But anyway, I share in any of those classes, it was a big deal that I know.
I know it's this was a long time ago, but I, I've always been very envious of people.
You'll see the times that I was around or performing for, you know, or or in the same room and watching President Barack Obama give a speech. If he makes a joke, it kills. But he doesn't have to make a joke. He can just tell you we need to bring peace to the world and the whole room goes crazy. And I'm sitting there thinking, if I go up there and say, oh, by the way, we need to bring peace to the world, they say, shut up.
No one wants to hear from you. It's a weird thing because that speech is well prepared, you know what I mean is written in red over several times and they don't have to deviate from that at all. Right. But still, even doing that terrifies people. You know what I'm saying is the difference with people. I don't know, man, it's it's a tough thing to try to, like, get past. But it's also part of, like, embracing the fact that it's got to happen.
You know what I mean? It's almost like pulling that tooth. My daughter, you know, was scared about losing her tooth recently and it was just wiggling and kind of I'm glad it was loose because if for a minute I thought you said my daughter, she had this, like, healthy second tooth and I thought it had to go.
Yeah. It was like, no, daddy got better.
But anyway, so she had this tooth that had to go and, you know, and she was so scared of me pulling it, like I tried to pull it a couple of times. It was making her crying. And the dentist was just like, let her just let it fall out on its own. And like the next day, you know, she was an apple and it just popped right out. And it was it was no big deal, you know.
And she was so happy and the tooth fairy was coming to visit her and everything. So she got, like, right over it basically. So it's kind of that same philosophy. But, you know, a lot better preached than performed then. Yeah.
You talk about Starting Out Live, which is such a uniquely terrifying place to work in some ways. In many ways. And when you say you get to sing in the warm up, what it means is you get to go and meet the audience and connect with them before you've ever been in a sketch.
And yes, I understand completely how that would settle you because you almost feel like you were on your way. I'm going to go with the blind date analogy, but you've parked at the restaurant and you're on your way in when you bump into the person that you're going to be seeing in five minutes and you guys share a big laugh and you have a good connection. And, you know, before the blind date starts, you're OK is so scary.
And I wish there was a way to get past that. But Leslie Jones talks about it. She's just like, you know, it's because you care if you didn't care, then you wouldn't feel anything.
Yeah, that's that's the crux of I mean, obviously not just performing a lot of things, but the minute you think I've got it, I'm good. Yeah, I cracked this and I figured it out and it's smooth sailing from here on out. Nothing good's going to happen anymore. It'll be fine. And people might pay to see it, but nothing real is going to happen.
And I think that's why. Wrong. You want that raw meat. Yeah, I know you're a carnivore.
You know, it's funny cause I was I was thinking about you.
You're such I could be wrong. But I think I know one of the things that would make someone like a Lorne Michaels really love you. He wants you to be a really good performer. But I know specifically it means a lot to him when people are. It sounds old fashioned. Sounds like I'm my mom talking now when it means a lot to him, when someone's well-mannered and has manners.
And I remember that's the candidate in him. Yeah.
And I know that years and years and years ago in another lifetime now, twenty eight years ago when he, you know, tapped me to, to take over the late night show, I remember thinking, wow, Lorne Michaels picked me because he thought I was the funniest one.
And later on he was like, he was like, no, that's not why I picked you. And I said, Oh, really? And he said, You're good. You have good manners. He said, you have good manners and you'll be well-mannered with the guests.
And I thought, shit, that's the reason you picked me. I saw you. Oh, man. Yeah. Then it wasn't so well mannered. Listen to me, you piece of shit from Toronto. And where did you get a leather jacket for all of a sudden? I sprout a leather jacket when I become enraged. The way the Hulk turns green, I grabbed a leather jacket. But and, you know, all the times that I've at times that I've encountered you, you're capable of so much explosive comedic joy.
And then you're also a very quiet, very kind person who sort of exudes, I don't know, for lack of a goodness, you know, and and you're nice to Putri.
That's good old Southern charm. You know, I have my manners and I was raised with no one would pleasantries can get you in life. You get a lot further with the honey than you do with, what is it, salt and vinegar chips.
