Transcribe your podcast

Hello, my name is Natasha Leone, and I'm a totally normal person, and I feel blank about being Conan O'Brien's friend.


So do I.


Fall is here the l. Back to school, ring the bell.


Brand new shoes walking, climb the fence.


Books and pens I can tell that we are going to be friends I.


Can tell that we are going to be friends hey there. Welcome to Conan O'Brien. Needs a friend. Joined by my cohorts, Sona Mosesian. Hey, Sona.




And Matt Goreley. Hi, Matt. I think full disclosure is important. Matt has very young daughter, and you got no sleep last night. And I just think it's good for the listeners to know what you're going through in real time. What time were you awakened? 1245. Okay. A. M. And was it a screaming, crying thing?


It was, mommy, I'm ready to go in the living room.


So fully ready to go. Had she had like a double shot late, just before bed. What was the reason why she woke up?


That thought we'd put the heater on, but we put the air conditioner on, and whatever the story was, Amanda and Glenn went out to the living room and slept there. And then I did not fall back asleep at all. I was just up the entire, I have not slept since. And so I come to you what I am.


Oh, boy.


Yeah. Which is a weird sentence. I come to you. I mean, that sentence in and of itself is proof that you shouldn't be operating machinery, let alone co hosting a podcast. Not heavy machinery, not even light machinery like this.


Oh, my God.


I am what? Bi. Yeah. I remember neither of our children were great sleepers, and it kicks in later on. And now that they're teenagers, you can throw stones at them while they're sleeping and they won't get up. And I often do because it's funny, I remember when my daughter was really young and she was in that phase where those little lights that you put in a room, you see them, I mean, now they're in households, they're everywhere. But if you enter the room, the light just goes on. It's a motion detector. I remember realizing, oh, our daughter is a motion detector, so she could be fast asleep. And if you just put your pinky in the room, in a dark room where she was and held it up in the air, she would be up and go. We play out, and it was time to go rock and roll. Not going back to sleep for 6 hours.


Oh, boy.


Yeah. It was just, you're now your kids pass out.


No. One of them, Mikey, can sleep through anything. Charlie. And they were climbing out of their cribs like stealth ninjas. So I wouldn't know they were. Up until I looked, when I just opened my eyes and one's face is right next to me.


What if you found out later they were jewel thieves?


They could be.


And there was a rash of. And then you'd wake up in the morning and it was just incredible. Rubies, necklaces in their cribs. And you kind of kept it quiet.




I mean, it's also. I don't know if stealing is genetic, but if it is, they got the gene.


You are wearing a ton of jewelry.


You are wearing a lot of jewelry today.


What is going on?


Children steal them for me.


I've trained them.


I just see them with little suction cups. They've got the thing that Tom Cruise has where you're lowered on wire and you go right down to the bottom.


They climb over baby gates now. The baby gates can't even hold them anymore. Like nothing. Baby proofing.


Do they brag when you come into the house with something? They're like, that will not hold us. We cannot be held by any man made barrier.


Why do they have that access?


I don't know. They've been listening to a lot of babble at night and then you come in. Hello, mother. Where's Potter? In the night we purloined some precious jewelry from the local museum. We do hope you enjoy. Well, I'm sorry you didn't get. Look at him. He's resting his chin. You're resting your chin on the microphone to sleep good for the sound. Are you any good at taking a nap?


No, I'm a horrible sleeper as it is.


You always were. You know what that is? Your conscience. Maybe.


What do you mean?




Wait, what do you mean? I think you've committed horrible crimes. Can you sleep like a baby?


No, that can't be.


Sociopath. Okay, that makes sense.


That checks out.


Oh, yeah. There's a famous story from in our family lore when we were kids and a bat got loose in the house. Yeah, a bat came into the house because we live in suburban cave. Boston in a cave. My father fought crime to avenge the death of his parents. Knowing your dad, my dad pretended to be an academic medicine. And he'd go, yes, I think I'm.


Going to go to the lab and.


Work on this new strain of.


Bacteria is rather concerning.


It's shown up in Austin. Just check it out. And then he'd. Batman has six kids. Yeah, Batman has six kids. Anyway.




He goes down the bat pole. And then he's Batman, and he's suddenly, like, kicking ass. Then he comes back home again.




I think I'll have a little soup, a little v eight juice.


Does he have a lab coat on over his batsuit?


Yeah. He sometimes forgets. Sometimes he's fighting crime in the lab coat because he forgot. And people are like, what? The fight? He's like, oh, God damn it. Quick temper, irish temper.


God damn it.


Jesus Christ. But, yeah, my father fought crime. Anyway, a bat got into the house in the summer, and everyone in the house woke up and was chasing it. And I used to share a room with my. At the time, I think I was just sharing with my brother Luke. I used to share it with Luke and Neil, but I was just sharing it with Luke then. And everyone in the family was chasing the bat, and they all chased it into the room where I was asleep. Luke was awake chasing it. My father used to always try and capture them because he wanted to get them to the lab to study if they had rabies or so, and to avenge the murder of his parents in Gotham City. And anyway, but everyone's jumping from bed to bed, and I'm on the bed fast asleep. I mean, people were jumping on the bed screaming, bat. I'm out the whole time. And then in the morning, I wake up, like. And everybody said, wasn't that crazy last night? And I said, what? What was crazy? I'm so jealous.


