They go WAY back.
Some people will love this story. Some people will think I’m apeshit insane. Most people just want to know how I did it. But at the end of the day, this is just a story of a little girl who has always loved Conan, always wanted to see him in person… and after 16 years of waiting, finally had all of her dreams come true. Twice.
I’m telling on myself a bit when I say this, and I know I’m babbling a bit with this story…. but I remember being 11 years old and watching the very first episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. So now I’m sure you’re wondering, “How did you even know it was on, and why were you even up that late to begin with? Why are you bullsh*tting me.” Well no. I’m not bullsh*tting you. If you were a fan of The Simpsons back in 1992/1993, you know that Conan was one of their best writers, and was getting shoutouts (promos?) for his new night show on The Simpsons (as referenced above you). And anyways… NBC used to run Late Night Music Videos in Conan’s slot before Conan was there (early signs of my Music Nerdery). Since it was the only way my non cable having-ass was seeing music videos back in those days, I remember being upset but okay with losing my music videos for Conan O’Brien and whatever madness he could come up with. I also remember thinking that he’d better be fairly awesome for me to give up my music, however. And surely enough… he was. Bedtimes were forever ruined, and my mother would grow to forever hate me for consistently falling asleep with the TV left on Conan.
Fast-Forward a few years to Conan’s first trip to LA in 1999. By that time, Conan had built a small legion of fans around him, and had the ability to travel to them for the first time. Now for me, this would have been a dream come true… if I could have made it to tapings. I was still in High School at the time, and seeing Conan would require a total ditch move from school… not possible with the Painfully Strict upbringing I had. I couldn’t ask my Mom for a day off from school to see him; she wasn’t that kind of Mom. And she never really liked Conan back then. (lol’s and smh’s.)
No, Your eyes do not deceive you. Look Closely.
So at that point, I made a promise and set a (nerdy) goal. As I watched the last of the LA episodes go off that night in November, I clearly remember making a silent vow to myself:
“If Conan O’Brien EVER comes back to LA ever in this LIFE, you will be at the first taping of ANY television show he does.”
Boy, did that ever stick with me for some reason.
From there, other chances and opportunities to see Conan in New York or his San Francisco shows weren’t panning out… the ONE time I was in New York, Conan was on Vacation (figures), and San Fransisco tickets went to residents of the area in the end. But after finding out in mid 2004 that Conan would be making the move to The Tonight Show (and possibly to Los Angeles) when Leno “Retired” in 2009… that promise I made myself started to seem more obtainable.
From there, it was consistently plotting out when and how to get tickets. Something I literally thought about on and off for 4 years. Insane, I know. But at this point, Conan O’Brien was one of the only entertainers left that I hadn’t seen in person, and for someone who enjoys their live shows… this was a problem. I am a Nerd to the fullest; I don’t go to clubs, I don’t “party” a lot. But I am serious about my Live Arts/Concerts & Entertainment. And I do put in work, as evidenced by this blog (and the YouTube page, really.) I remember the only other show that got THIS kind of dedication was the Reunion Show for Rage Against The Machine at Coachella 2007. Oh man. That was work from the beginning until the end.
Anyways, When it came time for Conan to make that move to the Tonight Show… I started making calls, contacting people, working my network, and secretly stalking NBC’s ticketing page (you’ve never seen someone hit refresh on a page SO much). After finding out exactly what date tickets would be available (if I told you how I knew, I’d have to kill you), I made sure I was on that ticket page the second it went up. I remember purposely taking a break from work at the specific time the ticket page went up. I was one of the first to apply and felt really good about my chances. And sure enough… my tickets came. The feeling I had the day I found out I was going to the Tonight Show was like nothing else I had ever felt. It was like… winning my Scholarship to Colburn all over again (#nerdreference). *Translation? The feeling of something you’ve worked hard for and wished for even harder finally manifesting itself into existence. I know you’ve been there.
Now it was a blessing just to get to the first one. And while I was there… I started the now infamous “CIRCLE! CIRCLE! CIRCLE!” chant (and have the friends to prove it) that seems to live on for some AMAZINGLY kickass reason. So if Conan went back to the East Coast after the whole Tonight Show Fiasco… I would have been at peace with that, after seeing the very first show. But when my great friend LexLamont pointed out that they would be staying in LA and using twitter (via @TeamCoco) for ticket distribution of the NEW show, I was all over it. Making sure that I didn’t miss ANYTHING… I reconnected my phone to twitter (ah, the olden days), just so that I would be updated via phone AND text message anytime The Team Coco account updated. And surely enough after a little delay, the ticket page was posted. I stopped everything I was doing and the world to apply for the first show, again. I was hopeful… and in the back of my mind, I thought about what an epic score it would be if it did happen. But I didn’t think it would happen twice.
Well, it did.
And below is my proof. And appreciation.
I also started that Coco chant in the beginning of the show. And a random “Viva Conando!” So now, life is complete.
Sometimes I just stare at it to remind myself its real. The mental equivalent to pinching yourself.
So. Dear any representative of TBS or NBC who happen to read this. Please don’t be mad at me taking photos of your studios. Consider it a commodity of making this nerd’s dreams come true.
And hey. If there’s anyone else out there who went to both shows, or a combination of both shows… find me. We can geek out together.
Thanks to whatever is awesome in this Universe for letting me have this twice.
And thanks to Conan. Your awesome is what inspired this post, and me… over the years.
It’s totally making up for the first 16 years of nothing.
Good things come to those who wait. And plan obsessively. Even if you hate waiting. lol.