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Hello, my name is Matthew Rhys. And I feel blank about being Conan O'Brien's friend. Back to school, ring the bell, brand new shoes walking loose on the first. Hello and welcome to Conan O'Brien, needs a friend, Conan O'Brien here, but I guess that goes without saying.


I do have a distinctive voice, a not saying it's my my best feature, but you know it when you hear it.


I've actually had many people in situations just hear my voice somewhere and say, Conan's here in this room somewhere.


Oh, yeah. You do have a very distinctive voice. Yes.


Kind of pinched reedit. You're so mean to yourself saying I am, but I think you have a great podcast voice.


Well, thank you. That's that's nice.


It's always been the aspect that I was always envious of other people's broadcasting voices and I always didn't love mine.


But but over time, you know, I think people have gotten used to it the way if you work in a factory with a horrible loud machine, eventually you don't hear that machine anymore. I'm joined, as always by sort of obsession sonand. I see you. Nice to see you.


And my my good friend and well producer extraordinaire Matthew Gorley, I'm going to call you Matthew today.


Got a sort of like formal. Do you prefer Matthew or Matt? I think I prefer Matt. I feel like Matt's a boring name, but Matthew feels too fancy or something.


Yeah, it does. Yeah. Yeah. No one calls someone Matthew, unless that person insisted they be called Matthew or they're in trouble like my dad. Yes. Yeah. Matthew. Yes. Matthew. James Gorley. I don't care who started it. I'm going to finish it right.


Like you were like you are ever in a fight. No, I don't need a fight, you know, just with my sister.


Did you and your sister used to squabble a lot? We have a really close relationship now. But, man, we used to tangle.


Yeah, we used to. I mean, I was one of six and especially there was my brothers and I used to fight quite a bit.


Who would win? Well, that would be Neil, the oldest, and he actually had what do they call it, strength. He had strength.


He was really strong and big. He would just laugh and Luke and I would be wailing away at him, our punches just bouncing off of him. Like if you were throwing paper planes at a battleship, you'd just be laughing and we would be pummeling him with our tiny fists that look like Cornish hens. And they would just bounce off Neil and he would laugh and he'd take both our heads and slam us together like like the Three Stooges.


Yeah, exactly. Knock us together and then toss us aside.


And he had a great just dismissive, derisive laugh.


But I had a fun day yesterday, which is and, you know, this seona, but we were trying to raise money for this charity. And so I got together with some my old band mates. Jim Aveeno. Yep. And Mike Merrett on bass and James Wormuth on drums. And we just were banging out these songs. And I was on guitar and I was having a really good time. And this is the kind of people I have in my life.


I've had people say, well, do you ever think your ego is going to get the best of you?


And I think I'm I'm surrounded by such talented, cruel people. Yeah, it can always deflate me in the perfect way.


So I was really we recorded a few weeks ago he recorded a song and I was really happy about it.


And I thought, hey, this actually sounds pretty good. It's a Chuck Berry song. I was really kind of happy with it.


And I was like, hey, I really like this. And I, I sent it to Matt O'Brien.


No relation but the head writer on the show, along with some other people to say, just check this out and tell me, know what you think.


You wrote me back and all he did was send me a link to a commercial.


And I pressed on it and it was a bunch of guys my age rocking out with guitars.


And it was a I think it was a Viagra commercial.


Oh. And they were they were like Devo Viag. And the thing is, you don't know what it is first. So it's these guys know I'm going to roughly my age. I ran a guitar and a guy's got a guitar on his back. I'm feeling good. I'm gonna do my best and then someone else. And that's, you know, the way and everyone's it's always perfectly ethnically mixed. Yeah. So it's a guy who's got a friend the same age as me, and they're all the same at different races and nationalities like and they're jammin and having a really good time.


And then they get to the chorus, Viva Viagra. And man, that was so hilarious and so mean. And all my excitement about jamming with my band.


Oh, completely turned to shame. Oh, that's brutal. It was brutal. Is brutal, masterful. But those are the people in my life, you know, that's nice.


No matter how big you get, you go home and it's like, OK.


But also I want to point out, even if I hadn't succeeded and had failed, I think that have gone out of their way to mock me, then they will come back to the alley that I live in and. Nice, Ali. Oh, you're sleeping in your rear end or is that someone else's urine?


Come on, guys, cut it out. Yeah, so a lot it does. Anyway, Matt O'Brien, who is not related to you acting like he is, but also he that's what any other writer on the show would have done that.


What if he really thinks you need Viagra? What if that was the message?


What? Well, girls want a wife. First of all, I've made it very clear to everyone around me I need Viagra. Well, anyway, I thank God that I have that I'm surrounded by a staff that is is very willing and very talented at humiliating me.




We keep you grounded. Well, you can only keep me grounded. You then grind me down into the ground.


You're welcome. You don't just keep me at ground level. You actually grind me down hundreds of feet beneath the soil. We make it work and pulverize me. I am I am thrilled.


I am thrilled about our guest today.


He is scary, talented and charming.


He won an Emmy for his portrayal of Russian spy Philip Jennings in the series The Americans. He's also appeared in such films as A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and The Post and stars in the HBO series Perry Mason. I am just all kinds of thrilled that he's with us today. I'm going to say I'm going to he's one of my fifteen man crushes.


Yeah, I have 15 years to actually I think I have like twenty five men. I think you have a lot. I think I have a crush on most good looking man. Yes. Yes. This might mean something anyway.


Matthew Reese, welcome. This is a I think a first, which is I went out of my way to book you on the podcast myself, we've had the pleasure of talking to many great guests. And I think we've just been trading on whatever I've achieved in the last twenty seven, twenty eight years and this this cruddy business of ours. But you were someone that I was at a dinner with Mr. Rohan Jones, who is one of the giant brains behind Perry Mason, which I absolutely.


My wife and I adore that show for that show and absolutely love it. And I started singing your praises at the table and saying, there's a man I've always wanted to meet. And Roland said, oh, he's so funny. You'd love talking to him. And I was sitting there thinking, if only there was a way. And he said, You idiot, ask him to do your podcast. And I, I go down a shame spiral of will.


