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Hi. My name is Larry David, and I feel so, so about being Conan O'Brien's friend.


That's the energy you're giving.




Since the minute you walked in.


So. So, yeah. Fall is here. Walk and lose, climb the fence. Books and pens. I can tell that we are going to need friends. I can tell that we are going to need friends.


Hey there. Welcome to Conan O'Brien needs a friend, joined, as always, by Sona Movsessian. Hello, Sona.




And of course, Matt Gorley. Hi. And it has been raining constantly here in Los Angeles. And when people say it's been raining constantly in Los Angeles, it means it has rained.




It's been actually a couple of days of intense rain that's made the national news. But I have to say there's an upside to it, which is we get to dress like adults. And I'm talking specifically to you, Matt, and to myself, because whenever the weather is kind of chilly or rainy, I love wearing clothing that's not a t shirt and a jean jacket and some sneakers. And it looks like my mom just packed my bologna sandwich. And I'm off to summer camp, so I don't know. And I walk in today, and you are dressed like the old spice guy. You've got that really cool peacoat. It's nice to wear clothing. And there's something about Los Angeles that infantilizes people. You can see, like, the most successful person in LA walking down the street, someone with like a billion dollars, and they're wearing a who farted? T shirt, and they're wearing some stretchy pants so they can do a yoga squat whenever they need to and some big balloon sneakers. And you're like, how old are you? I'm 77. Are you picking up on any of this?


I think there was a year once where I wore flip flops every day for a whole year. And when I was in school. And this is bullshit. This rain sucks.


No, this rain, it's great. Rain is great. People should be dressing like they're doing a spy dead drop in East Berlin in 1969. So today, I did some traveling recently, and I was in Ireland, and I brought with me this tweet suit that I've had for a while.


I'm not going to give you any grief for this.


No, I know. Look, it's common knowledge that I attack you for my own flaws just because my self hate comes out when I see you and I'm learning vice versa. It's a nice moment. But anyway, so I have this nice coat and these matching pants. And I wear them today. And I swear to God, I have a different. I feel like I'm a teacher at Eaton. Like some kind of british school. And it's the late fifty s. And they're just kind of post World War II. Rationing is still going. But I've got a stiff upper lip, and I'm going off. I'm courting the landlady. I'm a bachelor. Do you know what I mean? And I'm walking around, and I've got my boots on, and I don't know. It's so ridiculous. It's so ridiculous. And then everyone else is waiting for. Please, please. 72 degrees and sunny.




72 degrees and sunny. And this is what I like.


I like this move.


Just go somewhere else, both of you. Both of you. Buy an apartment in, I don't know, Seattle. I think about it all the time.


I think about it.


Me too.


But you know what the problem is Seattle? All they do is wear fleece. It's all fleece. It's all north face. My wife is from Seattle. I've spent a lot of time in Seattle, and I love Seattle. But if you went to the fanciest ball in Seattle. If such a thing existed. Everyone there would be wearing big, floppy fleece. When I met my wife Liza, all she owned was fleece jeans and fleece.


I can't do modern athleisure.


It has to be.


Oh, my God.


Wool knit.


You know what I mean?


You two sound so, like, uppercrested. I need my tweed.


Can I say one thing? Sona? You're making us into stereotypes and caricatures. And that's not what we are. Wait a minute. Let me talk about this.


You're doing it.


I found this monocle store where you can get listening. You can get a horn rimmed monocle. Just like the one clank had on Hogan Cirrus. And it's so great. Like, I don't even need a monocle. Both my eyes. It's the same prescription. But what I do is I buy two monocles. And I hold them in. And they act like glasses. But they're even more effeat. This is highly erotic.


Do you agree?


Oh, highly disagree. This is the least erotic thing I've ever heard. So you want cold weather, but you want a cold weather where everyone's dressing kind of posh.


Not posh. Not posh.


We're talking, like, irish pub.


Yeah, irish pub. Exactly. This is not posh we're talking about. We're talking about irish pub. I wish I smoked a pipe. And I wish that when I smoked a pipe, and this is a line from the Simpsons, not a line I wrote, but a line that I really loved at the time when I was working there, Flanders talked about how sometimes he liked to smoke his pipe, and he said, yep, sometimes I like to fire up the old briar. And I remember thinking, God damn it, I wish I smoked so I could get a big, crazy pipe. Because, you know, I do bits. I could do bits with a pencil. Think what I could do with a pipe. Oh, my God, I would get a big pipe, and I would get the tobacco pouch, and I would get my little tool that packs it in, and I'd say, well, time to fire up the old briar. And I would puff on that pipe, and then I'd walk around in my tweed coat and be just a dick.


Hey, Conan. Yeah, I bought a new umbrella yesterday.


No, you did.


Extra long so you can use it as a walking it. Have a little wolf. Little wolf's head.


I wish.


What am I, in heaven?


Come on.


Well, if you don't have a wolf's head on the handle, then you're in hell, sir. Hell, I say. All right, we got to get into it.


Please make this end.


I am thrilled about today. My guest is. Good Lord, absolutely brilliant, hilarious writer, actor and comedian behind such shows as Seinfeld and Curb your enthusiasm. The 12th and final season of Curb your enthusiasm is now airing on HBO and streaming on Max. Thrilled isn't the word honored. Just blown away. Just can't say enough about this gentleman. Larry David, welcome.


I feel this group is diverse enough because I'm a little. I gotta say, I'm slightly uncomfortable.


I'm a little bit of all the British Isles, if that helps. This would be your belly button mark here.


What is that?


Yeah, there's a camera right there.


What do you mean? I'm on tv. Sure.


This is being broadcast now.


Okay, first of all, this is a surprise to me.


You've had a lot of surprises today.




You didn't know we were all the way in central Los Angeles.


No, I did not. Yeah, no.