I don't know what it's got a lot of salt and vinegar. I'm bad at saying maybe. I mean, first of all, yes, that's that's the essence of the saying. I've never heard it said that way. But I like that. I think it's true. You can't get further with honey than with the salt and vinegar chip, depending on what you're eating or drinking, but or what you like. Yeah. I mean, I know for me that comes from my mom, big time from my mom for sure.
She was definitely like always in the start of like OK, but none of this Nickelodeon mess. I will take you out of here in a heartbeat and we'll go back to Elin and I will beat your ass all the way back and like all of that type stuff. So I was, you know, raised in the fear of the Lord and the fear of my dad's belt. You know, I came from the weapons area, you know, and so I was taught to behave myself, but I mean, I don't know, I'm just a positive person.
I like to stay happy and want the people around me to be happy. And I'm always really, you know, eager to celebrate a funny moment. If it happens naturally. I'm not necessarily the guy in the room, like, hey, everybody, gather round. You know, I'm glad I got something funny going down and I would love to tell you about it.
Guess what the truth is, Keenon? Everybody hates that guy. They do. And he does, too. He hates him. He hates himself. And I know because I'm that guy, anybody who comes into the room and says, hey, everybody, I got some funny stuff going down, check me out. He's about a year to live before he's murdered by everybody.
You're dragging in a giant trunk. Yeah, it's funny because I heard you say in an interview once that when you were a kid, you really loved The Price is right.
The game show, The Price is right.
And then you decided, like, I want a whatever that is. That's what I want to bring to people through entertainment. And it's so funny because I kind of know what you're talking about. And at the same time, I never took my inspiration from The Price is Right.
I mean, it's just the level of joy for those people to hope to get their name gold, you know? I mean, like, that's how you get in. It's like we want to see how excited you are to meet Bob Barker. You know, what I'm saying is like, oh, yeah, Bob is a, you know, college crush of mine. And ladies are, you know, bouncing their balloons around. Oh, no. It's a very colorful place.
Keenon, you looked in the mirror as a child and said, I want to make people that happy through through being funny.
You realize those people are getting Yats, they're getting barbecues, they're getting free, they're getting cars. Haitian's like. That's why I think as a steep hill to climb with jokes.
Yeah, I look at Oprah and Ellen sometimes and I think, you know, people are screaming and crying and jumping up and down and they're so happy because they just got something. They they each got the equivalent of twenty five or thirty thousand dollars. And I think I'm never going to be that funny. There's no way possible. But this is a six year old looking at himself in the mirror. God, yeah. Yeah. Now I mean, it's a steep hill to climb, but I don't know man.
Just the colorfulness and the joy of being in a room all together on a vibe like that, trying to figure out, you know, jobs that match that kind of energy. And that was definitely one of them, which is a big part of like why I've been there for going on eighteen seasons.
Now, when I see you on Saturday Night Live over the years, I can see that you're you're most alive when it's it's completely beside the point foolishness.
Absolutely. No, I'm thinking about like Diondre Cole and and like what's up with that. The idea that the show your talk show host who never lets anybody talk because you're too busy singing and I'm always looking at who's going to come dancing out, what's going to happen. And it's a complete it's an explosion. It's an explosion. Joy, madness. And the guests are never allowed to say a word. Yeah, that's the kind of show I want to remove.
Silly. Yeah. It's the perfect storm of extremes. Silly that we are all so excited to even get on, even when it's like the fifth time going around, like when we were rehearsing the first time and afterwards I would see like Sudeikis pouring sweat, you know what I'm saying. Yeah, like he's just dancing. Like it's not like a sketch. He has to do that for everybody was just loving the idea and loving the vibe that it was creating.
It was the greatest parade of my friends that I could ever come up with, you know. So that's the kind of shit I'm talking about when I talk about like price is right, you know, level of enthusiasm, just a big wild circus, but still setting something funny, basically like that. Lindsey Buckingham joke is my favorite thing in the world.
Yeah. Yeah. In the world. Bill Hader just sitting there. You always got something to say every time he came to say something serious. And I tell them we're going to get to it, we're going to get to it. And he's sitting there and then I love it. I love the cut to him every time. And you say you always it's such a it's such a smart joke. You plant, you put it out there. He's supposed to be with his family.
