Mid-Afternoon With Conan O’Brien

When I was doing my “what I’ve been up to” roundup post the other day, I completely forgot about one of the very cool things I did: I attended a behind-the-scenes taping of Late Night With Conan O’Brien. My friend Andrea Kail works for the show as a script supervisor, so she was able to get me and pals Amy, Rob, and Brian into the control room during taping. I’ve gone to see the show live in the audience before, but this was the first time I went and did the backstage tour.

We arrived super early by accident, so Andrea parked us in her office, where we hung out while she ran off to … supervise the scripts, I guess. When the time came to enter the studio, we learned that Tim Russert had just died, and so the crew were in a frenzy, making last minute changes to the show so that Conan could address the news. (Keep in mind that though Conan airs late night, it tapes at around 4 PM.) So they bumped Conan’s monologue and inserted a brief eulogy by Conan. Much of their frantic work consisted of finding the right clips of Russert on the show to air.

Otherwise, the show seemed to go quite smoothly, and it was fun to sit back and watch. NY Giants sackmaster Michael Strahan was a guest, along with comedian D. L. Hughley. Strahan freaked Conan (and everyone else) out by bending his fingers in ways no fingers should bend (his do because of his numerous injuries). D. L. said lots of funny things, and then another comedian did some standup, which was pretty funny as well.