And you live quite far.


Know, it's amazing, as you're taking the drive, how the resentment builds and builds and builds until finally I'm coming north up Arlington. What am I doing here?


You and I live very close to.


Each other, by the way, I think it's important for your listeners and viewers to know that Conan has already made not one, but two anti semitic statements to me personally.


Keep that in.


I was going to try to get to seven before the hour's up. I had someone made a bet, and it was Jeff Ross, actually, who said, I bet you can't get seven in. And Adam Sachs is okay with it, too. So two jewish people of the jewish faith have said, let's try and get to seven. I'll keep a tally. Yeah. Thank you very much. So far, all you've done is bitch about how long you had to drive to get here, okay? Which I thought was.


See, I think, again, you're accusing me of complaining.


Okay, I didn't say cavet, I said bitch.


Yes, but still, you're treading into an area.


Now, I can't believe that you complaining is considered an anti semitic.


Yes, it is. Okay. All right.


Well, again, it's 2.52.52. .5 I think, to be fair, Larry, I dread this day, the day that you would come in here.


But most people do, wouldn't before they see me. Yeah.


You're not a good guy, I think it's fair to say, right?


No, I don't think so.


You disagree?


People refer to me as splendid, that I'm a splendid. I don't know if I'm a good guy. I'm a splendid.


You're a splendid fellow. I would agree with that.




I would agree with that.


Thank you.


I remember very clearly the first time I met you. I was shooting something on the same lot where you guys shot seinfeld. I've been doing the late night show for about two years. I walked over because I saw something was being shot, an Exterior was being shot. And then you were standing near a table and you were eating a sandwich, chomping away like a monster on a sandwich. And I got introduced to you and with a full mouth, you said, I haven't seen your show. And I went, okay. And you said, so I don't know if you're any good or not. Oh, God, with a full mouth. And I said, okay. And you went, I mean, I'm not being rude. I'm just telling you honestly. Chomp, chomp, chomp. Another bite. I haven't seen your show, so I can't say right now whether you are any good or you're not any good. And I said, okay. And I remembered thinking, I respect the honesty. You didn't sugarcoat it.


I have to say that does not sound like Mike. That's much nicer than right.


All right.


But you know what? You were my first talk show.


That's right.




And you were not happy about coming on a talk show. But I remembered. I got you through is the way I look at it.


Yes, you did. Yes, you did. And Conan, I'll never forget that. I'll never forget how coming you were.


To me in that time, in your time of need, really, when you think about it.


Yeah. Because it's a nerve wracking thing, your first talk show.


Yeah, I guess so.


I was not prepared because I thought when you go on those shows that you just talk. But there's research done. People have no idea what goes into this. They see people on these talk shows and they think they're being all spontaneous and they're just talking, but they're not. They're doing prepared material.




A producer calls them beforehand.


In your case, it would have been Frank Smiley. Frank Smiley calling you and yelling at you.


Probably Frank Smiley called. I was supposed to come up with some anecdotes, I guess, but nothing in my life, nothing ever happens to you.


There's not been one anecdotal moment in your life.


Exactly. There's a terrible dearth of anecdotes to me.


The secret is once people know you and like you and they know your rhythm, you don't need the anecdotes anymore. Once they knew you through my kindness of putting you on a talk show, they got to know you. They didn't know you from curb or from Seinfeld. Two shows that had never really been much viewed. But when they saw you on my show at 1250 at night, I think it got you through. Those were, for those of you, those were loud swallows.


That was a swallow. And I don't think that's a terrible thing to do after a swallow. Why do I have to curb that?


Why should you apologize?


Why should you know? If there are bodily functions, you do it. I don't think that's rude.


Not at all.


Yeah, I like your little crew here. It's very nice.


I like these know, people ask me all the time, they say to me, Conan, you know everyone in the business, and I say, thank you. And then they say, larry David, is he exactly like he is on curb your enthusiasm? And I say, yes, he is. You are exactly like that guy. You would claim that you're not quite that guy, but the times I've hung out with you at parties, I feel there might as well be a camera recording this for HBO. You are the same guy.


You know, I take that as a tremendous compliment.




Because I got to tell you something. I love that guy. That guy. Oh, my God, I am so in love with that guy. He's my hero.


Yeah, he should be.




It must be nice, though, because you've carved that out for yourself, and then if people encounter you in real life, you don't have to in any way contort yourself to please them. Yes, you can tell them, I don't feel like taking a selfie. It's not really what I want to do right now. And they must love it.


And they laugh. And they laugh. Except a couple of weeks ago, I got invited to a dinner party, and ten, 510 years ago, I would have gone, okay. Yeah, okay. It sounds good. What's the address? And now this time I said, who's coming?




Did not go over well.


The person was offended.


The person seemed to have been a little offended, and I wound up not going, yeah.




So there you go. So there you go. So I tried to be Larry, and it didn't work. But by the way, as long as we're on the subject, is it such a terrible question to ask who's going to, why is it such a secret? Why is that a secret? I don't understand the big secret. You can't say who's going why? I don't get it.


Yes, I think you are within your rights to ask who's going.


Thank you. Thank you.


Because you want to find out also, I'm imagining you have enemies and you want to make sure you're not walking into a party.


Just made four more as I walk into the building.


But you want to make sure you want to know.


Yeah, I want to know.


It's like a mobster who's going to a restaurant wants to know how many ways are there in. If I'm attacked, is there a way out? You got to know.


Exactly. Because a lot of times, honestly, you'll be invited to these dinner parties and you find yourself sitting next to some insurance salesman, and you're there the whole two and a half hours sitting next to him or her, whatever. It's not comfortable.


Let me ask you a question, and I want you to be honest. You came to my house not long ago. You didn't know who was going to be there. Were you pleased? Were you not pleased? And you can tell me. Well, were there enough celebrities to make you comfortable, or did you feel that it was a good environment, a good ecosystem for you?