It's the holidays. But well, and but he flew here. He took like three planes to get here this Christmas. My buddy, he's going to tell us the meaning of Christmas. And he made a huge sacrifice to be here. And then at the end, sorry we couldn't get to you. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. We forgot. We ran out of time with you. Oh, you ain't mad at me, are you, Lindsay?
But here's how I watch.
Because I worked at Tanit Life, I think, before you were born, but because I worked there. Way back in the day, and I don't think this has changed. I always watch that show differently because when I watch you do say Diondre call, I'm very aware that you did a dress rehearsal and the dress rehearsal. So when I'm seeing you do that, I'm aware that you did it an hour and a half ago and that nobody holds back in dress rehearsal.
So that is unbelievable to me. I'm thinking nobody in America knows this is the second time in an hour and a half that you've done it.
Well, thank you for telling them because they need to recognize bullshit. You should get paid twice to say that's right and the NCAA should be paying. What else can we can we can vouch for this.
I'm going to get a lot of people. You know what I can do. Let me represent you in a class action lawsuit. And I'm not going to go I'm not going to break me. I'm gonna get my lawyer. And as you know, he loves you. But I'm going to get I want you.
There are a lot of people that perform at a lower energy.
And when I see what you do on that show, often, I think know he did that twice tonight and no one in America knows that. So I'll start a Kickstarter to get compensated for those other performances they're not seeing. Yeah, no. I mean, I appreciate it, but yeah, that's a that's one of those other, like, personal things that, you know, people inside appreciate and they know when they see it and you know, it graduates and it helps the word of mouth as far as getting other jobs is concerned.
But honestly, like, you know how that celebration thing is fleeting over there. Like, you know, you celebrate something that went well one week and you're back starting fresh on Monday. And that week might be the worst week of your life. You know, you can learn to kind of like mediate the celebration and just kind of look back on it, like when it's all done, probably, you know what I mean? And, you know, the fact that you did it twice is like, wow, I feel like, you know, a very, you know, durable type of a performer, like the fact that my voice cracked sometimes, like doing warm up and then doing the Andre Cole twice in the night.
It would take its toll sometimes. So in other sketches, my voice might be blown and that will bug me more than anybody else because I don't think people are paying that much attention to it. But at the same time, it allows me to forgive myself because it's like, yeah, it meant like you were doing, you know, two shows a night. Like, it's all good. You can have a crack on that one weird world, one weird word, and nobody would really be paying attention.
There's the pride two of you're giving it your all all the time. I try to man. I mean that that was one of those pride points of being a professional. You know, growing up when I was trained, like when I was looking at my mentors in a theater, that's all they talked about, being being on time, being prepared, knowing your character, knowing your lines like, you know, little things like that. So I always take those performances to heart when I feel like I went into it with the right attitude, basically.
So if something goes well and I was being a little turd about it the whole week, like, I don't feel as good about it, you know what I mean? But like, it makes me feel good when I have done a whole lot of work and people still talk kindly about me.
That's not the word we got before we got on this phone call. But is that right?
Oh, OK. That's a business to me. What exactly was that word?
There were just there were all these you know, this is what Kenan requires before you'll get on this show.
That's interesting. That's interesting.
Do you ever find that people someone will say that we were told X or Y about you and it didn't come from you? I've actually had that in the past where interns back at NBC were told, don't make eye contact with Conan. I never said that. I was. I was. And in fact, I like to chat up everybody.
And I had to I had to learn that because people would walk by and they'd be like, hey, and then they wouldn't say anything. And I'm like, what is that? And they were like, oh, they're told not to speak to you guys or whatever. I'm like, that's that's crap. You know, I'm like, we're from I'm from the south. So everybody, you know, says, Hey, how are you doing? Good morning.
Would you like some tea or would you like some lemonade? Just, you know, everybody has to eliminate, I guess as they're walking around. I find that really weird. You're saying, wait a minute, Kinnane. You're saying you walk anywhere in the south and you're just walking down the street and people are just coming out of the bushes saying, would you like some tea? Would you like some lemonade? You should try it. You should you obviously haven't tried it.