He won't do he won't do it. When it comes time to say how he feels about being my friend, he'll say, I feel blank. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Spot on and up and I'll be filled with shame. And so. And then I reached out to you. He gave me your email and I personally reached out. I took the chance and said, Would you do the podcast? This was by the way, six years ago, three three.


Perry Mason. I knew you would eventually play Perry Mason. I love the long game you play. Yeah, I. I see. I play always sixty five chess moves ahead. Yes. No, I knew I was very excited to talk to you and then I sent you an email and you wrote me a hilarious email back and I thought, oh, I've got to contrive a way to make Matthew Reese, my friend, against his will. And I think I've done that now.


It's worked. Thank you so much. It's a real pleasure and I hope we meet again. Take care. But nice having you. Thank you. Thank you so much. That was Matthew Reese. And trust me, that's about as much as you'd want to hear from this man. Notoriously dull, really, the cruelty underneath. Yeah, it no one ever you know, I had to sit here and listen while they were you were only on the line for about five minutes with my staff before I entered the room.


I'm shaved and powdered before each podcast I can send.


Thank you. And but I heard you just being cascaded with how much everyone loves the Americans. And they they love Perry Mason and just how thrilled everyone is to talk to you. And I was filled with envy, envy and rage that no one, no one in this group is ever that happy to talk to me now. So much excitement about you. Yeah, that's the Irish in you. And they've always been envious of the Welsh, I think.


Well, you know, I will tell you something. There's something more exotic to me about Wales than Ireland.


I know. I risk I know. I risk pissing off all the Irish. Yes. But we're a dime a dozen in this country.


But Wales and that that incredible timber that you all have in your voices and I'm assuming it's all of you, I'm assuming it's the men and the women walking around with Richard Burton heads. Yes. To each other. That's that's exactly how it is singing when a baby's born, it has a full Richard Burton at Fifty Head. Yes, it's it's incredible. And if it doesn't, they force it to stop smoking goo goo. I say yes.


But, you know, the Irish we like I say, we're just oh my God, enough with the Irish. I'm not out there on St. Patrick's Day. Cheering on the Irish.


I'm hiding in a corner saying I'm sorry, but I do think, my God, the Welsh and Wales, such a romantic place and so many terrific actors and so many talents have come from there. And I just think of I think of how that's where I need to be. That's the climate I need to be living in. My assistant will tell you I cannot. I'm living in Los Angeles and I don't belong here. It's killing me. The sun people walking around with v shaped torsos and people with teeth.


And I don't belong here. I'm supposed to be back in Ireland. Yes.


With rickets and yes, with Rickett teeth to be shed, we are always told. But don't you I mean, at least you're living in you're living in Brooklyn, is that correct? Yes. So I get I get my fill of kind of grey drizzle, which, you know, which is like crack cocaine to Kelt.


So I am I am lucky when, you know, when that kicks in, I sort of come alive. But the summer months are certainly challenging for me.


Now, I'm told that you you had to evict a teenager from his room so that you could come into the room. Yes. And join me on this Zoome call and be part of this podcast. Yes. Why did you ask beforehand if you could use this sacred space? Know it was there was a small breakdown in communication. I spoke to his mother about it. I hadn't spoken to him. He famously and notoriously has the strongest signal in the house, which is why I evicted him.


But he was sad I. Assumed, as I've done on a daily basis, that some kind of communication would be relayed to the children. So I burst in and threw him out.


And I'm sure it sounds like you weren't maybe the most gentle about evicting your son from the room. No. Now, what about his reaction to you? I'm sure he said father or parterre or I don't know what the Welsh equivalent is.


I understand your needs and I vacate this space in your honor. Is that is that what he said?


You are very close. You are very close to his exact wording. It was an Olympic level dismissal from from him, very little who said there was, you know, the classic Iroh, a touch and a bit of a shuffle. And then he called me Dick under his breath.


But he said it in that lyrical way. Yes. Poetic way. Yes, it was it was as if he was channeling Dylan Thomas. It was remarkable.


You know, the word Dick in the original draft of a child's Christmas in Wales, Dick is used nine times.


Yes, you're right. You're right. You're spot on with the numbers there. However, three times our referencing Uncle Richard and one time Uncle Richard's dick. That's right. It his way. Yes. Yes, he had a pass. He had a pass. Everyone thought, oh, we see what he's doing. And then he went out of his way to stuff it up our ass. I see what you're going to tell me about you.


I'm I'm very much want to know. You grow up in Wales and something at an early age, you must realize you have ability. You have talent. I've talked to many people in the UK or Celts and they say that they watched a lot of American television. That was the same with you as well. True. Very true. However, the Welsh, as opposed to discuss the Irish, the Cornish and the Manx, if you want to get into it, they they have this one element, the arts in Wales, an incredibly revered and encourage it, especially in youth.


So twice a year there's this national festival where all schoolchildren have to compete, being in in poetry, in dance, in poetic recital. And this thing dates back, kind of priede to pre-Christian age. So there's always this very big onus, especially the Welsh speaking Welsh of this thing called the establishment, which is this enormous festival twice a year where you're kind of pushed, kicked onto stages and forced to perform.


It's like being a hockey player in Canada. When you're in the fetal stage, they give you a stick and you have to do it. This is the same for Wales. It's you have to get on the stage. We have to see what you've got in you. Can you do it? But what are you watching at home when you go home and you watch television was our awful crap from America seeping through this brilliant, wonderful culture that you had?


Yes. So that's that's very good. Yes. You win. Yes, yes. Yes. It's done it again. And forecast. I see that that's at four o'clock we go home and we watch Airwolf, Baywatch, the ateam, Starsky and Hutch. Jesus. What else? In Hutch you were watching really old stuff. I mean, but you're a young man. So you were watching Starsky and Hutch maybe thirty years after we had made it.


Yes. And, you know, we would we would obviously have to get Rudolph to jump on some form of livestock right down to the village hall where it was hand cranked on a projector screen and to help people kind of shouted what they thought might be the audio. Those are you should write your own child's memories of what they're all about. You riding a large hog. Yes. Down the road to the local cinema. What do they call it?