I haven't slept through the night since I was probably 18.


But what do you do when you wake up? I don't do anything. I don't look on my phone. I try to keep it real.


You try to keep it real?


Keep it real.




Yeah, he's from the streets. He's trying to keep it real.




Maddie Gorells.


Maddie Gorell's keeping it real.


Oh, my God.


I love that checking your phone means you're not keeping it real. That means no one on earth is keeping it real. I'm so sorry. I feel for him.


I know.


Wait. Now it's gone. It was just momentary. It was a weird. Wrap it up. So I can go? Yeah. Okay, we're going to let you go home. So you cannot sleep there. Have you ever tried. Is there anything that might help you go to sleep?


I've tried everything I can think of. Everything there is.


You should try listening to this podcast. Oh, I should mention, I do fall asleep when I'm editing, every time. And it's the best sleep you've ever had. Oh, man. All right. You knuckleheads I never get to say that much. Okay? You knuckleheads pipe, and sometimes I do it when you're not even saying much.


No, we're not.


Quiet, you knuckleheads. Pipe down. My guest today co created and starred in the hit Netflix series Russian Doll. You can also see her in the Peacock series Poker Face. I love that show. And recently, she directed the critically acclaimed comedy special Jacqueline Novak get on your knees, which is available to stream on Netflix. Very excited she's here today. Natasha Leone. Welcome, Natasha. I was really excited about you being here because you've been on the show a bunch of times, and every time I talk to you, I'm deliriously happy, because you are a singularity. You are unlike anybody else that I speak to. You are such an original speaker of speaking and speeches and speechifying. But you are was.


I was Obama's speechwriter.


That's why most of his speeches about the Affordable Care act started out like, now listen to me.


Now listen up, country. Emphasis on the cunt. I said it.


I thought you were. Wrote his best speeches.


Thank you. I don't get a lot of credit for that, and so I really appreciate you bringing up. A lot of people just think of me as, like, I don't know, whatever kept in Bruno Kirby or some fucking. I wrote Obama's most iconic speech.


You did. You are such a great speechwriter for Obama, but also, you fell through a black hole. You come from another time. You are. What would you call yourself? A ragamuffin.


Yeah. Well, I do appreciate that. Instead of saying singular, you actually called me the singularity.


You are the singularity.


Our first test subject. And what's wild is people thought that Ray Kurzweil was a kook. You know what I mean?




They thought he was some sort of a whackadoodle. I think it's because he did talk about the singularity. But then the back half of the documentary really ends with discovering that the reason he wants this sort of life extension singularity is so he can resurrect his dead father and bring him back from the dead, which kind of undid, I think, his theories, because it seemed like he was just some sort of a character out of young Frankenstein. But, yes, that's actually how I think of myself, is the final merging of technology and humanity.


That was some run. That was an incredible speech you just gave, better than anything you wrote for Obama.


Yeah. Thanks. That was because I like to take people on a loop de loop. Where is this going? And then I slide into no plate. You know what I mean? Yeah.


That wasn't just a roller coaster. That was a Coney island roller coaster made of wood. It has a little bit of give to it. Have you been on that roller coaster?


Oh, fuck, yeah. I've swam in that water. I don't give a shit what's in it.


I was on that roller coaster once. And it gives you feel. It give on the corners. It's made of, like, old pine. And a roller coaster is not something I want to be vintage. I also don't want my eye operation to be vintage.


Did you get Lasik?


No, I didn't. But I'm just saying, if I were to have my eye operated on, I wouldn't want to go all retro and cool. Give me the instruments from 1885 just because I want to be all steampunk.


That's not me. I don't want that.


Well, I won't do it, then.


Honestly, it's fine. You can just do it. I'm being too uptight and I can tell, and you look bummed out. I want you.


No, that's just my face.


It is?


Yeah. My neutral face is slightly depressed. And maybe I am thinking a lot about how briefly I am on this planet and how soon I'll be moldering in my tomb. Those things come to mind a lot.


Yeah, not Fred Kurtzwell has his way with you. This motherfucker is going to bring you right.


Wait, what is the name of this documentary?


Transcendental man, maybe, but I'm just pulling from the ether, okay?


We got Eduardo's on it right now. Or he's buying something on Amazon.


One of the.


He's buying another messy jersey. Transcendent man. Transcendent.


Transcendent man. Well, close enough, but listen. So you're basically just a baby genius, and that's not your problem. So, are you depressed? Are you existential? Or you're just, like, thinking thoughts?


I'm just thinking thoughts.


Sounds to me like you might be thinking thoughts.


I'm just thinking thoughts. Yeah, and thoughts drive emotions. Ask any. Yeah, they do.


And feelings aren't facts.




And now we've done our service, now we're okay.


Goodbye, everybody. This is the shortest podcast we've ever done. I ran into you recently at an event for someone we both know who passed away.


Yes, sir.