It's a little crap. There's anything that has a tea. I love it. You live in this. You're at your s is this magical Disney sound. If just coming out of. Would you like some tea. Would you like some lemonade. Yes, I would.
Well hello Mr. Bluebird's. Tweet, tweet. Tweet. Well, I very much would like some lemonade. Meanwhile, it's just me up in a tree tripping out. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It'd be great if I went with you and we were just walking around Georgia and that's what you were experiencing and I was seeing what's really happening. And then I realized, oh, he had a serious psychotic break. A long time ago. I know that you're also into one of my obsessions is bicycles.
I grew up riding bikes and I recently got into it like workout wise, because I've been through, you know, lifting weight years or trying to jog and being a jogger type years. And, you know, I just didn't really stick to any of them. I hate gyms. I hate treadmills. I hate stationary bikes. They don't make enough sense to me like it's the worst, you know, waste of my time ever. Basically, I could be outside running, but it takes a toll on your knees and blah, blah, blah.
So biking came back up and my wife bought me a bike for like my birthday or Christmas or something. Yeah, it became a thing like I had time during covid in the beginning of lock down for like six months. I was in Tampa and it was great bike trails. I just started hitting it every morning, you know, and then got back to New York and kept it up and got a new bike that goes a little faster and stuff like that, and started hitting on the New York trail.
So I wanted to ask you, being in L.A., like, I mean, riding on the beach, but where else do you ride out here?
First of all, that's my business, OK? Yes. It is not going to kill you. Could you write your address down? I said I said you were well-mannered. I think those were rude questions. I apologize.
No, I'll tell you, first of all, I'm bitter because I lived in New York for years.
There was no place to ride your bike. And it's like the second I left, they said, is he gone? Yeah, he's gone. Yeah. Bike carve out the same bike, try bike trails, shut down whole sections of the city and turn them into beautiful bike lanes and the middle of Times Square.
You want to see in Times Square from a bike. Now the cone is gone. Yeah. They waited for me to go. They those bastards, they waited for me to go and then they turned it. And now, of course, there's a lot of great places.
You don't really feel that pretty great. You can you can ride from like the Tappan Zee to like Brooklyn basically on the bike trails.
When I think about what I used to do because I had a bike and I think about how I just used to dodge cabs and I used to get up and go across the George Washington Bridge and I'd be like crazy. And I think I probably was killed ten times over and I just don't know it. I don't know. I'm don't go around. Go around. Yeah. I had a large I had a large tricycle and a really large flag. Yeah.
A little flag and my my baseball cap sideways and I was like Oh wow. To me screw you too. It's not a trick, it's a bike with an extra wheel. And now it's a completely different experience here in L.A. It's really tricky.
I have a bunch of rules because I, I don't want to die on a bike and I'm constantly seeing people.
I don't know if you've had this experience now that you're here in Los Angeles and doing some work here.
But when you're in L.A., all I do is see people that look like they're doing their best to get killed. They just they ride on like the main road here.
One of the main roads that that runs all the way across Los Angeles is Sunset Boulevard.
And people think if it's a famous street, people think of it as a street. It's not a street. It's a highway. And it's a highway. It's a highway with no shoulder. And there's a lot of blind corners. And every night I come home, I'm driving my car and it's nighttime and I'm coming back from the studio at the theater and I'm coming up in my car.
And when my car and I'm coming around the corner and someone will be wearing all black and it's dark and and they'll be black and they'll be here and they'll be black and I'll be like, hey, you, you're black and you're wearing black, which sounds like I'm being racist, but I'm just worried.
You know, you're not you're worried because it's nighttime and they're riding a bike in the traffic. Sometimes my worry is misconstrued racism. Yeah. It's because of the it's you are wearing black and you also appear to be black. And I'm worried about you at nighttime on that bicycle. But no, it's really bad. So I have all my rules involved.
I feel like I'm jinxing myself as I say this because I think like, OK, now tomorrow I get hit and then this plays. But I really do try hard. And what I do is I try to I try to stay off streets like that. And so I have all kinds of shortcuts. And then if you can get down to the water safely. Yeah, that's where it gets amazing because there are these trails you can ride way south of LAX and it's really amazing.
Long Beach, there's amazing bike paths. Oh, wow, you're fantastic.
