Simply Absurd: The Comedy of Late Night with Conan O’Brien @ The Museum of Television and Radio – 4.5.7

The Museum of Television and Radio hosted Simply Absurd: The Comedy of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, an evening with Conan and his senior writing staff waxing on the show’s history and its creative process.

–Any aspiring Late Night writers should check out what was said at the panel. Video from the evening should be online soon or at the museum. You could get a really good sense of how to better craft the packet you’ve been punching up. For example, they felt the best material isn’t tied to any event or anything current and that comedy should surprise them. Keep it silly.

–The writers also function as producer/directors. They said they use an SNL writing method, in which whoever creates the segment does all the casting, wardrobe, and directing. The logic to that is that they feel the writer will be the most passionate about making his or her bit perfect.

–“There isn’t a better use for any of these people,” said Conan when discussing why they don’t all make career moves to film or dramatic roles or something more productive for society. “(He wasn’t a good lawyer),” Conan jokingly whispered in reference to Mike Sweeney, head writer and former legal eagle. What do you think about that first statement?

–Norm McDonald, Harland Williams, and Will Arnett topped the panel’s list of all-time favorite guests.

–WORST QUESTION: “Will the dog run for president?”

–Former intern/current superstar, Lonny Ross was SPOTTED running late alongside Late Night staff member, Roey Hershkovitz. Dapper Late Night producer Jordan Schlansky, whose affinity for purple shirts once had no bounds, was also seen amongst the crowd.

–What does Conan think about YouTube and video sharing? He’s for it! He said he doesn’t care about making residuals, he just wants people to see their funny stuff.

–It was while working one afternoon at The Simpsons when Conan received the phone call from his agent that he landed the hosting spot on Late Night. His agent told him to get to Burbank ASAP because he was to go on The Tonight Show and break the news. Conan said he put down the phone, collected his nerves, and made a beeline for the exit door without announcing it to the rest of the staff. Once outside, he ran to his car and drove to Burbank.

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