We were chatting, and I was telling you, every time I see you in something, I'm happy, because I am a big fan of yours and your work and your Persona and poker face. I just absolutely love. I love that show. It was bringing back a type of show that I grew up watching as a kid, this kind of serialized person on the move who's getting involved in things against her will and solving them. And I don't just. I love that show. Absolutely love that show. And I was really happy that you made it. I know that you've been deeply involved in it. You're not just acting in it, but you're wearing a lot of hats on that show.


What's the humble thing to say? Well, much like Tyler Chaplin.


Like Einstein, you tried something and it worked out.


You know what mean? Like. So Ryan Johnson and I are like, you see that one photograph of Einstein and Charlie Chaplin just looking loose by the beach on the rock? No one's ever seen that photo. You can google that, too.


Yeah, I've seen that photo.


You know that photo?




That's a great photo. So you know we're in.


Yeah. Yeah. If they took a photo of you and me hanging out at the beach, it would be like Chaplin and Einstein.


It would, but different. You know what I mean?


Not different at all, baby.


We're redheads. We got it like that. We're either your thing or definitely not.


Oh, there it is. There they are, hanging out on our.




We're googling everything you say.


And so far, so good, right? Nut job still got good. I think Ryan. Thanks. I think Ryan is. Yeah. Yeah. Because he can do a Saturday crossword. Although I did have to help him on Friday. I had to help him with the Friday puzzle while we sat and watched the AFI awards. And he was very proud because his name was in the puzzle. Director of knives out, last name Johnson. Blank Johnson.


I did that one. Yeah.


So he got that clue and many others.


So he got himself.


Yeah. And I was like, I'm proud of you, but Einstein, usually you get the Saturday in like 8 minutes. What's going on? Craig Mason was right across from us, so I made sure to shame Ryan to Craig because that's very slow time for him. And then. So that's why I think he's Einstein, because he can generally, under normal conditions, do a Saturday in like, 8 minutes. I can't. I can only do up to a Thursday and then again a Sunday, Friday, and Saturday. I don't even try.


You are a.


So that's why I know I'm a Charlie Chaplin.


I am a regular. I do every single times. Crossword puzzle.




Monday I find insulting. What is this? Not a dog, but a Monday? I just think I'm the smartest man in the world. Tuesday. Sometimes there's a struggle for a moment or two and I become panicked that I'm an idiot. But then you get into it, and I have to say, once you get into Friday, Saturday, I don't know if anyone could do Saturday in 8 minutes. I don't think that's possible.


I think Maizen can and I bet you Lord and Miller can. I'm just thinking about people that I've puzzled with. And I'm not name dropping, I'm puzzle dropping right now.


The nerdiest thing you can do is puzzle drop.


I'm fucking puzzle dropping like a. I'm.


Out on a yacht with will shorts. Yeah, the New York Times cross for puzle editor.


It's funny you bring up will because he was so nice to me when I co constructed a puzzle for the Times with Deb Amblin. And it's not a big deal, Conan. It's just like, yeah, I built the fucking puzzle and, you know, wrote me a nice note about it.


Hey, let me ask you how that works.


Kind of a big fan of.


Well, that's fine.


I appreciate that you went to Harvard and I dropped out. NYU, like six times at a tish.


Wait, why'd you drop out? Six times? Once you drop out, aren't you out?


No, I kept trying to negotiate, like, a scholarship with the dean of admissions because I was like, I'm 15. You know what I mean? What the fuck you want from me? That's my money. You don't get my money.


You're going to college at 15 and you're negotiating your own scholarship. Or trying to. Or trying to.


And I think, yeah, Bugsy Malone. Yeah.


Did you have a little cigarette or a little cigar?


Yeah, of course. I always have a little cigarette. Thanks so much for bringing it up because now I feel like it's an open table for my real life desires. I still do carry a lighter on a lighter leash, but I quit smoking. But, yeah, I was trying to smoke in the dean's office. But you're Harvard and you ran the lampoon and shit, right?


Yeah, sure, but who cares? No one cares.


Well, I mean, it's a long time ago now.


Well, not that long ago. I'm only 42.


Yeah, and you've delivered on it. And I recently am 27, which is scary because of the 27 club. You could go at any time, anytime.


I feel like you were running your life almost from a very early age. Right. And this kind of made you.


Would you say that that's what made me?


The fact that you had to be so self reliant so early. Don't you think that that had something to do with.


Yeah, I often worry about my. I have such good friends that they're all such terrific parents, and I worry about the kids, you know what I mean? Because having alcoholic, fucked up, suicidal, mental patient parents is really helpful for character development. And, yeah, your eyes are wide open to the full scope of the human condition at an early age, so you have a high emotional iq. I used to think it meant I should join the CIA or something. But later in therapy, discovered it was actually just in hyper vigilance of constantly being terrified and assessing situations. So it's not really that I was reading the room so well and could retain clues or random pieces of information. It's just clocking things. You kind of have to, to survive. And, yes, I think by six, probably, yes. At our friend, we saw each other at Peewee's memorial. At Paul Rubin's memorial. Yeah, I think I did playhouse when.


You were a child actor, and you did.