So I will it will the minutia of it and detail will be boring on a podcast. But I will gladly tell you everywhere.
I think you should go please map me out because like I've been riding it, you know, Santa Monica and it's nice going north and then you go south and you run into reality. So it's like, all right, cool. Yeah. You want to do is continue along for a while and just look at the ocean in the mountains in this cape. Yeah.
What you want to do is get south of the marina and there's a whole kooky way and you don't have to do this. I'll just put that out. There, if you want to ride with me, I mean, I feel like you're saying it because you want company. I mean, I could be reading into it a little too far, but I was I only do this as a favor to you.
I desperately want you to ride with me. It's like this thing is called Conan O'Brien Needs a friend.
How many clicks are you doing here? Yes, there is a way to get down. You basically want to get south of the marina and there's actually like a bridge that goes over the marina. And then once you get over there, you keep going and you're in Mexico and then it's fantastic. You're in Mexico. And that's a little close. Mexico's not right where Alex is. Look, I'm not. How long have you been out here? I'm not good at geography.
I'm just saying here, I'm pretty sure that several times I've been having a really good time on my bike. I got south of. And then the next thing I know, I was in Mexico and I was paying what might have been confused.
There are a lot of Mexicans who are there for you. Yeah. Oh, names of towns that are Mexican. Yes, and things like that. A lot of heritage. Oh, I so easily confused because the only difference is a toll bridge both between California and Mexico.
So I still you know, I was curious. I never had to show my passport, you know, and now I'm embarrassed because I didn't leave the country.
Then I, I came back I come back from these trips and I'm always telling people I was in Mexico and I had the best time. And and then I was just in a place that sounded like it was Mexico. And I saw tons of people who were speaking Spanish. I've had amazing. That happens. That's all. Ten minutes south of the airport, which I was convinced I was Sona. Do you think I was in Mexico? No, I.
Dalkia, I'm sorry we straighten this out. Yeah. You got to Matt. Yeah, absolutely not in a way.
And he asks every guest to go biking with him.
Oh well that's cool. But what kind of biker are you? I don't have the uniform. I don't like the uniform. I used to I used to wear the uniform because I almost thought you had to like you go when you first start biking, you think, oh, and I have everyone else driving a bike, is riding a bike wearing that stuff. And I thought that's just what you had to do and I really hate it. So I went and found I just didn't like looking like that.
I wanted to get off my bike. Yeah. Go into a cafe and get coffee and look like a person who maybe conceivably drove or walked there. I didn't want like a moon man clomping in in his clomping feet and wearing weird spandex and sweat pants. Actually, I've seen and I like the. But that is you like the worst day. I have no ass. I have no ass. And so what I found is that I can wear I can get pants that have a butt pad but they just look like pants and.
Yeah. So I like that. That's the way I like to feel that way. That's the way I like to ride now. I like to look like kind of a normal person who's riding a bike.
I don't even think I have my water bottle thing on my bike. I just, I like cruising. I like feeling like a little kid out there as opposed to like I got to work out because of, you know, heart murmurs or whatever, you know, like I don't want to have to think that it's just for health. You think? I think everybody on a bike has a heart murmur. That's how you fight burgers with it. Yeah, maybe.
I guess I am a learned man of medicine. Yeah. It's either the best thing to do if you have a bad heart or the worst.
I've got a really bad heart. I get to get on this bike, get out there and just get my heart rate bit possible. Well, OK, clearly I've put it out there and you've let me know very gently. There's not going to be no Keenon and Koenen Biotrue. It's happening.
I'm down to go whenever you can say anything on this call it all sounds good.
And then later on, don't try to make it happen. Your people, your people shut it down.
It's just, you know, lots going on. There's a lot of press, we're still shooting and all of a sudden I'm back in New York. This is what it is back. But maybe I'll be back in the summer and. Yeah, OK, that's a touchdown. Here's what happens. I call lawn and then you're going to get a call from when you get back to SNL. Lauren's going to call you into his office is going to Keenan.
You've got to help me. Conan's calling and he says he says there's something about him. You go by on a bike riding keenon. Did you promise you can't do that?