I need, like, three comedians and I'm fine.


Right? Do I count as a.


Conan? You poor. Don't do this to him.


Come on.


Yes, Conan.


Thank you. Well, I wasn't sure. You seemed happy. You seemed pleased.


But then at one point, comedians, comedy writers, either one.


But at one point, I noticed that you had retreated to a separate area, and you were just observing. You were eating your food, and you were just observing other people as if you were looking at birds. You were doing little sketches, and I wondered if that's normal behavior for you.


I'll tell you what I don't like sitting with a plate on my lap.








And I saw there was a counter. There were stools in front of the counter, and I thought this would be a good spot to plant myself. And so I planted, and it turned out to be a great spot, because when people come over, this is what I do at parties, by the way. I always sit. You can't be in the middle of a room making small talk, and then you're going. Your brain is racing. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. I'm out. I can't. I got nothing. I got nothing. What? The bathroom. Do I have to go to the bathroom? Do I have to get a drink or. I know. I'll do tv Larry. I'll do tv Larry. All right, well, it's been nice talking to you. And then you move on, right? I think people know now that you can't have interminable conversations. They can't go on forever. There's got to be an out. There's got to be an out. You know what?


You're on a podcast.


How long is this going to go? We may be done.


This is our special five hour salute.


No, but it's not.


It's a special five hour salute to Larry Davis.


But I think I have an idea for parties. I have an idea for parties. You have a party, sheriff. Okay. And he sits. He's in a chair above the party. He's overseeing the party.


Like a lifeguard.


Like a lifeguard. Or he's in another room on video, and he's got cameras on everybody.


Like a pit bot.


Yeah, like a pit bot. And he's seeing the conversations. He's looking at him. He's seeing how it's going. He's looking at the body language. He's timing conversations, and then he sees that somebody's in trouble, and he goes, okay, all right, I got to go. He goes down, he takes the person by the army, goes, excuse me. This is over. This is brilliant. This is brilliant.


I have to have this. I have to have this.


I mean, this is a great idea.


It's brilliant. It's fantastic.


Thank you. Thank you.


I love that idea. I think we've all been there.


He doesn't even pretend to take, hey, I need to talk to you about.


No, everybody's aware.


Does he flash a badge?




Does he put up a badge and.


Say, this is over.


This is over.


Everybody's aware. There's a sheriff. There's somebody overseeing. Overseeing the party, by the way. I think I'd be a good one.


You'd be great.


I'd like to volunteer. I definitely could do that job. A party sheriff, for sure.


All right. I think I want you to do it for me. I'm going to set up cameras.




Because I am a good host. I mingle. You probably saw. I mingle a lot. I get to everyone. I got like 13 seconds because I knew that you were fine.


That I was fine.


Yeah. I don't worry about you. And then there are other people I worry about. Of course. I probably short tripped you. You didn't get the full Conan, which is, I'm told, magnificent.


I felt a little on the shrifty side. There was some shriftness present. Yes.


Mike Sweeney is working downstairs. Mike Sweeney worked in the comedy clubs with you and Mike Sweeney has been with me for almost 30 years, I think. Not working. He just hangs around. But he's a terrific, incredible writer. He's been with me forever. But he loves to talk about you in the clubs.


Oh, God.


And what you were like as a stand up.


I was very young, and one of.


My favorite stories that he tells, and I don't want to mistell it, is that you apparently had a joke that you would do at the top of your set and you would tell the other comics, if the crowd goes for this, I know that it's my crowd, and I'll continue, and then if they don't go for this, I'll know that it's not going to go well.


And the joke was, oh, it was the two form. Yeah, I did that on the curb special. Basically, I'd go up. I can't say.


Go out to a packed crowd. Nightclub, comedy club.


I can't even do it. You're making me laugh.


Okay, sorry. A lot of pressure. I. I like this more than the. I like the joke.


You know, you seem like a. By the way, hey, you seem like a very good audience tonight. I'm wondering, may I use the two form with you people? Because I feel very kind of close to you. I feel like I know you. Do you mind if I jump into the two form and if I got laughs, I would go, you know, Caesar used the two form with Brutus. Even after Brutus stabbed him, he said to brute, I think at that point, if somebody's trying to kill you, you don't have to be that familiar with. So I would, I would throw that out.


Right. And Sweeney said that the other comedians would all come out and they would watch because they were so fascinated to see what would happen. And their favorite thing was if the crowd didn't go for it, you became enraged, berating them.


Oh, I guess people. I guess you people didn't take Spanish or French in high school. There's a familiar two form in Spanish if it's kind of formal. But if you're friends with a person, then you use the two form.


Imagine you're being yelled at. You and I have talked a little bit about. Because I worked at Saturday Night Live, you had worked there earlier and you were very principled about doing things your way. I know at SNL it wasn't a good fit for you.


Yeah, I didn't get one. Oh, I got one sketch on at that wonderful 1250 spot.


That's the sweet spot. Yeah, that's where I used to hang out. I love that.


Yes. I had one sketch on the whole year.


At one point you just became angry and quit.




And then famously showed up a couple of days later.


I pretended the whole thing never happened.


Which became a Seinfeld.


Exactly. Yeah. I was computing how much money I cost myself. Enough money to live on for two years for me. And I go, oh, boy, what an idiot. That was so stupid. Because I had, like, a hissy fit. I went up to Dick Ebersol. This show stinks. This is right before air. This is like week number six. And I had been cut every week. And I went up to him and he had the headphones on. The headset on. And I went, this show stinks. It's a piece of shit. I'm done. I'm done here.


And then you just came back. Now, maybe because he had the headset on, he couldn't hear you.


Maybe. Yeah, no, I came back and pretended it never happened and it worked.