Yeah, yeah, I guess. And love, love Paul. But he was like. I remember he was one of the first guys. He took me to a steak dinner. I talked about this at the memorial when I got out of rehab. He was one of the first people that was like, oh, hey, let me take you out to dinner. It meant so much to me. We had steaks in the valley someplace. I was like, wow, I'm really back. And I guess he had been through so much, you know, Susan Terrell from Fat City, they used to say that about her, that she would also sort of, like, collect underdogs, you know what mean, like, and hold them tight. There's some people in this town that are really like that, and it's a very special thing because most people are just like, well, hot or not want to be associated proxy or I don't. Paul said to me, oh, I was never surprised when I saw those pictures of you in the gutter or whatever. You got to remember, I met your mother, and it was pretty wild because.


Was she a stage mom then?


Very much less of a stage mom, more of like a stage nut job. And I think, honestly, I don't have a mind that can recall with sufficient force what it was like exactly. But they're not bad people, my parents. It's like they're just very untreated. Like, in other words, so many things in our modern times. Whatever this year is, I'll say 2024, discussions happen about sort of mental health and kind of whatever epigenetic footprint, what have you people understand that that's a working part of a dynamic of being a person, a high functioning person or recovery or whatever it takes. Well, only because they're dead now. I kind of love them, you know what I mean?


We have distance, too. I mean, that's the ultimate distance, actually.


Yeah. It was such a relief when they died. It's funny that people don't really tether to the two, but it's like, as soon as they died, I was like, okay, now I'll do show business. So it's really only in the last decade. Up to then, I was mostly trying to avoid it because I didn't want these kind of, like, Lindsay Lohan figured parents in my life on page know. So I was like, I'll just stay here in the shadows until they die and kind of work a little bit here and there.


Do you really think you did that? Because you've worked a lot. You're starting with orange is the new.


Black, and you're doing russian doll, poker face.


Poker face. And it's just like you've had this unprecedented run of creativity. Do you really think that that was made possible because your parents.


Yes, I think it's empirical. It's like PTSD. My only diagnosis, in a shocking twist, because you'd think I was insane in so many other confirmed ways, which I believe I am. I just can't get a diagnosis. So I think they're wrong. You don't really take medication, I guess you do whatever. Anyway, yeah, for me, I experienced them as boogeymen, you know what I mean? And in my waking life and in my night terror life, because they were fucking insane. And so I had to get, like, a restraining order from my dad or whatever. I remember being really broken hearted.


How old were you when you got a restraining order from your dad?


Well, it was older already, because when I was younger, it was harder. I had tried. He would show up at things like, I remember Bijou Phillips in the 90s told me, like, yeah, your dad came to set today, and it was like, remember that weird James Brooks movie? No. What's his name? Jim Tobacco. Anyway, with Mike Tyson in it. Is it something black and white? Do you remember this fucking movie?


I vaguely do remember, yes.


I've never seen it. Could you google that?


He's also making you an airline reservation.


Thank you so much.


Giving you an eye.


Really important. It was called black and white. Well, you struggle with that a while, and I'll stay here.


You're just giving him tasks to keep him busy.


Yeah, I just like to stay.


I just like where is uranium on the elemental chart?


Well anyway she told me, oh your dad showed up to set today looking for you. He just assumed since it was shooting in New York City and Mike Tyson is in the movie that you were in it too.


It's called black and white.


Oh it is. Thanks. But there was nothing I could do about that kind of thing. Then years later I guess I was probably 30 or something which is weird because I'm 27 now someone, there was.


A singularity and then there was if you see something, say something and give a hoot, don't pollute. Anyway. But it's important. These are the truths, a lot of truths are coming out here.


Don't google it okay? Whatever you do. I like the idea of this year just starting to vigorously lie about my age and it's definitely on Google. Anyway then later I was doing this play, it was like a Mike Lee play and I remember I was so excited and then I remember seeing my dad from across the room like somehow he had found he had done that also with slums of Beverly Hills because.


You were a kid when you did that.


Yeah I guess I was like 1718 but I remember he showed up to the premiere but I hadn't seen him in a decade or something and he just showed up. Yeah and he was like hey bambo. And my dad was a boxing promoter from Brooklyn which is why I never understand why people want to move there. The goal is to get out of, you know they think it's hip.


It changed a lot.


Well did it? You know what I mean? I'd argue it's still not in Manhattan as a baseline, geographically speaking. Has it changed though? Oh I see they got some coffee. The one joy in New York is you can fucking come and go as you like. There's no claustrophobia or commitment. Brooklyn is a fucking commitment. Like you need an Uber, a subway, a metro card, a taxi or a very long walk. So anyway then I remember him being seeing him across from the mike Lee just broke my heart. Slums, Beverly Hills. I remember Rosie Perez and Marissa Tome kind of like consoling me in the bathroom. It was like three of the thickest accents you'd ever heard. And like yo Natasha, like you don't fucking need this shit. Don't let him fucking bring you like you got to go through like just fucking do whatever you got to do. But this is your night. It's fucking your night. Don't let that motherfucker haunt you. So he was fucked up like that and my mother was just nuts. Nuts. But they weren't really, like, bad people. And anyway, now that they're dead, I feel safe to kind of really be out there, and I don't care anymore.