He can promise some things and leave them hanging because he didn't. He's calling me and they have to buy him toys and he only likes a specific toy from a specific store.
Just get on the fucking bike with him just one time.
Keenon, I've got to believe I have to have a fucking meeting about this. Like, really? Are we talking about this? You told him to go get the fuck. Is this really what we're talking about? I've got Mick Jagger on line one. I've got Paul Simon on line two and Paul McCartney on line three. Or is it Paul McCartney on line two to those three? It's still it's still those three. I know. Yeah.
And you never know which Paul it is. I've got to go talk to Paul McCartney or Simon. I'm not sure we'll listen. We'll straighten that out with you. I'm going to I'm going to get you you'll be an expert. Is that Teddy Roosevelt? I got Teddy Roosevelt behind me.
It's it's a it's a prop that I stole from Warner Brothers. It's actually I stole that. You know, I just like to have an authority figure in the room.
I was watching not to change the subject drastically two times in a row, but I was watching your dog when you were on tour, like in between shows. And it was amazing because I guess it was the first time actually seeing you play an instrument constantly, you know what I mean? Like, I think you knew that you played, but I didn't know that you did it, you know, like full on damn near basically rock shows.
I know that you play guitar, too. For me, I play it. Constantly and Sunny, you can attest to this, it's all I do when I'm at work, if my fingers are doing that, then my brain can think about comedy in a serene, calm way. Does that make sense?
It does. It does, because I know you play guitar, too, a little bit, but like, I'm still learning very much so like I'm my chord game is strong, but my solo game is pretty ghostly, is non-existent. You know, that's kind of the way like my wife learns basically she has to draw while she's listening to people. That's the only way she can listen. And it seems like she's being disrespectful, but that's the way she's, like, really listening to you.
So I get that genius minds are kind of like that. But you have to be doing a lot for one part of the brain to focus because so many parts of the brain are fire and that they can't be just, I don't know, bored or else they'll miss it. You know what I'm saying? Like, if you're bored, then you won't be able to be as creative as you want to be, because then you might be like, oh, now I'm focused on the anxiety of creating something comedic or funny or whatever.
I find that in a weird way. That's also like driving for me. It's the shower. I don't know what it is about being in the shower, but I have great ideas in there.
Well, also, because you're doing something, you're the part of your brain that's anxious, that thinks I need to be doing something. He's satisfied because you're taking care of a task. But it's but it's kind of a mindless task and that frees up this other part to just say, hey, wait a minute, I have an idea. What if a phone book is filled with custard and I opened it in a sketch and been the that and it burned to me.
That's brilliant. Now, Keenan, the show, not the man, but Keenan the show. This is where are you?
And we are we're making ten and we are finishing up episode six I believe. So we are in the middle of it and it's single camera. It looks like a single camera, but we're shooting several cameras. I want to shave time for covid protocol reasons and things like that, but it actually helps us because we're out of the way. Don't turn around and stuff like that, you know, I mean, we're able to, like, crank through a lot of stuff, still 12 hour days.
But, you know, they could be, you know, 12 hour days getting a lot less done. So the cast is amazing.
You've done film, so it's not like this year. You're new to this, but it is almost in some ways maybe the polar opposite of being a stand out live and getting that that adrenaline kick.
It's a burning. But I mean, it's also like you got to come in and be ready to, like, perform at your highest level, like all day, every day, as opposed to like. All right, let's, you know, massage it up until Saturday night. And then once dress rehearsal happens, that's when we kick it into full time gear or whatever and do it twice. Right. But this is like several takes and each take.
You want to be usable, basically, you know, I mean, so if we're doing like a musical performance, like we just finished last night and today, you know, we're doing dance moves, we're jumping down on our knees, you know what I mean? Standing up without pushing up with your hands. You know, the last time I actually stood up for my knees without using my hands, it's been a long time.
You know what? I've been lifted to my feet by other adults. Yeah, my entire life.
You feel that pain, inner thigh, muscle pain that you never thought you would use the next day. So that's what I'm feeling right now. I'm stretching my knees out and just feeling the age. But, you know, yeah, that's that's kind of the difference. Either give it every day, all day, Monday through Friday or, you know, stressed out about trying to write something brilliant in comparison to a forty five year history. Basically, you know, it's like the two different things to different races.