I think you did that a few times, Sona.


Sure I did.


I think there was a couple, because Sona is my assistant and there were several times where I think you told me to fuck off.


I've stormed off a lot.


Stormed off. I'd come in the next day and you'd be eating Zanku chicken at your death and watching the bachelor.


Yeah. You completely just didn't even mention outburst.




I'm surprised. It didn't really catch on throughout the. Why? After I told the story. Hey, this is a way I could tell off my boss and then come back and keep my job.


I would think because of the shows you've worked on or created, Seinfeld and then curb, those are shows where everybody thinks they have a good episode. Anybody can come up to you and say, you know, when you're at the gas station and you go to clean, but there's no towel there to wipe off the squeegee? And I think that's a thing that happens to everybody. And shouldn't that happen to Larry? And you have to. What do you do? Because you must get that constantly.


I go, let me stop you right there.


I'd like you to meet the pitch sheriff. There should be a pitch sheriff, too.


Yeah. I go, let me stop you right there. I'm not the writer's guild for business to hear ideas from other people. So I'm sorry. I'm sure it's a great idea, but I can't hear it. Right.


And does that work?


That doesn't work. Yeah, no, it works okay. It's pretty good. What doesn't work? The pictures. Because you're on the street. Hey, there's a fan wanting to take a picture. I tried something new, and I said, you know what? I can't take pictures outside.


Wait, what?


I said, you know, there's. There's people. I can't take pictures outside. And then when I was inside, I would say to people, you know what? I can't take pictures.


And how's that working for you?


It started out okay, and then I sort of couldn't get through it without laughing because I realized how stupid it was. But people actually bought it. I can't take pictures inside.


There's something about your past that doesn't make sense. There's a lot of things that do make sense, but I didn't know that you were in the US army reserve. And I cannot imagine you in any situation where people are telling you, this is how you must behave and this is what's required.


Really tough.


I just can't imagine you falling into line. You did that for a couple of years, right?


Yeah, I was in the reserves to avoid going to Vietnam. I'm kind of old.


Oh, yeah, no, I know. We'll bring that up second. That's my next question. You seem very old to me. That's my next question, which isn't even a question. I'm realizing none of these are questions. These are just.


I was in. I was in the reserves to avoid Vietnam, and I was in it. I went to basic training. I had occupational specialty school. I was a petroleum storage specialist, by the way.


Oh, there you.






So then I had to go to meetings once a month for the next six years. And to go to the meetings were near my parents'apartment in Brooklyn, and I was living in Manhattan. So once a month, I would go home, and I had a big, I think the word was at the time, jew fro.


No. He has one anti semitic comment to. My 2.5 score is one to 2.5. This is anybody's game. I can't believe we're competing. I got this. Now I want this.


So, anyway, I would stay with my parents for the weekend, and I had a wig, and I would wear the wig. And I was doing this once a month. And then in the summer, there was a summer camp that you had to go away for two weeks. So all these guys were in my unit. And then I heard about a psychiatrist who was writing letters for, like, $250. And so I went to see him, and I talked to him for 45 minutes, and he wrote me up this letter. And the letter basically said that I was crazy. And I took the letter, and I'm in for two years now. So I know all these people. Imagine coming to work and acting insane, which is what I did. I had the letter, and I.


Did it work.


I saw friends. These are friends of mine. I socialize with these people. I see them all huddled together, pointing and looking. Pointing at me. What's he doing? What's with David? Look at him. And then I went to see the major, and the major was reading the letter, and he's talking to me, and I'm answering his questions. And after five minutes, he says to me, can you drive home? Oh, my God. And I swear I said this line way before Dustin Hoffman said it in that movie. I said, oh, yeah, I'm a good driver. And that was it. And I got out.


Good for you.




Do you still have that letter? You must.


I don't think I do.


We'll find it.


Yeah. I have to say, tremendous performance on my part.






I can tell in here. It was spectacular.




It's really good lighting and everything. The job I can imagine you having, which you did, was you were a limo driver. I don't know if you ever did this, but this has happened to me many times. I go to the airport, and I get picked up, and my wife and I are in the back, and we're chatting, and then out of nowhere, the driver says, well, I have a cream for that they've clearly been listening. It's like your phone when it knows you've been talking about, maybe I should go buy a new camping. And then your phone suddenly suggests, Rei is just a block and a half away. And it's this eerie feeling, right. Were you a listener? Would you listen in and interject?


Their conversations really weren't interesting enough.




She was an old woman. She was practically blind. She could see a little bit.




And I took complete advantage of her because she couldn't see. She didn't know if the car was filthy or not, and it was filthy, so I would hear from the backseat. Is the car clean? I go, yeah. Spotless car.


Yeah. Always means not true. That's a giveaway.


And she said to me, you got your hat on? Because I had a chauffeur's cap. Sure. Yeah. I said, yeah, I got the cap on. Yeah, I got the cap on. And then. And then one of her. One of her friends squealed on me.


Who would do that?


She saw the car, the condition of the car.


It was a Dotson.


She saw the house. Filthy, the car was, and she squealed on me. And that was it. I got fired. Yeah.


Know that. You studied history? Because I studied history. I love history. I don't know how it's come into it, but it's felt like it's helped me a million times.




Yeah. And it's been like a lifelong passion of mine, but I read history, and then I feel like that fills up my comedy. Well, somehow, I don't know how. I can't explain it.


I completely agree with you. I'm really happy that I majored in history and not communications or any of that stuff. People like, if they want to be an actor or a comedian, they take it so seriously. There's no class. There's nothing to learn. Either you can do it or you can't, I think.


Right. That's mostly how I come down on it. I think you can hone your skills.


Yeah. Because you're doing it.


You're practicing 90% of what I do, I was doing around my kitchen table in a big family in Boston or with my friends, and then it's just been heightened and indulged by enablers all around me. But it does feel to me like that's most of it.