It's funny because you had all this success early on, and you decided I was reading some interview with you where you said, like, I don't want to be on Dawson's Creek. I don't want to be on the WB. That's not what I want. Which I think 99% of people in that situation would have said, how do I get on that kind of reality? And that's not what you wanted.


No. Yeah, I did not want those things. And I remember my mother being like, why would you turn down Buffy at such a big show? And when are you going to get a boop job so you can work? And I was like, yeah, I'm just not putting that shit in my tits. She was like, it would even you out because you got that ass. I was like, well, thanks, but I.


Think that this is the talk I never had my parents.


This is a Beijing the beast talk. No, that's what they told me. No. I was like, yeah, I guess they put me in the business because they wanted to be famous. It was like a proxy proposition, although no one ever really laid it on the table for me. And around then, I can remember sort of like almost like going to auditions by myself in Times Square, but taxi driver Times Square, not fucking this Disney shit with the fucking bike lanes and whatever the fuck. I mean, why would you put islands in the middle of the street? It's like, oh, we wanted to make a cramped space. More cramped, like, all right. Fucking rocket scientist. Jesus Christ. Like, definitely New York is run by the mob in a beautiful way. Okay? Whenever you see construction in New York, that's mafia. It's not real construction.


You know that, right? Well, you think I was born yesterday?


I definitely don't. I have 42 years ago today. I didn't like that path, that sort of buffy boob job, fucking famous guy. I think it's sick when people are into it.


I don't even know this about you, but I just get the sense that you read a lot. You're crazy intelligent, and you read a lot because I feel like. Do you read widely? Do you read all just different kinds of stuff? Do you like history? What is it?


Yeah, I don't think I'm that smart with shapes, but sometimes I know because I feel like I don't have a high iq. But then I do see other people try to pack up the car. And then I'm like, or maybe I do have a high iq because I see them trying to fit sort of like a chair into the trunk, like clearly the wrong way. And I'm like, wow, I thought I had a low iq, but I'm watching this guy fucking put this chair. He just can't figure out that's not going to close. But if you're just tilting it. All right. And I let him go a while and then I help out sort of gently because that's what girls have to do watching a slow motion train. And I thought, oh, okay. You thought it that. All right. And sure, let me give it a whirl.


I think it's when you were in rehab, you said you walked around with a giant biography of Rasputin.


Oh, yeah.


And I was thinking, oh, this is my kind of person because I like to read about the darkest, weirdest people. Rasputin has always fascinated me and I just thought, that's how my mind works.


I don't want to burst your bubble, but Rasputin biography was something that I was carrying around while I was on drugs in rehab. It was more like I was reading Thomas pinchin against the day. I was so excited when it came out because it was like 1000 pages and there's nothing to do with rehab except sit on the sofa and they feed you a lot. And yes, I really associate Rasputin with like a back pocket kind know New York ninety s like the scumbag era. But I remember finding it in my storage space and I still have the same copy of it and I love it. It's very ragged. I really put that Rasputin through hell. And it's like that kind of was.


He's hard to kill, too. Famously hard to kill, that guy.


That guy. And I was like, the shit I fucking took him through, though, my God. But yeah, I was reading a lot and often and widely. And also movies because the film school was so expensive, right? They wanted like 60 grand a semester or some shit. And I was like, honey, you're nuts. And so what I did, I bought this studio apartment that was grandma see adjacent. I had $100,000 from all of these jobs. I think Crippendorf's tribe is what gave me that money, which is a blackface movie. If you haven't seen it, it's a Disney blackface picture and starring Richard Dreyfus.


Krippendorf's tribe.


I remember that, yes. So the premise is that Richard Dreyfus is an anthropologist whose wife dies and now he's a sad widower with these two, three kids, and so he decides to create a fake tribe in his backyard. Oh, yes. It's worse than you think. And so then, essentially, it's all of us. Richard Dreyfus, myself, and I guess the other two sons. I'm the eldest, all in full blackface. However, I never heard of this people. Yeah, pretty much.


You chose a good time to get out, I think. Let's go to a clip. Yeah.


And so I took that money, and I was like, oh, shit, I'll just buy an apartment. Because the other money, all my childhood acting money had been spent already.


Not by you.


No. And I thought I was going to get a lambo. That's why I was doing it. I was promised that I was going to get a lambo, but it never materialized. But I did get a bad credit score early because my Social Security number was being used frequently. So, yeah, going to the film forum for the quadruple feature was so much cheaper than Tish. But it was in rehab that I really started connecting directly to science, because in high school, it was not my thing. I remember reading this Bill Bryson book.


Walk in the woods. Which one?


No, it's. I don't know. Most short history of nearly.


Yes. Yeah.


And I was like, oh, okay. I think I can use that concept as, like, this higher power concept, because it was so impossible to sort of reconcile. What is this idea of, like, an anthropomorphic God or whatever? And I really understood the scope of how little I understood about the world. You know what I mean? I loathe inanimate objects. And logistics. They seem to be two real troublemakers.


You loathe inanimate objects?