Well, I feel bad for everyone else out there during this pandemic who we all get antsy and we all get feeling really glum. And then I have this experience of saying I got to talk to Kenan Thompson today and it made me happy all day, anticipating getting to talk to you because I am a big admirer of your talent, but also just your your way of conducting yourself and your joy in bringing silliness to people. And so this was as a real treat to have you on the podcast.
It really was, because I thought I've never really got to sit and talk.
No, it's always been like the talk show version where I'm supposed to be eight minutes funny and sharp and I think in my younger when I first was hired. And so nowadays I wasn't ready to do that. So I don't think I got called back too many times. And ever since then, like, I've just been watching you and being I was a fan before, but just watching you do your thing and just being a fan from afar and wanting to hopefully one day wind up back between you and Handey and being mature enough to have a great interview, you know, I mean, so this is definitely my version of that.
Oh, my God, I'm looking forward to it all week. Actually, since it was on the schedule, I'm like, that's one I've been waiting to do either the show or his podcast for forever. So let me say that to you. Well, you can do both.
Do me a favor. When when you're ready to really get out and push any time. I mean, whether it's for the new show or anything, you're always welcome on anything I'm doing and. If you get desperate enough and want me to show you how to get how to get south of the border to the real Mexico, I would like to have a go.
I'm still convinced I was there. It's it's it's 20. It's just 20 minutes south of the airport. I'm convinced that's Mexico. I also think I was in Korea because and I'm pretty sure they're pretty sure it was in Argentina. I don't know for sure about that. But you can go to all those places here in Los Angeles. I'm telling you, there's magic. I love this, too, though. Not just Hollywood. It's a melting pot.
Yeah, it's a beautiful melting pot. Hey, Keenan, congratulations on that. On the new show and everything that's happening for you and has been happening for you and God bless. And thank you for doing likewise, man.
Absolutely. My pleasure. I hope everybody loves the show. I said earlier, the cast is amazing, but we really have some great people. And like our namedrop Don Johnson, Chris Read, Fortune, Fame, Steward, Taylor Lautner, Kim, Ray Lewis, Danny and Dan and my little daughters. I mean, I'm so excited. I namedrop just to shout them out because I love them. That's a fantastic that's I'm going to dig a man who's cooler than Don Johnson.
And the few times I've encountered him in life, he is exactly as cool as you would want him to be and then some because he's got the stories to match.
Yeah, those stories are so good. You're getting them daily. It's all Miami Vice crazy 80s good, good stories. The 80s was the time to be super famous and sexy. Hey, listen, I want you to get you the rest. You're working way too hard, so I will go yell at your people.
But I really appreciate this man. Thank you so much. OK, no problem. That's so nice. I mean, that was great. That was great. And you, Kenin.
It's always nice to check in with the people that call the number at the end of this show to leave a voicemail for you, Conan, do you want to hear one? Yes, I do. OK.
Hello, my name is Douglas Wood. On a recent episode of Conan O'Brien Meets a Friend, there was a brief discussion about Conan having his own clothing line. I think this is a fabulous idea that has historical precedent. Johnny Carson's apparel line from the 1970s. I am, however, having trouble figuring out what kind of clothing Conan could offer. The only thing that comes to my mind is he could specialize in clothing that protected you from the sun, like broad brimmed hat and shirts that had an SPF rating.
So my question is, Conan, what kind of clothes do you think you could offer in a clothing line? Thanks to the podcast, keep up the good work and so on. All right.
First of all, I love this guy's very savvy, is clearly very intelligent, has good taste in podcasts. And he knows his broadcast history as Johnny Carson had his own clothing line that was very successful. And there were suits you could get. You could dress like Johnny Carson. And it was a big thing. And the reason this happened is that Johnny Carson was thought of as one of the coolest guys in the country. That's why he could have his own clothing line.
Now, I'd like to think that I've had some impact in the comedic world and that I've I've had a long and pretty decent talk show career.
However, nobody thinks that I'm a super cool guy.
No buddy man wanted to dress like Johnny Carson and women wanted to be around a guy that was like Johnny Carson.