The Cinema Drome. Yeah. Where someone pulls a crank and you all watch Starsky and Hutch. Yes. With no sound. With no sound. Yes. I'm told is the way to watch Starsky and Hutch. I would agree with you.


Did you think when you were watching that obviously everyone's trained for the stage and you're so well aware of all the great Welshmen that have that have conquered the screen?


Where you thinking, I've got to get to America? America is where I want to go? Or were you quite happy to stay where you were?


Well, there's this kind of strange dichotomy because, yes, we have this huge kind of stage history. And, you know, everyone everyone's aware of it. Everyone does it. And then to a point when I finally decided to kind of try and give it a go professionally, my parents like, no, no, no, this is what you do for fun. This is your part. This is your part time. You don't do this professionally.


So but what America held was this. It was incredibly exotic. You you owned the cinema and you owned television. You own those two mediums. And with that became this incredible kind of exoticism, if that's a word. And it was something very of a. Something so strange, so the lure of of America and especially Hollywood, was enormous to me because the stage is what I knew. But those elements of what was very obvious to me, I've loved your work in the Americans and I love Perry Mason.


It is somewhat ironic to me that you have this fantastic accent. You have had to do an American accent for most of this very visible work that you have. And I was thinking you're getting to the point soon where I really feel like you can say, look, whatever role I play, I use my accent. From now on, I don't care. What if I'm Ronald McDonald selling hamburgers? It's going to be with this beautiful Welsh accent and no one can say anything at this point.


Matthew, you do that. You could demand that. I've been demanding it for years. No one has listened. This just might be the turning point. Yes. Yes.


Now that you've secured me long believed the most powerful person in show business, that's why anyone would laugh at that.


I have been around a long time and I have the power to get an email. I had the power to get Matthew's email. Seems like a robotic response that may well have been a bot.


I still wish you were you slightly disappointed that it was an AOL account? I was. Yes, I was. Is that why you sent the telegram? Yes. Yes, that's why I said the telegram. And then I didn't understand why you needed my American Express. No, but I was I happily handed it over. Yes, I. I thought this is a true friend is very, very kind of you. But, you know, I had an experience years ago, I was taping a comedy piece on the set of House with Hugh Laurie.


And it was, I think, for the for the Emmys. And he needed to be Dr. House. And so Hugh Laurie on the set, he had a one of his I think it was lighting one of his lighting people or a cameraman spoke up who was also from England, but he was using his accent. And Hugh Laurie said, you've got to stop doing that, Nigel.


It throws me off. Don't do that. And he said that he had he told me quite candidly that he had banned I'm making up the name Nigel. I can't remember, but I think it'll do bringing. All right. He was wearing an RAF costume, and I said I said the long scarf. And, you know, I he said, Nigel, no, cut it out. Stop, because I've got to stay in this American accent. You must have that same situation where I mean, does it ever get just bloody tired that you have to say, come on, let's get out of here, I've got to tell that dame what she's up to?


You know, not really because and it was never more so than in in Perry Mason. What I always did as a kid was growing up in in the in the backyard, on the schoolyard with friends is you're impersonating Americans. You're always impersonating an American. No one. I don't know. I've said this before, but no one goes on to school. You have to play Downton Abbey. It's not it's not like I know I've been out of the seven.


No, no. So so my my vivid memories are of like of your friends of mine doing these terrible American accents. I remember going I said, that's a fucking terrible American accent. You can't be Baracas with with an accent. I do pity the fool, I tell you. Yes, I pity that. I pity the chap. Yes. Nigel, get out. Nigel always showing up. Oh, yes. He's everywhere. You can smell the tobacco smoke from his pipe.


Damn. Damn him. So who are you pretending to be this that you pretend to be American movie stars from the past? Who who who did you like to channel so well? So this is a date. This is a danger for me sometimes because I attribute it to my my parents are very musical and I think a musical will always help you with accents. But sometimes in the early days in L.A., when I was going in for an audition and the accent wasn't quite working, I would just try and impersonate a person people.


And the person I always went to is with George Clooney, which is kind of dangerous because he has a very distinct speech pattern. Right. So sometimes the danger is you you'd fall into impersonation and mimicry as opposed to kind of trying to generate something organic. But then when it came to Perry Mason, actually the Americans was the greatest what the greatest job any any act non American actor can ask for in that he was always playing an alien, pretending to be American.


Yes. If my accent ever failed, I would just go, well, he's not American. He's threatening to shut up, Nigel. Then I'm in Houston. He's he's he's from Russia by way of Wales. Yes. Yes. Don't tell me. And then in Perry Mason, it was like there was such an enormous amount of of boyhood fantasies coming alive when I had a trilby on at a cigarette and flicking a cigarette. And I'm trying not to impersonate Humphrey Bogart because some of those lines, which I blame Mr.


Jones for, was that he would kind of you know, they would pepper it with this 30 speak this tall. Yes. And you have to go. Now, listen here, sweetheart. You know, so it was hard it was hard not to do that. You have to kind of remind yourself as an actor and make him a real person.


You know, I have to say, I have no one's ever been interested in seeing me act. But I have to say, like you, you know, when I watch Perry Mason, I think this is the kind of role that would bring out the child in me so much because you're wearing the fedora, you've got the beat up leather jacket with the tie and you're smoking and you're drinking scotch. It's it looks like it would be just such a blast.


I mean, the sad, sad truth is there are moments where you do think that's every dream you've ever wanted, which is to play those kind of, you know, those Bogot parts. And then when it comes to the moment where you're smoking a cigarette and drinking cold tea, you sort of go, oh, this is disgusting. This is Cody's not whiskey. And then you realize you just want to be those characters. You actually want to be an actor playing the part.


You actually wanted to be those people. And that's when I did have that moment.


Mason was like, oh, it's not it's not quite what I wanted because I'm still I'm still just pretending it's you know, it's as close as you can ever be, but there's still that element. It's like when you you go shark fishing for the first time and you kind of go, you know, you're always pretending to be Robertshaw in Jaws. And then you realize, I don't know, I just wanted to be a shark fisherman. I don't I don't want to be Robertshaw pretending.