Now, wait a minute. I know what you mean. If you mean what I think you mean, I find that the minute I care about something that I can hold in my hand, I will misplace it fairly soon, and I will spend about 6 hours worrying about where it is, even if it costs, like, $42. I will devote time to being very upset that. That thing I liked having, I can't find now. And then I will find it, like, six days later in an obvious spot and be way overjoyed about that and realize that I just ate up more of this precious time on earth worrying about the $60 bakelite pen that I bought here in Larchmont fair that has a cool sort of orange tone to the cap that I liked doodling with. And then it was gone for six days, and I was bereft. But now I found it again. Oh, why would I have put it inside a sock? Why did I do that? What made me think of that? But here it is. I've got that pen back, and it's crazy. And then what? Closer to the grave. Good job, Conan. Good little soap opera.


But I understand what you're saying.


That's what I'm saying. Yeah, exactly. What saying, like, what the fuck are these things? It's like, oh, where's this bottle cap? Okay, now you're a magical mystery tour. Cool. Glad this is fucking happening. I mean, it's nuts.


Okay. I had this moment of awakening years ago in New York when I worked in 30 rock. Across the street was Christie's auction house. And one day they said, oh, all of the Roosevelt family memorabilia is being put up for auction. And I thought, well, I got to go check that out. So I went over and it's Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor, and then they had a bunch of kids. And so basically I went and looked, and it was room after room after room of all the stuff they had given each other for christmases going back to, like, 1922, up until past when Franklin's gone and well into the 1950s. And it was just case after case after case of stuff that looked like. That's a tie clip. That's a little watch fob. Oh, look, there's a little case you can put some pills in. Oh, look, there's a little. Yeah, there's a bookmarker that's made of pewter, and it was thousands and thousands of them. It was like the end of Citizen Cain, where I'm looking at all of it, and all I'm imagining is them unwrapping it on Christmas Day 1931. Well, isn't that grand?


Thank you. Thank you. Look at, that's going to hold my tide quite nicely. Thank you.




Christmas 1935. Well, isn't that grand? That's going to keep my place in the book. And now everyone's dead and it's a room full of shit and everyone's buying it, and then they're going to give it to somebody. It's going to be like, hey, thanks. That's fucking fantastic. That'll hold my tie in place. And then they're going to die.




And it's just then we're just. I don't know why that one Christie's auction just opened my eyes to. What a sham, the whole thing.


Oh, I love goth Conan.


Well, you're all going to die, everybody.


You're all going to die. Goth Conan's a, you know, the facts are that. That's all correct. They don't understand about the fucking tie clips. That's all I'm saying.


Speaking of surreal, there's one thing I have to ask you about, which is I believe you might be the last person on earth to work with Marlon Brando, and I just have to ask you about it.


Oh, it was wild. I'll go ahead and say it. It was buck wild.


I'm glad you had the courage to go ahead with your thought.




But was on scary movie, too. And I remember at the time they hired him, they gave him a crazy amount of money to do a cameo in this movie. And then I think they ended up not using him because he was too ill. Is that right?


Yes, sir. So it was Keenan Ivory Waynes, who's the director, who I love.




So when it came in, I was definitely like, yo, hard pass, because I don't fuck with things called scary movie. And, like, that's not what I'm in this billy. I love Billy Friedkin.


I love the Exorcist, which they parody in that one. Yeah.


And I actually met him and spent time with him towards the end of his life because he wanted me to be may west in a biopic that I.


Of course.


Yeah. I think originally it was bet Midler. That's how you name drop. So just, like, you have to take a pause and hit him with the last name.


I just call her B. But whatever you do. Yeah.


You don't call her the divine Miss M. No, just wait.


No, that's Barack Obama.


How many bees do you have in your phone? Do you play the spelling?




What's that? You call her a lot? Just in that redhead club. But I'm not on the thread. I'm not in.


You were on the thread, but you won't answer.


Yeah. So anyway. Yeah, it was. Yeah, I want to fuck with fucking Linda Belair and fucking Billy Friedkin. That's nuts. And then they were like, and Marlon Brando is doing it. And your dear heart. Andy Richter.


Yeah. Andy was in it as well. Yeah.


But really Marlin was my way in at the time. I was know that's working with.


So gotta do it.


You gotta be know your mother sucks, Cox in hell. You gotta like, you just. Are you gonna do it better than she did? You're not. You're gonna ruin it. But it's Brian, though. And then he shows up, and he was very old and ill, I think. Yes. And an oxygen tank and earpieces. And I told this story on your show. Live. But I guess it's to tape. But I'm not involved in the editing.


Yeah, that really didn't need to be qualified.


But anyway, go ahead if you're not familiar with Conan's work. There was this talk show.


I love how you get to the part where so Brando shows up. Now, of course, Conan used to tape his show. Now he'd tape it at 530, but it wouldn't air till 1230. So there was a lag in which time they could make short edit. You're getting to the best part of the story now. You're making it longer. I know. Brando. Sorry. We're all going to die.


You want the full story? So as he was, like, because of the breathing and the bed was sort of one of the gags was it was like a low rider that would move all crazy, like, pit my ride style, which I think he'd never seen. I don't even know if it was out yet, but spacetime moves in all kinds of directions. It does. So anyway, he would keep his hand right on my tit. I think, as I was in the prosthetics did not understand that I was a real person at all.


You're giving him a lot of credit.