Yeah. I guess I would never want to be in a comedy class to hear those forced laughs. I'd rather just go up on a stage and do it. Those people that they're just going to be forcing their laughs like everybody and I got to say, I don't even mind it. I can.


They're very good.


In fact, I'm reversing my old opinion on this.


They're very good.


Yeah, really? You guys are the best fake laughers I've ever been around.


I don't know how you avoid that because there's a lot of. At sitcom table reads and sketch comedy table reads. I think I was lucky because all the years I was doing late night, we were pretty brutally honest about things. And people were very happy to tell me they thought that something I thought of wasn't a good idea. They really enjoyed that. And then every now and then, I would visit someone who was working on a sitcom, and I would see they're reading the script for, like, the fifth time you've seen this phenomenon. I doubt it happened at Seinfeld because whatever you were doing there was. Right. But there's this phenomenon where you're being a good person and a good sport and you're helping grease the wheels for the whole project like you're being a good member of the Communist Party if you laugh.




And so it's the fifth time a script is being read, and people are like. And I found it really upsetting, for lack of a better word.


Honestly, I don't think we ever did. I'm a modest fellow, you know that?


It says it on your jacket.


I'm not a Braggart.


No, there's no braggadocio.


No, I don't go on about myself.


Not at all.


But I don't think we ever did, like, a second read through. We did the one read through, and if it didn't work, we would fix it and we wouldn't have another one. We just do the show. So I really don't know what the fuck you're talking about.


There you go. Do you know what I'm talking about? Outside of the projects you've worked on, have you seen this phenomenally, absolutely.


Yeah, you're right. You're not helping the project by laughing.




But what do you do in situations, I'm sure this has happened to you tons of times, where you'll be given, a friend will give you a script and then what? Of course, you have to read it. And then if it's not any good.


Well, what do you do? You say, I can't read a script indoors. Well, we'll step outside. Today isn't a good day to step outside.


Well, it's difficult sometimes to come up with exactly the right wording for it. That's why texting is good because you can do a few drafts until you get it right, I think, rather than running into them on the street. Hey, did you read it? Yeah. It's fantastic. Yeah.


I don't know. I can usually find constructive criticism that I can make about something, but I wouldn't be able to say, like, well, this just isn't funny. No, you can't say that. I can't say that because how does that help the person in any way?


But also, sometimes you're given something to see or read after it's already locked and there's nothing you can.


Nothing you can do.


Nothing you can do. So you have to go, oh, yeah, this is great. What are you going to do?




So you got to lie.


Right? I've been in a few screenings with you. Yeah. You and I have been together when things were screened before, and it's been interesting to watch you. You always have.


Yeah. I think I know what? You're very good.


You're very good. Very good.


Maybe we could, without mentioning.


Well, I think we can. I love this story. But you go and see a lot of things. I go and see a lot of things. There have been a couple of times where I've seen something screened and you've been in the room and we saw one thing. It was very long.


It was a studio movie.


Yeah, studio movie. It was very long. And so we see this final cut of this big budget studio movie when we're both there and there was someone there taking questions and who worked for the studio and they wanted feedback. And I'm eager. I always think, I don't want to look like a dick. I don't want them to see who I really am. What am I going to do? And, man, this is getting late and I really want to get out of here. And you did this thing where the thing ends, lights come up and you immediately shot your hand up and you.


Said, but there were a couple of questions before I did that.


Yes, one or two questions. You shot your hand up and you said, I have one question and then I've got to go. And as you asked a quick question, and as you were asking it, you were putting your down jacket on. And so you said, I've got one question and then I have to go.


And I'm looking at you and I looked at him. We made eye contact.


We made eye contact.


I saw the admiration and envy.


Okay, so anyway, the studio person's answering the question as you leave, and you go, I think you're right. I think you're that's a good point. And you're like, bye. And you left. I was there for another 45 minutes while people were saying when the aliens come to the other planet, it wasn't quite clear. And so you might want to in post. And so I leave, and the next morning, I wake up, and my phone is right by my bed, and I turned it on, and there's a text from Larry, and it says, quote, I have one question, and then I have to go, quote. And then it says, how fucking genius was that? Exclamation point, question mark. And then it says, you must have been so jealous. So the next morning, you knew. You went to bed that night with your covers tucked under your chin, thinking, I made O'Brien. I left him in the dirt. I have to say, it was such a proud moment for you.


I was so thrilled with it because it was so brilliant. Yeah. It was just such a great move. Boy, sometimes it's like writing. Sometimes you're in a corner, right? Yes. And you have to write yourself out of this.




And that's what happened.


And I think it made it feel all the sweeter that I had to stay late. I think that you have to admit that was the cherry on the Sunday.


Cherry on the Sunday. Yeah, that was great. It wouldn't have been nearly as satisfying if you weren't there.


You are wrapping up curb. This is the last season. Is this news to you regretting it? You can come back and take. You can just pretend you never told them.


This is.


Yeah, you should do a whole last season salute. Get all the love. Get all that love. Gravy, all of that. This was a benchmark show. What a landmark. What changed everything and then come back and do another three more seasons.


You're really great on the callbacks, by the way. I think this is your second or third.


It's my 9th.


Yeah, it's your 9th.






One of the things that, because my son really got into curb and we started watching them again, and I thought, intentional, not intentional, but your style of comedy so fits younger people. Today, things are played very real. I could talk to probably, like a 15 year old who would say, I love that show.


The multicam started. It's such an old format. It started in, like, the early 50s, right? Yeah.


I love Lucy.


Desi lou went all the way to the 2000. I guess there's still shows like that, but this show is improvised, and I think that lends a sense of reality and spontaneity to it that the young people enjoy.