I don't even want to be that. I want to be someone who's at the aquarium seeing a shark behind seven feet of glass. Yes. But still acting like I've got the balls of a Robertshaw. Yeah. So still acting like you and me. Shark. Well, you know, look at his cold, dead eyes, but it's behind eight feet of glass. Yes. And I'm eating cotton candy. Yeah. Completely protected.


I think I could be the beginning of something, actually, the kind of the prequel as to how how Quint became Quint. He went to an aquarium.


Yes. Yes. Some cotton candy. You're lucky with his eight feet of Plexiglas. Oh, if it weren't for this Plexiglas, you'd be dead. Shark comes from very wet. His nanny is like, come along. Yes. It's just a big, big, rich kid. You know, it's funny. One of the things that I, I think plays to a strength of yours is you're very I can tell you're a very funny person or you have a great sense of comedic timing because there's so much about Perry Mason.


You are the iconic American heavy, but you're always getting the piss taken out of you. You're always put in humiliating situations. You're always down on your luck. There's a great scene where you've taken dirty photos of a a film comedian and then he surprises you when you're in a phone booth and he just kicks the shit out of. You it's so great because you're always back on your heels in a way that I think allows you to be your admirable, but you're incredibly vulnerable and you're also there are there are times when you really are not that admirable.


And I think that's it. It's fun. It's great to see you do all that. Well, that was that was just a gift, that kind of rolling.


Jones and Ron Fitzgerald wrote and they said right off the bat, the first meeting, they said, look, we're going to load his bases. He's going to be incredibly fallible. He's going to do a lot of wrong. He's going to do a lot of right. We're going to give him a lot of depth. And, you know, he's got he's got a hell of a hell of a journey to go on. So I was I was hooked from the the pitch because it was everything.


It's everything that's fun to do something that's interesting to do. And they just they wrote it beautifully and it couldn't just all be luck because you're obviously you choose.


Well, but in the Americans, as you said, you're playing someone who's constantly shape shifting. So to me, the only reason I'd ever get into acting is if I could pretend to smoke a cigarette and if I could wear a wig.


And you were constantly you and Carrie are constantly wearing wigs. Yeah, some of them. Sometimes they look like high school production wigs. But you still managed to pull it off because it's realistic that you would have a 1980s wig, you wouldn't have the Mission Impossible wig. No, and that was that was kind of the beauty and the fun and the kind of maddening elements of it is like, you know, there wasn't much of a wig budget. So we had this incredible, you know, hair designer who had basically a box of wigs that she would that she would pull out and then she would try try and put on Carrie's and then she would try and put on my head.


And if fitted both, if she could work it onto both our heads, it would be a keeper and kind of throw into a box. I swear to God, there were wigs and that'll be the title of my book. Like Weeks we've shared there was one wig we called John Denver because it looked like John Denver's hair and that was the wig we more more times than the Americans and any other wig. And we had the woman from the CIA come in to kind of who did the disguise of the CIA.


And she was like, you kind of got both elements because some of them should, like all the wigs that the CIA ever used, were terrible wigs because they were old to be used from afar. Like you would never use a wig if you were getting close with, you know. Right. So you kind of got violent. But then you do have a number of wigs that are far too good that we would never use. We never used the lace and all of that.


So, you know, we were we were touching all the bases, but we did we did have a lot of fun. All the fun came in in the wig fittings where you would try and give yourself as many characters in the makeup room, given that one wig before you had to step out onto set and be all serious again. Right. It would explain why occasionally because you were sharing a wig, your character, though male, was wearing a beehive hairdo.


Yes. And then I'd go to work.


You come from, would you say outdoorsy people, would you would you say that your parents were. I'm trying to get a picture of are these are these people that like to get outside and take a trek through the hills? Or is that something it's just in my imagination that people are doing in Wales. Is anyone doing that? Is anyone taking a trek through the hills? No. Oh, no. Geoff Hill farmers. That's about it. It rains a lot.


And most people are indoors on electronics. Oh, now that ruins everything. Really? You wouldn't. Come on, tell me you didn't used to strip to the waist and you and the other lads would hike up the side of a hill and go to the bog. Yes, well, of course you would wrestle. And then, you know, I hate haying time. You know, we'd be saving we'd be saving swathes of our swathes of grassland into into Heinrich's and then they'd be Syeda and more wrestling.


Well, this is the title of your book, Seiter. And then more recently, yes, that's the title we're going to be sharing, which is another way to go to. Yes. No, we did. We had a childhood wise. We we were very lucky. My mother kind of had this ridiculous o'melveny. And my mother hails from a long line of sailors on her side. So in summertime, in the summertime, we would go, you know, we would go and play play around on boats, you know, and then my father's from a big farming family.


So then, you know, I joke. But there was a lot of time we were packed off to the farms to kind of, you know, we say we helped. We were more of a hindrance. But, yes, I always loved I mean, listen to my mid forties. They beat Rose-tinted and Halsy at this point. Yes, they are. But we did kind of, you know, spend a long summer summer holidays on the farms in Wales.


Now, do you feel at all that you have a responsibility, you have it, you have a four year old, is that right? I do. A four year old. Do you ever feel responsible to. Oh, I've got to get him to Wales so he experiences what I experienced. Do you feel like you've got to do that? I do know enormously. It's you know, it's like a Celtic weight, you know. You know, everything is everything is problematic for the Celtic think.


But I do I feel I feel especially because Welsh is my first language growing up. And the language itself, as I watched my parents who fought and campaigned incredibly for the language to survive, it was it was it was in danger. It's only just been kind of taken off the endangered language list. So I felt I felt I feel this incredible responsibility, especially by the language. I only speak to him in Welsh. The poor, poor thing.


You're kidding. No, it's OK. You are kidding because. No, I mean, I'm. You're not kidding. No, I'm speak to every word of Welsh, which is why he thinks he's still in some kind of Tolkien novel. Bless him.