Despite what my mother said. It's a fucking nice rack, you know what I mean? So you know what he was doing. And I'm like, wow, this is, like, a fucking pretty serious day at the office, you know what I mean?


So you're standing there, and you're in all these prosthetics. Marlon Brando, who doesn't have long to live, has his hand on your, like.


For, like, hours, you know what I mean? At a time. And I'm like, Mike, that's fucking Brando. I mean, is it fucking big boy Brando? Can he breathe? Not really. But is he all there? No. Is it the sort of acting face off I dreamed of? Well, it's no. On the waterfront.


If you look at on the waterfront, he's got his hand on Carl Malden. On Carl Malden's breast. They tried to cut around it.


Now they do. And, yeah, I was like, well, yeah, I guess I am a fucking contender after all. And so on. So I was thrilled and delighted. I thought it was fucking pretty special. And, yeah, then when he dropped out of the film the next day, due to his health, and I think he died, like, three weeks later.


He died very shortly afterwards.


Yeah. I don't want to make it about me, but I may be the last person that he felt up. I don't want to assume that he, like, it's not a big deal. It's just sort of like, yeah, pretty much Brando. And I banged it out hardcore. You know what mean, like. And three weeks later he died. And, yeah, that was the last time that he could fucking manage it. And then the next day, they brought in James woods.


This is how every story ends. And then they brought in James woods, godfather four.


And he was less of a charmer in the makeup.


Less of a charmer than the man on oxygen whose hand is on your rest for six days?


Because he was like, I can tell even with the makeup. You're a spinner, right?




Yeah. And that was, I thought, less sexy than Brando, who was just fucking oxygen. You know what I mean? Pumping and oxygen. It was crazy. No, that didn't. Yeah, the James woods one was, oh, that's weird. But I fucking think James woods is a great actor, despite the fact that he's a republican psychopath, sort of, I don't know, was hitting on me as a teenager in full monster Brady specifically. There's a crazy move, dude. He has a type. Yeah, I guess he does, but, my God, Sergio Leone's once upon a time in know multiple truths, hold, you see.


All facets of the human condition, is what you're saying. I'm just saying, you see the high and the low.


He's a fucking. That guy's a great actor. And I don't know what the fuck Brando was up to, but it was nothing too kosher. Him and Bertolucci are fucking the shenanigans they're getting into.


You don't call that shenanigans.


Oh, you call it rape, I see. Yeah. I mean, that poor chick. Fuck. Never recovered from that picture, did she? Real buttery scene. Multiple truths.


There are multiple truths. There are many multiple truths.


In a way, it's like, are they time crimes or what? Because I think that just raping and abusing women throughout history has been for reasons that are very obscure and mercurial conceptually and morally, were just sort of a fact of life. And I don't know, I'm just riffing like Miles Davis might.


I think what comes to mind is me thinking about you going through all this without functioning parents, being really young and figuring it out, and you've come out of it on the other side. And you're a remarkably, I think, intelligent person who's also non. There's a complete lack of judgment. You're not judging people. You've been through a lot. I feel like you've been through 50 lifetimes of madness, but you are very even keeled. And you keep bringing up this concept that many things are true, that someone can be a monster, but they can also be a brilliant artist. And then you see all this three four dimensionality to it, which I think is pretty amazing because I think we live in a time where people just want to hear, was someone good or was someone bad?


Yeah, it's a bummer.


And it doesn't work that way.




But that said, I'd like to end on I think I'm good. Very good. And I mean perfect.


That's not the takeaway from this.


I mean perfect. No. In every way. And there's no layers.


Hard disagree.


I want to make sure I bring this up because you worked with a comic who fascinates me, Jacqueline Novak. You directed an executive producer special, get on your knees. And she's just not like any other stand up I've encountered. She is incredibly literate and almost poetic.


John Mulaney, ladies and gentlemen. I've seen the Muhammad Ali of comedy about Jacqueline Novak. She is fucking brilliant. And when she got into this kind of, like, I prefer calling Doggy style the hounds way.


She's talking a lot about. Well, she's talking about oral sex.




Sucking them cocks. Sorry. You took the words right out of my mouth. You took the cock right out of my mouth. We're all going to die, so get those cocks out of your mouth.


Yeah. Or don't. You know what I mean? Kind of.


But anyway, she's talking about a lot of very graphic stuff. But it's almost like you're listening to. It's almost like it's Emily Bronte talking about. She's great. She's great writer.




You took very good care of her. I mean, you did a good job.


Thank you.


And I'm sure that means a lot coming from me.


Yeah. No, I actually had to put that.


Just because you wouldn't say it. But I mean, there's no higher praise.


No, I mean, to hear that from you in this moment, man, you're good. You write all those reviews on Criterion. Criterion, Conan. Telling me that that shit is good.


That's right. Criterion.


Conan. Criterion, Conan.


There's no better guy to get a compliment from.


Yeah. No, but genuinely, hopefully your people, are they followers? Is it a cult? It's a cult.


As the cult leader, I have certain privileges.


Yeah. So I'm glad you officially endorsed it. And remember that when you click on the special on Netflix, it's really about a completion rate. That's how they sort of do it, the streamers. So just let it play all the way. That's how the algorithm works.


Like a true artist.


Watch it fast enough.