Well, I think there's also, I can remember when I was growing up, I accepted it. But I'm watching happy days and a character enters. There's massive applause and the Fonz has to wait for the. And we just accepted that.


Well, Kramer used to get applause when he would enter. Right.




And so everybody would wait and then he would start talking. And then finally, I think we had to tell the audience not to applaud when he came in. And we put a stop to it.


But no one else would put a stop to that. What I'm saying is that was so encouraged that it got to a point in the, on sitcoms where characters would come in with important information like the tests are back and it's fatal. And the character would come rushing in and people go like, whoa, look, it's Dr. Cuckoo. And occasionally, and you'd see those characters would have to kind of nod and look out. And then, by the way, the tests are back. Cancer of the spleen. You will not survive. This is madness. But there's the things that we. I think I knew on some level this isn't good, even when I was a kid.


But also there are scenes that are outside and there's an audience laughing. Yeah. Where's the audience? Where are they? What are they on the corner? It's crazy.


There's such an emphasis on jokes, jokes, jokes. And I knew that because really, the only show like that that I had worked on was the Simpsons. We worked so hard on jokes. Having to be just going over and over and over to get the best jokes. And then you find that. And I love that format. And I loved working on that show and think it's brilliant. But on your show, what I loved is that old Jack Benny thing. The biggest laugh can be on a reaction.


The other thing. Well, it's nice of you to say. I think it's the first compliment you've ever given to me in our relationship. It means so much to me. So much to me. Thank you from the bottom of my. Whatever this is.


I'm told you're like the Grinch now. I know. Are you listening to who?


Bill the.


Larry Davis.


The thing about the three camera shows. Yes, the jokes. Tons of jokes. They're coming at you one after another. There are people in rooms. There are writers in these rooms till 03:00 in the morning punching up scripts, joke after joke after joke. And they tell the joke and the character says the joke and nobody ever laughs. Nobody ever laughs in these shows, which is od because if these things are so funny, how come nobody ever laughs?




Well, they don't laugh because laughing is the hardest thing to act, I think, and be real.


That, and drunk, I've always been told. Yeah, being drunk is.


I don't know.


Sorry, I just wanted to tell you that you weren't quite right. Is it a big surprise who's on the final season? Is it a. Oh, wait a second.


Wait a second. Have I been sitting here this whole time? Have we not acknowledged that this man.


This man right here, Conan.


Thanks. Thank you. This guy is in the show.




Yes, he's a guest star.


I might be one of the reasons it's the final.


And he gave me a compliment before and I know you think, oh, well, he gave me a compliment. Now I'm going to return the compliment. He was so, so, no, it was great. It was great. We had a great time. You were very good. And thank you for doing it well.


And he was compensated.


It's the only reason I'm here today, actually. It's a tit for tat. And I had to do the tat. He did the tit.


I always do the tat. You always do the tat?


Yeah. And I don't like being a tat, by the way. It's not uncomfortable being a tat, much rather be the tat.


Stupid. I'm sorry. Let's take that out of context. I am enraged because we talked to fans on this show and I did talk to a fan. Yeah. And this really stuck in my craw. And I think I've mentioned this to you, but I need to bring it up here in this forum. A young woman who's a big fan of mine. And she was talking about she's unlucky in love. She's looking for the right kind of guy. And she wants someone who's funny. She wants this. And I said, what kind of person you look for? And she said, well, you'd be really good, but you're too old. And I went, okay, this woman's in her thirty s and I'm 60. And I said, I completely understand that. And she said, but Larry David, I like Larry David. And I became a wild beast. I started shouting at her, what are you talking about? I said, larry David could have technically driven me home from the hospital as a baby. I think he's 15 to 16 years older than me. And I couldn't shake it. She was like, no, you're too old. But the ladies like their Larry David.


I hear that. All the Schwa de v. All right, I won't even try to explain it. But it has been an honor to have you here. I say that knowing that you'll make a face, but just an absolute thrill to talk to you. And it was a big deal for me to get to be in that episode because, like everyone, I adore your work. So there you go. Ended on a nice note. There's nothing you can do about it.


Well, I had a wonderful time.


I want you to do my eulogy.


Like a first date.


A peck on the cheek. I might get a peck on the cheek.


I had a wonderful time, and honestly, I hope we can do it again. Ask him upstairs.


We will never see this man again. That's one of the all time. You'll never see him again. Yeah. Thank you.


This was great. Thank you.


Conan here. And I'm just going to say this is a special segment. Yes, it is. Because we are joined by my wife, Liza Powell O'Brien. And everyone far prefers Liza to me. That is pretty much true. That's so true, and I'm tired of it. So we're going to. What are you going to do? Oh, I'm going to cut this one down to size. You brought her on the podcast to do this? Yeah. How are you betrothed?


I feel like if I was around everyone as much as you're around them, the balance would shift back.


No, absolutely not. No. I don't think I can do that with confidence. I don't know you, but I know him.


But I chose him.


So what does that tell you?


That's true.


That's true. Of all the men in the world, you chose this one.


They were all at my disposal.


They were all at your disposal. Matt Damon, they were all lined up. I don't know. And I'm thinking of him, of course. From Team America, I'm Matt Damon. Anyway, let's pull this thing together because Liza likes to spend as little time with me as possible. And so the fact that she's here means there's a reason, and I am very proud of the fact. There are many things you do that I'm very proud of, but your tolerance for me is a great source of pride. But you have made this podcast that I think is stunningly good. I love it. And I'm not just saying that many people really like this podcast. It's called significant others. And we thought this was a good time to talk about it because it's Valentine's Day. You're so in love with me.


Appreciate being recognized for that.


It's your greatest achievement. Is your love for me. It confuses everyone. No. And your podcast, though I wouldn't describe it as a romantic podcast, but it is about couples dynamics, significant others, how they. Sometimes it's a husband and wife. These are famous couples. Sometimes it could be a father daughter. There's a power dynamic and how that all works, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. Often positively and negatively. Is that a fair description? Yeah, it is.