Yeah. You could just tell him it's Dothraki. Yeah. His friends can think it's Elvish. It is a very I mean when I've heard that language and it's the same thing, I'll say the same thing with Celtic. Yeah. When I hear with Gaelic I think that's not someone just took a bunch of consonants and put them in a paper shredder. Yeah. Mix them up and they're having a laugh at us. Yeah I know that we, we joke to the English, snuck in one night and took all our vowels.


So yes I've done it again. They're going the way of the bastards. I'll go. They're going over the hill. Yeah. I've got an A and a sack and. Yeah. Sack over the hill. Well now I grew up and as I said, a completely Irish house and our grandmother lived with us and she used to just talk about the English, if you like.


You know, Monty, that was two hundred years ago and I never goes away.


It was eight hundred years ago for us. We still talk about it. I remember my passing my grandmother's room in my house, very crowded house, a lot of kids. And I passed her room and she was watching the movie Bromwell, which was made in the sixties.


And I want to say, was it Richard Harris?


Yeah. Richard Harris Bromwell. Yes. And so it's Cromwell who famously was no friend of the Irish. And I just heard her watch what she was just watching it going, oh, damn.


I'm like, he's an actor playing someone who who existed hundreds of years ago to him, see?


And she may well have been talking about Richard Harris and some slight jabs back in the old country she had had a torrid affair with. Yes. Yes. Seventy years earlier. Yes. It hadn't gone well.


No, I think to be fair, we would turn it to Starsky and Hutch and she'd say, damn, now, damn, where was this? I'm trying to get an image I was living in right outside Boston, Massachusetts. Right. And this is back in the seventies. And your grandmother, your grandmother was from Ireland? No. No, she was not from Ireland. Oh, did my people came over. Oh, that's right. You know.


She they came over, you know, they waited for this, I think, for the civil war to be over so that they would be back in the civil war when an Irish person would show up, they would basically just put them in a cannon and fire them.


That was the main weapon we had was. Yes. Oh, they're shooting. We're Irish at us. And so I think they waited it out. And then the minute that got sorted out, they said, let's come here and let's spend a few generations growing, someone who can be on television, whatever that's invented. Yes, that's like an ass.


And the long game again, grandmother still I mean, I think she was born in 1890, so she had a long memory of Protestants bullying her at school and things like that, which and she would tell me, look out, look out.


The Protestants are going to get you when you go to school. And I think, oh, what are you talking about? My my teacher is, you know, wearing a dashiki, you know, is from Africa.


Like, I go to a very liberal public school. But you're talking about no one cares about that shit anymore. And then I was beaten with a stick, of course, by a nun, probably. Yes. Well, she would dress as a nun and Haiti just above board. But no, I feel the same way where my my children are growing up in Mr Grove in Brooklyn. My kids are coming of age in Los Angeles. And I think I this is not I feel like I'm betraying my genetic commands, you know, I feel like it should be raining out.


We should be inside your mother and I should be bickering instead. We're getting along. It's sunny out. People are getting are being adequately. Their emotional needs are being met. This has no bearing on how I grew up. No. Where is your wife from? What are you what are you drinking, by the way? What is that like? Well, it's an exotic drink we have here. It looks it's it's called Diet Coke. You know what I wish I had done well, I wish I had lied right now.


I wish I had said it was bourbon. Oh, goodness, yes. Oh, I love Guinness. So do I. I love Guinness.


Because if you don't have time to eat a whole loaf, no pumpernickel bread. Yeah.


Someone has taken the time to grind one up in a blender. Yeah. And turn it into alcohol. Yes. And then you can have it. Yeah. And people think you've got hair on your chest. Yeah. The soup of kings.


You could probably get a free you know what you could get, you could get a Guinness tap in your home. All you have to do Matthew, was say I sure like Guinness and they were going to set up a Guinness tap in your house.


There's one thing I could wish for apart from world peace, it would be a Guinness tap in my house.


You heard it here first. Guinness, get on it. Matthew Reese wants a Guinness tap in his home and it will remain there for three hours until someone else in the house makes him take it down.


Sunset. Yes, but what, three hours they will write books on those three hours.


That's quite a beard you have right now. It's really fantastic. Yes. You look like an Orthodox Jewish man going. It's a very impressive beard.


Thank you. Thank you. I just wondered if I could do it. It's not actually real. This game with me from the Americans.


It's been a string in the back. Yes. Yes. It comes off very quickly. It's just it's just my lock down locks.


I just, you know, during these turbulent times, if there's one thing we'd ever be allowed to do is, is grow a beard. So I'm going to have a go. I think it looks fantastic. I decided to let the hair grow. I can see that a beard once before. And I'm becoming a very attractive, I think, female pop star from about nineteen seventy three.


Give me another clue. Give me another clue. Let's see. I'm currently I'm about to date in a few years. All day I'll date Scott Baio from Scott Baio from Joanie Loves Chachi.


Happy. Oh he then became conservative.


I think now he's a big Trump supporter. Oh was that that was you saying yay Trump.


Right. That's that's it. That's it. Exactly. I knew it. Yes. Well, who are you? Who are you? Well, Bob Fosse, 70s pop star. You know, I was making I don't know. Oh, damn. I was enjoying that as well. Are you really got me then? I was I was in over my head. I was here. I was intimidated. I was I was writing checks with my mouth that my ass couldn't cash, which is not a saying anywhere.


It is, you know. Thank you. You had a first Guinness. Guinness, by the way. Get on it. Yeah. I will get you all the information. We've got to get a tap installed in Matthew Reese's home lunch and you know. Yes. And if Conan gets one, too. Well, that's your business. Yes. But Matthew Rhys first, then Conan. Yeah, no, I would I would very much love to someday have a Guinness with you.


You know what I wish?


I wish I was from Wales. I really do. I think it adds so much. I think there are actors out there that pretend to be from Wales because they think it adds credibility. Well, I. One of them. No, no, you are really from no, I'm not. I'm from Surrey, just outside England, just outside London. Ended up I looked it up on his website. Ice Cube says he's from Wales. I know because I know I've had a go at him about that because I keep I keep tweeting and saying which part ways, but I spell ice in Welsh.


I just think it's wrong what he's doing. Yes. I don't know. I don't respect it. Must be it. Yeah. Are you guy are you trapped in your home or are you able to get out at all. Are you able to travel to some other safe place during covid. Help me.