Yes, sir.


There's no one like you. I've looked. I can't find another Natasha Loon. There just aren't any. So thank you for coming here and sharing your brain with us. That's so cool.


Thank you for saying that. I have one. I appreciate it coming from you, sir, genuinely.


God bless.


God bless and good night.


Hey, let's do a voicemail. I agree. Voicemail sounds like a good idea. And, hey, if you want to send us a voicemail, just call us, give us your thoughts. 669-587-2847 that number again? 669-587-2847 we'd like to hear your thoughts, and we'd like to reply. Eduardo, you are go. Hi, my name is Ray. I am calling from the great state of North Kakalaki. There's a recurring character on the podcast, our late great president or not so great President Richard Nixon. He's probably one of the most common recurring characters. My question to Conan is, what is the humor in Richard Nixon for you? I would be fascinated to know. This is a very good know. People always talk about when they were born, but really, what's more significant is you have to add, like, seven years to that, because that's when you really come of age. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, I do. So I'm born in 1963, and then there's a bunch of years there where I'm just. They're just shoving ham into me, and I'm slowly growing, and my. My brothers are kicking me and slapping me, and, you know, I'm whatever. I'm in that sort of state of chaos.


And then I kind of start to wake up, slowly realize things around 1968 69. And the character who fascinates me is this guy, Richard Nixon, who gets elected in 68. So he's the president. And so I was always interested in presidential history and the president, and I just know that he inspires a lot of comedy. And my parents, to get us to go to sleep at night, used to play us comedy records, and these records were made by a guy named David Fry, who would make these whole albums. And he did a funny Richard Nixon impression, and he would play out all these scenarios. And I think there were four albums, and my parents had them all to get us to go to sleep at night, because my brothers and I were rambunctious, and we had two sisters, too. We were all on the same floor. My mom would just put a comedy album on in the center of the hallway, and we would all listen to it as we went to sleep. So I would go to sleep listening to this guy doing these crazy Richard Nixon sketches coming from out in the hall.


Coming from out in the hall. But our rooms were all sort of right around that central hallway, so you had the doors open so you could listen.


But that's so eerie, thinking, like, nixon.


Is just floating around. Well, Nixon also did hang out in our hallway, which was also confusing. But anyway, so I grew up with, you know, hi, I'm not a crook. And there were all these impressions, and every comedian was doing Nixon material. So you got to imagine he's just this formidable. He's not just the president of the United States, but also felt like kind of a comedy figure to me, like a Bugs bunny cartoon. I mean, that's in my core dna. And then all these years later, we'll just be babbling, and suddenly Nixon just comes out to make an appearance. And I have to credit this comedian, impressionist David Fry, and also just President Nixon himself, who. No one did a better Nixon impression than President Richard Millhouse Nixon. So, yeah, I do think that's just coming from coming. And also, I think there are probably a lot of people I remember when I worked at the Simpsons. There were these two writers, Oakley and Weinstein, very funny, talented writers. And I went into their office once, and they had grown up in the DC area, and they were a couple of years younger than me, but they had a giant the other way.


Other people have posters of rock stars. They had posters of all the Watergate conspirators hanging up on their wall. And I'd go in and go, what? And they'd go like, oh, yeah, I know. And it was like, flowcharts of who was who? And it was almost like, who's your favorite of the burglars? And now, what about the know? Are you a Haldeman guy or an Ehrlichman guy? And it was just hilarious. I mean, they knew it was funny, but it was just such a funny thing to joke about. So, yes, things burble up from deep within my psyche, and I don't even understand why. But now that this person has called in Ray and brought it up, I'm remembering listening to these records and thinking, this is all seeped into my brain as I'm falling asleep every night.


Sona, do you have a Nixon impression?




Would you like to?






Couldn't you try.


No. Come on. Just say, I am Moroccrog. What? Oh, that's post stroke Nixon.


Let me just be.


Uh. I'll get your check for the podcast.




Thank you.


I have actually zero to add to this conversation.


No. Here you go.


I don't know what the.


Good job.


You guys want me to say.


No, it's fine.


I didn't grow up.


Let me just be here.


I have no fucking idea.


Listen, if you had grown up.


Thank you very much.


There you go.


I have nothing to add.


It is the golf. Hey, let me just be here, all right? Oh, and by the way, I think it's time for a raise. Yeah, I think it's too little something extra in my paycheck. Okay, well, do you mind if maybe you could just give us little Nixon? Fuck you, pay me. Fuck you, pay me.


I don't know what to do. I don't do impressions, okay?


I hired you for your impressions to your french guy.


Don't make me do these.


Come on, french guy.


I don't know why the cigarette always comes up.


When I saw that, I thought, she does impressions. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Yeah, I like your first guy was just a french guy orgasming. You mean a french guy. All right. What french guy biting into a baguette. All right, I think we answered that question. Yeah, clearly. Yeah, Nixon, man. Keep the dream alive.






2024. Conan O'Brien needs a friend with Conan O'Brien, sonum of session and Matt Goreley. Produced by me, Matt Gorely. 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 Khan. 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 your episode. And if you haven't already, please subscribe to Conan O'Brien needs a friend wherever.




Podcasts are downloaded.