I think you're right that it's not. Romance is not at all part of. I mean, sometimes there are romantic stories, but mostly they're stories of sort of complicated partnerships, which spoke to me. I don't know why.


Well, it's so funny because you often contrast your podcast with mine. Ours is seat of the pants, absolute nonsense. I'm always seeing her pretty much in her study, in her small study, crafting these episodes. You get very cool people to do the voices. You also use a bunch of the people here at Team Coco. You really make these things beautifully. And then I'm also a little put off that you have a fantastic podcast voice that is far superior to mine. I don't know why I'm the one who's doing the podcast first, because your voice is so terrific.


That's nice.


Thank you. Season one, I love season two is premiering. I haven't heard a bunch of these yet, and I know that you've been working on them. But for example, Jenny and Karl Marx, Karl Marx's wife and what their relationship was like. And because you were doing all this research when you were done with one of the books, I read it. I had never read a book about Karl Marx and his relationship with his wife, Jenny, but that's a husband and wife team, where you can really see how as a couple, they worked with each other. Then there are other teams, like Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington.


Billy Strayhorn. Duke Ellington was, I think has been referred to as the first great american composer. He was just unbelievably talented. And forget the fact that he was violently discriminated against his entire life. But even outside of that, his accomplishments are spectacular. So he kind of had this empire, almost, of music, and he had all of these different. He had different versions of his band, and he was touring all the time and kind of stretching himself really thin. And he met this kid named Billy Strayhorn, who was 21, who had wanted to. I don't want to give the whole story away, but he had wanted to be a concert pianist, and he was a prodigy. He was incredibly gifted. Used to play the piano in the. He and his family lived in a boarding house and the prostitutes who lived next door had a piano, and he would go play on that and earned enough money when he was quite young to buy himself piano lessons. Anyway, so he got into this conservatory in Philadelphia, and his dream was to be a concert pianist. And he was basically told, you can't because you're black. So he was looking for other ways to express his musical abilities.


Anyway, he auditioned kind of for Duke Ellington, and Ellington was like, oh, this guy is special. What Strayhorn could do is he could play in the style of anyone, so he could play in the style of Duke Ellington and then became his sort of stand in, his band leader, his collaborator. He wrote a ton of music for him, including the anthem that I think most people think of when they think of Duke Ellington, which is take the a train. That was actually a great story, which, anyway, and he was gay, and he was very determined to live openly, which.


At that time is unheard of.


It wasn't entirely unheard of, but it made it very difficult for him to be a star in his own right because that was still a disadvantage. Wow. Anyway, so that's a really interesting.


That's a great. Yeah. What's interesting is I'll often know one of the names, but not both.




Benedict Arnold. I know that name. You did Benedict Arnold and Peggy Shippen. I had heard a little bit about Peggy Shippen. That's a fascinating story, how those two work together in positive, negative ways. I love that you cast as Benedict Arnold. You cast Andy Richter, which resonates with me in so many ways. I think complicated is the word that comes up a lot. The series opens up so many different great ideas about how people help each other also can get in the way and how it's a dynamic.


Yeah, I mean, we talk a lot about how there's some piece of ancient wisdom that talks about how everything's basically dependent on how you frame it. So I think these stories are all about that kind of, this is the worst matchup ever, although they did help each other in this way.




I just think that makes it more interesting and more true. I think it's really human to want things to be simple, and I think there's a lot of oversimplification that happens all the time, especially now. And this kind of doesn't allow for that.


These stories allow for a complicated narrative, but you listen to them and they're great stories. And I come away and I always want to know more about the Nietzsche one blew me.


That's such a great one.


Elizabeth Forster, Nietzsche and Friedrich Nietzsche.


A lot of this I owe to the books that I do read. Know, there's usually some take by the author that's really helpful. And the one that I really appreciated with that was that his big thing was all about this will to power that you're supposed to will yourself into the best version of yourself that you can be. And she really embodied that in a way that was terrifying. And she was incredibly ambitious. And he's been misunderstood a lot, I think. And I'm not claiming to be the one who understands him best at all, but he was anti nationalist. He didn't believe in statehood. He had lived through war and thought it was abhorrent. And his sister marries an anti semite who's trying to found a pure racist colony in Paraguay. He thinks that's disgusting. He stops speaking to them. And then by the end of his life, he was so incapacitated that she finagled away to become his caretaker, his minder, his power of attorney, all of that. And used him kind of as a prop that she would walk people past and she was hanging out with fascists and Hitler.


This is what you're going to do to me.


I cannot wait. I'm picking up so many good pointers.


I plan on becoming incapacitated, and I know Liza's just going to more incapacitated, but what I'm saying is.


I don't.


Always ask you to carry me to the toilet. But you don't always ask. I don't always ask. Sometimes I should. Anyway, we got off track. My point is, I love your podcast, and I'm not saying it because you're making me, which you did. No, she's got a gun.


That begs your question.


Season twelve, Conan and Liza episode. Yeah, that episode. Well, that's the one where I'm in a wheelchair, incapacitated. This is months from now. And Liza's bringing people by and she's promoting me as a great nationalist figure.


All those great aphorisms that you've.


Usually involved. Nonsense words.




Don't be a jibble when you can bibble.


I be who I be. There was a big refrain last night. It was a lot of I be who I be.


Please, no one needs to know about our Popeye changing. You tried singing that to the Game of Thrones. We were rewatching Game of Thrones, and I insist on singing loudly, my own lyrics, which is I be who I be. And I be. And Liza's like, you've got. And my son is like, if you do that again, we're not fucking watching us. That's the significant other. And then I be who I be. So now they don't even watch the openings anymore. As beautiful as they are, we watch it for the nudity. Anyway. I am a ruiner.