I'm ok. I'll text you. Yes, I'm very good. I'm going to do yes I'm going to dress up as a Guinness tap delivery and I'm going to show up at the door. Had to go just now. My accent's not as good as yours. Matthew's come to church, come to any kind of place. Please just be patient. I was just about to release. I'm talking to you. Oh, Jesus, Maddie. Hi. You help me.


Help me. The top is rather heavy for the cake, too. Could you come in the back of the truck? Yes. Help me get it out. Yes. Yes. You only have one arm for some reason. Let me out back in first light. The woman in Silence of the Lambs. Yes, yes, yes. Shut the door. I drive you out of state. Yes, I'm waiting here. You won't care. No, I'm wasted by the time we get to New Jersey.


By the time we get to New Jersey, we're in the back. I'll have a driver. He'll drive us and I will sit in the back drinking Guinness. Singing folk songs. Yes, folk songs, that song. All that straight. That's on a side of the street. What's the one you crumble who left out? And I hope that down help the horrors that you sent to Ireland. Fatherless forefathers. I remember that I love. Oh, my God.


There's also as a ready I said I've had it and that's and the Irish son got to keep it going right now. Darn it. What's the one I got daughters from the White House. Are they from the five and dime? I think my I lost my accent towards the because I had a small I had a mini stroke. Well, no hands are sailing. It was the dime I think. Took you back to America. Oh, my God.


Oh yes.


Yes. Well, anyway, I think we're going to be really good friends. I do agree. If you would do me a favor, I'll get you hooked up with Guinness. If you tell people I'm from Wales, I grew up there. Yeah. And that I was I was a fierce fighter. Yes. In fact, that's why you had to flee to Massachusetts.


I was such a good fighter. I had to flee. Well, you know, that will make up something like you killed a man in a bare knuckle fight and and his father, the Gypsy King, Oju, your father, money, something like that. And then you took off to Massachusetts. OK, go ahead. I got it. I like it. Well, get a little treat this like at that word out there. This would help me a lot with my what we call street cred.


Yes. On this side of the pond. I've heard of that.


Well, you've got plenty. Trust me. Give me we have a mutual acquaintance, Mr. Tom Hanks, who you worked with beautifully in a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Yes.


Isn't he a lovely man? Just, I mean, etherial. I've never met you know, everyone's always going to find out what he's really like, see what the real Tom Hanks persona is. And I came back and I said, it's more than you think it is. I mean, I so you turn into the sycophantic actor. But he was he was above and beyond anything I could have imagined.


Yes, he is. He's one of those people who I've sung his praises before. But I've when I was a writer, it turned out lived a wee lad. He he would come on the show. And so I've known him for many, many, many years and never seen him be anything less than angelic, except, oh, I think I have his Achilles heel.


I think he's competitive in a game. I think in a game he's quite competitive.


And if you can lure him into maybe slightly losing a parlor game or a vicious prick may come out, Tom Hanks did something.


It's possible, right? I don't know. I've heard tell. Right. He's a horrible man.


Yeah. As you know, he's a terrible man. Stop the rumor here. Yeah, that'll take up only they'll pick up forty years for people to believe it. Yes. There's a saying I read this. I don't know if it's true, but when you won the best actor Emmy in twenty eighteen narrowly beating me out for the role of Kippie. Yes. In a girls Christmas.


Do you wanted to say something in Welsh at the end of your acceptance speech. But you forgot and you didn't do it. What was that you wanted to say. Are you allowed to tell me. Oh yes. It was just a simple, you know, it was a simple thank you to my parents. And they were you know, there were all these things I wanted. Say to the to the to the people of Wales or just to the kids of Wales, everything, you're kind of what I touched upon earlier, everything you're kicked onto the stage to do, sometimes it pays off.


That's all I wanted to say. But then when you're there, there's a Jumbotron, you get up, they give you the Emmy and there's a Jumbotron and as forty five seconds on it and it counts down. So it becomes, you know as well, you know, slightly mesmerized with the counting. And then I guess to one they start flashing in these giant letters, stop talking, stop talking. And, and it's kind of crippling in a way.


What a crippled me which is why I got off. Yeah.


I have that same sign. Yes. It's in my home. Does anyone. Yes. My wife hates it, but she'll say, well, I'd like to say something had happened to me. And then I borrowed one from the Emmys. Yes. And it's just this giant now. And it's terrible because I do wish they would differentiate between people who can and should speak and people who we all know probably should keep it short. Yes, you're someone who should be.


I will say this. I started my show, the television show in America, the late night show in nineteen ninety three. Good God.


And I have I know I am, as you can tell. Yes. In my late 70s. Yes. Very well preserved. Yeah. And I but what I have said over and over and over again is that my favorite guests tend to be from somewhere around the UK or because there is a culture there of speaking something and telling stories and being entertaining. And it's almost mandatory. It's in the culture. And I've had an experience where I was I've been in parts of the UK and I've been around some very funny comedians, professionally trained, funny people.


And then the funniest person will be the guy who's operating the elevator at the hotel. He's funnier than any of us. And I think there's something I don't know what it is, but there really is something magical about that culture. And I think sometimes American actors and tell me if you think I'm wrong, they feel that they need to be difficult to speak to. Maybe it's something James Dean and Marlon Brando started where it's kind of cool to be looking down monosyllabic chain smoking.


And they don't understand that no one was cooler than Richard Burton or Richard Harris for Peter O'Toole or any of these people that would come on a show and just blow you away with their wit and their storytelling.


Well, those to me with the heroes, you know, O'Toole, Horace Burton, those are the men I grew up watching and kind of taking a greater fascination in in their in their talk shows. Because how many had how many times did you have O'Toole on the show?


I don't think I don't think we ever had Peter on the show. He was banned. I, I just didn't like him. Yes. No, I'm kidding. Yes, I you know what I thought I thought he could have done better in Lawrence of Arabia. I thought so. But then he just had the nose job so. Yeah, exactly. I thought he had phoned it in. Yeah. With Lawrence and I was going to give him a chance after the last emperor.