That's why he could have a clothing line. That's the first flaw in the reasoning that I would actually have a clothing line. I don't even know that I have a personal style. Do you guys want to weigh in?
Do I have a personal style that speaks to brown leather jacket, millions and millions of brown leather jackets? I'd say it's Michael Myers goes to math camp.
Michael Meyers goes to Mars. Can I. Yes, that's. No, listen, you you saw my boat turning around slowly and open water and you put a torpedo, right?
I just know how many times have had to take it from you on how I dress. So it just there.
No, I. I don't own a hockey mask, though. That's Jason Voorhees. Oh, who's Michael Myers.
He's the one that's a William Shatner mask, but he has kind of red hair and a white face. Oh, OK. OK, I think well Susan is right. I mean what you said, Matt was just cruel. It's funny. And you know, if I dish it out, I suppose I have to learn how to take it and then insist later on you edit it out on such a good streak lately.
I shouldn't have taken that shot. I risk ruining now. And that was. No, no, no. It's very funny. And and you'll pay for it. But it was very fun. Yeah. Well so yeah. And you'll wish you'd never done it. But Sony, you're right, I do favor just a leather jacket and I've, I wouldn't say I've got millions and millions of them when I did the ride along remote that a lot of people know with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, I was wearing a leather jacket and then later on I did another one with them like a year later, a year and a half later.
And I had the same jacket and they were making fun of me for having the same crappy jacket and really ridiculing it. And I realized I didn't even wear it for continuity. I just happened to be wearing the same jacket. So I don't I wouldn't say I have millions and millions of you have a lot.
I think the two things you have a lot of our guitars and brown leather jacket. True. It's just what you own glasses. Oh, my God. You have you have glasses. Well, because I lose them a lot. I lose. Yeah.
And I also give them away to people who I think look nearsighted. I'm very generous that way with Rockefeller used to hand children dime. What my thing is, I walk around with like fifteen eyeglasses in my pocket and when I see people squinting at all, even it's from the sun. I say, here you go boy. Here you go, young lad. Some glasses for you. That's your clothing line.
You can do eyewear.
I could do I wear you know, if I did, I have very, very long legs. So maybe I could specialize in people whose bodies are disproportionate, meaning shorter torsos and then horrifically long legs.
Like I could specialize in a whole line of thirty nine inch inseam legs, you know, and then brown leather jackets that look like they could they would fit a toddler because they're for a smaller torso. That would be my clothing line I think.
Well that and I think because I think this color's right, I think that you have a lot of UV shirts and then hats like big floppy hat that mean like Johnny Carson had suits. You could have you. Oh, that's great. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Slender Man. Yeah. Johnny Exactly. Johnny Carson had the most amazing slim cut suits that. Every man wanted and every woman wanted her man wearing them, and I can wear big hats that old women wear at the beach, big floppy hat and big formless blobbies shirts.
And maybe I could come out with a line of dense zinc cream, which you can pour all over your face. And, you know, those eyeglasses, those sunglasses that people wear who are really phobic about their eyes that wrap they. Yeah, yeah. They like go over the other glass. They look like they look like LeVar Burton on Star Trek. I would, I would have those.
I would have these. Just this giant black windshield's that you wear over your face. Does your clothing line have a name?
Is it just Koenen or what we call calling it. That's a good.
But watch out son. How can you get me. Is that too long. Watch out son. You're not going to get me that.
We should probably just name it if you give it like an old woman's name, you know, like Agnese Bittleman, you know, the Agnese Bittleman collection and then people in the know know, oh that's that's Conan O'Brien's line.
Why is it called Agnese Bittleman. Well you'll see.
Put it on as Boy Scouts will help walk you across the street because you're going to look like a ninety eight year old woman. Yeah. So I'm sorry sir, no clothing line for me, but thank you for your concern and also for your passive aggressive digs. I did notice those and I'm coming for you, man.
I'm coming for you.
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 Collin Anderson and Chris Bannon at Airwolf. Theme song by The White Stripes. Incidental Music by Jimmy Zino. Our supervising producer is Aaron Belayer and our associate talent producer is Jennifer Samples. The show is engineered by Wilbekin. You can rate and review the show on Apple podcast and you might find your review featured on a future episode.
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