You're a ruiner.


But anyway, I love that you've gotten everyone at Team Coco.


Oh, my God. We'd be lost without it.


Borley, Adam Blay, Eduardo hopping. Erica Brown. Hayes, chills. They've all red lines for the episode.


Erica Brown. No. Yes. Really? You got Erica Brown?


And she refuses to do a microphone, but she does it because she likes Liza.


Oh, my God.


I don't think I can ever ask her for anything again. I think I used up all of my credit with her for the rest of time.


Oh, my.


Also, she did not enjoy the experience, but she sounds great.




Ted Danson was here recording something. And.


Nicest man I've ever met.


Well, he's right up there with me.


Tall drink of water. Yeah, I know.


He was on television for a long time. Both of us know what it's like.


Cool, friendly, the coolest guy.


I'm a good bartender. Anyway. What? I was on cheers. I know I was. Anyway, you've got him helping out. It's just great. I'm very excited about it. It premieres on Valentine's Day, and it's called significant others. And that is you. That is Liza Powell O'Brien.


Is that another one of your ifhorisms? That is you. That is you.


That is you, says I.


More sense than most of.


That's what I would say. And, Sono, someday we'll do one about your significant other tack about his love.


For karate and stuff. Are you going to be a whole thing about Chernobyl? Are you going to make it, like, a fake one?


It's not my. It's Liz's thing. Sorry. It's legitimate.


Will you tell a story? You texted me yesterday.


I thought that was great. Yeah. So he's going to hate me for saying this, but he went on, like, an intensive karate weekend, which they do twice a year, and it always is in different places. And this time it was in Pasadena, which is ten minutes from our house. He takes it so seriously that instead of coming home and sleeping because there was no room in the gym, he slept in his car for two nights. And in the middle of winter, to.


Be close to the dojo, to be.


Close to where they were practicing.


But I think he's so. Having an affair. Yes. Every time I tell Liza, I've got an intensive karate weekend. She knows I'm meeting Muriel on Catalina.


You know, actually, it's worse if he's not.


You know. What? Oh, yeah.


He is, though, because I've met all his karate friends. I mean, it's possible. I think I'd feel better if he was having an affair.


I'm already thinking. These are very beautifully crafted historical documents that you've made. They're really great. They're really great to listen to you walk away from each one learning more. But I do want you to take a break from that and do one about Sona and Tac. It's about him sleeping at his car and his, quote, karate weekend. And it's in there. And it's in there with all these other great figures. It's in there with George Putnam and Amelia Earhart Baird, Rustin and Martin Luther.


King, Jrwell tack and Dolly pack and Sona.


Karate weekend.


I know. But you know what? I did see? His suv. He had a whole setup in the back of his car.


That's what I do when I go to Catalina to meet Muriel. I put a bunch of karate.


Wait, how are you getting your card?


I own a seaplane.


Okay, fine.


I have two different sets of. I have two accountants. You've never seen it.


Liza's not even angry. She just wants to know the logistics.


Of how you do it.


Well, we have talked about this, which Eliza, which is, know, if you ever found out that I was having an affair, wouldn't your first thought be to be kind of impressed at my time management skills? Because that's all I ever think about. When I watch movies where someone's having an affair, I'm like, what? Yeah, I couldn't keep all that straight.


Yeah, it's true.


Yeah. All that.


We are barely hanging on with our very basic.


We are very committed to each other, monogamous relationship. But we can barely.


More than enough.


We can barely keep it going because there's like, oh, wait, who's picking up our son? Wait, but when are we going to the airport? There's all that stuff. Who's taking the dog to the.


And then the idea threw out the Manny, who threw out the big one the other day.


And also, I think it hadn't expired. But anyway, I wanted a tuna fish sandwich with mayo, and told me there's no mayo. That didn't go well. But my significant other said, I'll make you some, and she made me mayonnaise. That's a win win. Yes. And it was better than the regular mayonnaise. Wow. So anyway, that was a win win. But this is riveting.


I can't wait to hear about this on your episode.


But wait a minute. What I'm saying is, if on top of all of that, I had to get on the seaplane to Catalina to meet Muriel and bring her whatever, the avocados she loves to eat, who can keep track of all that shit?


Very diverse. I do love it.


And you know what? She's really unpleasant. Why are you late? Because I was doing a podcast where I was promoting license.


Why are you promoting her podcast?


Why can't I have one? Hey, is that my avocado chomp then?


She's super old and there's nothing sexual about it.


She is 82 years old. Oh, that's sweet. Yeah, she was a nurse in the Korean War. Anyway, as stupid as this podcast is, I'm going to say this. I'm so proud of you. I love you. I'm so proud of you. And I think this is an incredible piece of work. So I'm excited about the new season. Significant others wherever you get your podcast, season two premiering on Valentine's Day, subscribe where you get your podcast.


Conan O'Brien needs a friend with Conan O'Brien, sonum of session and Matt Goreley produced by me, Matt Goreley executive produced by Adam Sachs, Nick Liao and Jeff Ross at Team Coco and Colin Anderson and Cody Fisher at Earwolf. Theme song by the White Stripes incidental music by Jimmy Vivino. Take it away, Jimmy. Our supervising producer is Aaron Blair and our associate talent producer is Jennifer. Samples engineering and mixing by Eduardo Perez and Brendan Burns. Additional production support by Mars Melnick. Talent booking by Paula Davis, Gina Batista and Britt Kahn. You can rate and review this show on Apple Podcasts and you might find your review read on a future episode. Got a question for Conan? Call the team Cocoa hotline at 669-587-2847 and leave a message. It too could be featured on a future episode. And if you haven't already, please subscribe to Conan O'Brien needs a friend wherever find podcast tests are downloaded close.