And then I thought, let's see what else he's got. Yeah. And then he passed away. No, I just never had the good fortune to have him on the show. We had Richard Harris. How is he like he was just absolutely delightful. I remember at one point he was telling a story and it was so funny. We all exploded in laughter and he pushed his talk show chair back and it almost went all the way over. And I had to grab it to stop him from going all the way over like his feet were up in the air.


Just magical. Yeah.


And and it really is something that I believe is in the culture where there's no such thing as well. I'm an actor and I'm really cool. And so I don't entertain people.


I become a character and I take it very seriously.


There's this notion that you can be both. I can be a great you can be a great actor and you can be the funniest person at the table.


Like I said, referencing those men I, I grew up with that I was always aware that every element of this incredible business has to be kind of, you know, attacked with the same same level of professionalism, same level of energy. Like if you're accepting an award fortunate enough to accept an award, giving a speech, talking in public, they're all they're all the same elements to a degree. Yeah. So, yes, I think there's a there's certainly a long line of in the dump.


So I feel that way when I'm when I'm at a restaurant, I feel like I need to be entertaining for the waiter. You've seen that. So yes, it's yes. And they often say you're not a trial, seona. You're. Yes, that is correct, sir. Do you find that? Do you find that?


Are you very aware of that? Do you find that very exhausting? No, sadly, I don't. I find it very natural. I like to try and I if left completely alone in a parking lot at three o'clock in the morning, if one person wandered in and we started chatting, I would really try to give them a good time. I just said I'd like to give a stranger a good time in a parking lot. Yes, you did.


Yeah, we all got stops and some of us are finishing up. Yes. You know, Matthew, this has been as delightful as I was hoping it could be and imagined it would be a great I really enjoyed this so much. And I like I say, you were the first and only person that I have reached out to my cell phone.


I said, please, please talk to me and please talk to me and please pretend to be my shit, my friend. Yes. For an hour and no pay. Yes. And what am I going to say? Yes. Oh, one of my greatest performances.


I think you got an ass.


Yes. Yes. Why, why? Why? At the end of the sixtieth minute, why? Why would you put the knife in that damn his eyes? Matthew Reese, I bow to you and I'm so grateful that you agreed to do this. And thank you. And please be well. And I do look forward to a day when we meet in person and you can see what an impressive physical space and I am. Yes. Yes. I got no idea.


You were so tall when you were on Zoom right now. Yes, I can I can tell by despite merely by perspective of that tiny that tiny desk and that tiny chair that you dwarf so easily, you know, I had the made extra small. Oh, and yes. And I'm wearing Pee wee Herman suits. So that's what it is. Anything to make me appear larger. Thank you very much, sir. This was a real joy. It really was.


And a great honor. So thank you for the invitation.


OK, it's time to meet the second of our golden ticket winners, feeling self-conscious that we're not giving away cash or a four by four. Do you know, I mean, we're giving away nothing, four by four.


Like, it puts a lot of pressure on the conversation. Yes. That's, what, four by four minutes. You know what? A four by four room you thought we were going to give them.


We would give people a truck.


Sure. You get a four by four. We get Willan had to come here and go. This is beautiful. For, you know, whatever you do is think, what a waste of Willan. It's time.


I think it's the best use of his time. I don't know. All right. Who are we going to meet?


OK, well, the way this contest worked is you could find a secret message on the podcast, on the television show or on social media and register to meet you, Conan, along with Seona and myself. And today's guest is Ben from Denver, Colorado. Cool. Let's bring him in. Hey, Ben.


Hey, Ben. Hi. Hey, guys. How's it going? Oh, it's fantastic. How are you guys doing? We're OK.


It sounds like you're kind of a little bit crying. Yeah. Are you OK, Ben? Yeah. I brought my boys with me here. I'm doing great. I'm just I just can't believe this is real. This is really happening. Just so to clarify, for people who are listening to the podcast, when he said, I got my boys here, he did not take out his testicles. Come on, all dogs. These are my children's children.


What are your dogs? Those are too cute little scruffy dogs. What are their names?


Yeah, so this is Teddy, but I was thinking of renaming him actually Kantako. Kanichi. Very nice. You're in the no cat as God made her as dog. Made him as dog. Yes. And then this this guy is Oliver Dange. Oh my. Oh very cool.


They're very cute dogs and I was thinking of renaming him my Gooch.


Oh my God. It's very nice. You know, it is an act of cruelty to rename a dog well into its life.


So what's going on in your life? First of all, you're in you're in Denver, is that right? Yeah, I'm I'm just outside of Denver, in Aurora. But I was born and raised in a tiny little to stoplight town called Clayton, which is up in the Thousand Islands on the Canadian border of New York. Oh, very cool. Wow. We're known for our Thousand Island dressing. Hey.


And the two lights in the center of town. Yes, exactly. You know what I love Thousand Island dressing on pretty much anything. I really love it on corned beef. I like it on anything but a salad. I just I love it on a sandwich. You come from this small town and then you made your way to the big city, Denver. I did. I don't know if you can see my shirt, says O'Brien staff on it.


Yeah. O'Brien's was the first bar I ever worked at in my hometown. I feel like I was just destined to meet your Koenen. I really do. Yeah, because it's a very uncommon name. Let me finish.


OK, I worked in an Irish pub in downtown Denver for the past four years. I met my wife who has O'Briens in her family. Oh my. And my favorite author growing up was Tim O'Brien, who wrote the things they carried.


So see, there's a connection here. There's a lot going on. There's a lot of Irishness going on. And my apologies for that. It's a dark strain. But no, you guys could be related to because the last guest we figured out was related to Conan.


We might know that we're related. We're probably are. We're all related. Sort of. Yeah. You would fit in very easily in my household, although you seem a little more sane than my real brothers and sisters, then I understand big changes are coming in your life. What's happening?


Big changes coming. And have I got a story for you when people say that they usually disappoint whenever I know when I'm just telling you in my life, when people go, Conan, if I got a story for you, they go. So I had a problem with my muffler and I went to Meineke and I'm like, OK, that's great. So anyway, I'm sure this will be a good story. You go ahead. All right. So the wife and I, you know, we we wanted to start a family for for some time, and we weren't having the best of luck.


My wife is also a bartender and bar manager, but things were weren't really going that well in that department. So one day this this old Irishman walks into her bar and he gave her a Celtic Irish necklace to wear. The very next day she called me crying and I thought something was wrong. But she told me that she thought she was pregnant.


Oh, and a beautiful story.


So it gets a little bit better because after about 30 pregnancy tests later at home, we went to the doctor and we found out that our baby is due on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day.


Oh, my God.


So, yeah. And unfortunately, this old man that gave her the necklace, he recently passed. So it kind of has a weird Lion King Circle life vibe to it. So I was wondering, you know, do you believe in the luck of the Irish at all? I do actually I do believe in mystical, magical things happening. I know people think that I'm a cynical, hard edged guy, but I do. That's a lovely story. I wanted to say that I was the old man because if I don't moisturized for two days, I look like a very old Irishman.


And I was the one that came in and gave that charm. But no, this man is passed on. I don't want to steal his glory. I think there was some magic to it. I really do. I just magic out there. I'm a sentimental old softy. Do you have any ideas for the name of this? Did you say it was a do you know if it's the sex of the baby?


Yeah, it's a little baby girl. We actually just went and got a 3D ultrasound yesterday. I don't know if you can see this, but that's.


Oh, look at my God.


That is a perfectly formed. That face is more formed than my face. Oh, it is. And is a morph. That's a beautifully. What a beautiful baby girl. You can see her.


You didn't finish and I never finished reading. I came out at two months and I just got, I got I got a job right away. I got to work. I had umbilical cord for the first three years of my life. She is gorgeous. What do you what do you thinking of naming this girl? Do you have any idea?


Is this a good story? Right. Yeah. So the story continues. Yeah. My my wife a couple of years ago before we were married, she said I have a name for a baby. I had a dream that we had a baby girl and we named her Florence. And I looked at her really weird. And she said, What? And I said, Do you realize that was my grandmother's name? And she had no idea. My God, Ben, are you living in a rom com?


Oh, I know this is you. I love this.


You're going to be played by Ryan Reynolds in two years.


Oh, hey. One that I one that is a gorgeous man. And I can say that, as I said, trust me, I made out with him on the show once. I did. I know that. And I that guy can kiss. Yeah. Yeah. And I do him in a minute. It's happening. Well, I'm sorry I was for a comedy bit, but you would.


OK, well I keep thinking about it so I thought about since this is a very nice story, I'm very happy that that your life has taken this, this wonderful turn. Thank you.


This time of year, we're very excited. Besides, you know, this this going on, the golden ticket, you know, this baby has been the best thing to come out of.


This is the second best is the second best thing when you think about it. Yeah. The the baby is Florence is the second best thing. Oh. To getting to talk to us, which is the first best thing is just so that our priorities are straight. Yeah. That's a that's a no. It's a really lovely story and I really am now. I think we're getting them a baby present. Oh is that what we're doing. Yes. There's not there's not supposed to be any gifts, but I'm going to send you some kind of baby.


Present your ball whisky. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. No, we are not sending you any peanut butter flavored whiskey just because just because they sometimes buy an ad on our our podcast. Get them something. A sponsor. Send them. Yeah. No, no, no. We're going to you're going to get a gift for me. This really this is really sweet. I mean, no you're not getting erectile dysfunction cream. That doesn't seem to be an issue either.


No, we we'll take care of this. Seona, I'm really happy for you, Ben. You know, you seem like you seem like a nice guy, and it's nice to know that you're out there. And what's your wife's name? Her name is Leah. Leah that you and Leah are out there and that nice things are happening for you. Thank you. And I know that if it had been a boy, the child would have been called Koenen.


It just didn't work out that way.


I know, I know.


Maybe on the next run know or if Florence if you grow tired of that name Cona since you're into switching names well into someone's life.


Yeah, yeah. I'll table it for discussion with the Mrs. Şaban.


This is very cool talking to you. My best to you and tell tell your wife that I'm thinking of her and we're really happy for her.


And yeah, I'm going to send her money, send him along. This is gift basket I do for my friend's kid and we're going to send one of those to Ben and then I'm going to charge it to Sona. What you won't even notice. So no, just put it on your Costco card, your bag.


He knows more about us than we do. Yeah, I listen to you guys when I'm walking my dogs. So every day, right after work, I walk down the street and people think I'm crazy because I'm laughing to myself as I'm picking up dog shit.


That's that's the most common complaint we get about the podcast is people say they were at the gym or something and that they were laughing and people thought that they were having a nervous breakdown. So. Well, Ben, it was really nice meeting you. Congratulations and build up your sleep now.


Thank you. And so on. And Garley, I love you guys, too, on the podcast. You guys are. A BLT sandwich. Oh, my God. Oh, very nice. That would be the bacon. No, you cannot. You're the soggy toast because that tomato got it all soggy. It was so nice talking to you. Good luck. Always nice to see you. Take your shirt off. This is for you, Ben.


Check out these guns right there. Oh, my God. All right. All right. There's no guns in here. Do you think there was any chance that I was that old Irishman?


There's always a chance you're an Irishman. And whenever you meet an old Irish man in a bar, remember, it's probably me making your wishes come true, then faking my death, then returning to my podcast. Anyway, he was a lovely guy. He was happy for him. Is a sweetheart for his family. Yes. Heartfelt congratulations. And of course, our thanks to State Farm for making this whole golden ticket. I like this. I like talking to fans to enjoy it.


It's very meaningful. And so thanks to State Farm, when you want the real deal like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.


Conan O'Brien needs a friend with Sunim Obsession and Conan O'Brien as himself produced by me, Matt Cawley, executive produced by Adam Sachs, Joanna Solotaroff and Jeff Ross at Team Coco and Colin Anderson and Chris Bannon at Airwolf. Theme song by The White Stripes. Incidental Music by Jimmy. Our supervising producer is Aaron Belayer and our associate talent producer is Jennifer Samples. The show is engineered by Will Beckton. You can rate and review the show on our podcast and you might find your review featured on a future episode.


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