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  • Thank you so much for joining us here today and for accepting our invitation.

  • I understand.

  • It was very tough decision to make.

  • Yes, there's some controversy.

  • Before I came to your fine school came to this wonderful place, Oxford.

  • As I think you call it.

  • I received a lovely invitation to come here to these hallowed halls and speak to all of you.

  • And I agreed and said, I'm coming.

  • Then about two days later, I got the following email and I hope it's okay to share it with you right now.

  • Is that okay?

  • May I share a female with you?

  • Wow, You're a fun crowd.

  • It's from another college, a college known in Cambridge.

  • This is the email that went right to my people two days after accepted your kind invitation.

  • I'm also aware that Cone is currently scheduled to visit Oxford for a similar event.

  • It would be incredible if we can also feature in Conan's busy calendar.

  • The Cambridge Union is older than the Oxford Union by eight years.

  • Wait.

  • Are of the opinion that students here in Cambridge are This is all word for word are more engaged, attentive, on more prone to asking insightful questions as compared to their Oxford peers and would love the chance to prove it.

  • I just watch it.

  • I just want you to know I got that email and I just immediately thought, Who writes crap like this?

  • I'm going tomorrow.

  • That was so rude of them.

  • I thought you were very nice to invite me and you invited me first.

  • That's you know, that's that's I mean that.

  • I mean, I didn't say that just because I'm here and I want to suck up to you people.

  • Well, we never say that people were trying to get from Cambridge that we're better card.

  • That's because you're secure.

  • You know, You guys know you're the best.

  • You don't tell anybody you're the best way.

  • There's something actually wrong and secure about those Cambridge people.

  • They frighten me, and I will not go there unless I'm paid.

  • I don't know why I'm shouting.

  • I have a microphone, but there's something about this hall in this institution that makes do you want to say I demand freedom and freedom way.

  • You could literally say anything in here, and it sounds more majestic than it really is.

  • I think Starbucks burns their coffee and I die saying it.

  • This isn't going to be a real conversation.

  • I'm gonna act like a jackass the entire time, and there's nothing you can do about it.

  • I think Cambridge made the right choice.

  • I'm sorry.

  • I'll behave.

  • I promise.

  • So on your pod cost you.

  • Wow.

  • What an energy drop.

  • No, it's not your fault.

  • Used.

  • You went right into conversational tone.

  • I had just said we were gonna free all of the peoples of the world and get rid of Starbucks coffee.

  • Then we went into the podcast.

  • There's no there's no easy ramp from one to the other, but let's get into it.

  • The podcast.

  • You talk a lot about the journey of becoming a professional comedian.

  • Yeah.

  • One was it that you realized that that was what you wanted to do.

  • Well, when I was a, uh, man, when I was a kid, I loved making I come from a big Irish Catholic family.

  • Six kids.

  • I believe there's others out there.

  • Uh, you'd meet a new one occasion in the bathroom, but, uh, and I was packed in the middle and I used to make my brothers and sisters laugh And then I made other kids at school laugh, but I never thought it was a profession.

  • I grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, right outside Boston.

  • Don't pretend, And and I thought, um, you can't be in show business.

  • I didn't know anybody in show business.

  • My father is Ah, brilliant man.

  • He's Ah ah, microbiologist, infectious disease scientists.

  • And my mother is a brilliant woman and was a lawyer for a big law firm.

  • And I just thought my job was to buckle down and be serious.

  • So I was always fighting this nature and thinking, You can't do that for living.

  • You have to be serious.

  • So I worked hard and, uh, again, I just thought comedy was something you did for your friends.

  • And then my life changed when I went to what we consider an old university.

  • Harvard.

  • Uh, it's so hilarious that we're so proud of the fact that Harvard's like 16 38 and then you come here and it's they have McDonald's.

  • We're that old okay?

  • And now I live in Los Angeles, where sometimes people will come to look at your house.

  • You know, they'll come and fix because something's wrong with the basement and they'll say they're here to fix it in the Oh, man, you got one of these old houses when I They built this during Obama's first term, huh?

  • So I've had Thio.

  • I went toe Harvard and I had worked really hard, and I was a serious student.

  • And the second I got there, a friend of mine said, I'm off to the lampoon on and I said, What's that?

  • Like an idiot?

  • And he said, It's the college humor magazine and I said, Well, I'll tag along and I got addicted.

  • I slept there, I lived there.

  • I became my life, uh, running the place.

  • I mean, it was very evocative of this place.

  • It was this.

  • It's this old hall.

  • It's got these old traditions.

  • Many famous writers and cartoonists have come there.

  • Now, of course, a lot of the TV shows you watch or have seen have been written or produced.

  • Bye lampoon people.

  • It's really a wonderful, amazing place, and I'm not saying this because of your connection there, but it really did feel like my Hogwarts experience.

  • When I went there, it was it was ah, they I worked very hard.

  • I got accepted.

  • I was 18 years old and I just said, Whatever this is, I'm throwing in my lot with these people.

  • And that would've been 1981 Ah, when I was accepted.

  • And since that day, I've been thinking and breathing comedy pretty much 24 7 since then.

  • And that changed my life.

  • When I graduated college in 85.

  • I thought, How do I keep doing this?

  • I need to keep doing this.

  • Even if I don't make money doing this, I have to do this.

  • And fortunately, turns out it does pay.

  • Ah, and I worked on Senate live.

  • I worked on a few shows when I worked on Senate live on.

  • And then I worked on The Simpsons, and, um And then I got my own show, and now I'm here.

  • So it is.

  • It's feels miraculous to me.

  • I'm very people overuse the word grateful in my business this I'm really grateful when deep down inside, they're total assholes and they're not grateful.

  • But But I really am.

  • I do.

  • I do feel I'm a really good guy, and that's something good guys say.

  • But no, I it's been just a really great journey, and my favorite thing is connecting, so I don't care how I do it.

  • But not that long ago, uh, someone came to me and said, You should do a podcast and I said, Why would I do a podcast when I have have a TV show that's been on forever?

  • And it's on YouTube and they said, I think you might like it And I really thought it was a stupid idea when I started doing it, and I can't tell you could go anywhere in the world.

  • And people listen to the podcast very differently than they watch a show.

  • They get to know you and you can.

  • I've had so many friends of mine who I called up and asked their very so unselfconscious Lisa could row when I asked her, Do you want to the podcast?

  • She said, No hair, no makeup.

  • I'll be there in 10 minutes.

  • They really do love the fact that they don't have to pretend to be someone else.

  • And then you can have this incredibly powerful conversation with them, and you can get two things that you could never do in television.

  • I have to make a you'd have had to take two commercial breaks by now if this was on television, Seriously, you know, for horrible products on, but here you don't.

  • It's in this podcast format.

  • You can attain this kind of connection.

  • You can't attain any other way.

  • So I absolutely love it.

  • And I love the friends.

  • I mean, in that short time the couple of days that I've been here in London and then here I've had so many people come up to me, people that have no idea I'm coming here.

  • Say, Oh, I love the podcast.

  • Podcast is meaningful to May and Ah, so that's that's lovely.

  • And you've been on air for decades.

  • What?

  • What do you do to keep the show fun for you?

  • Uh, fun for me?

  • We fire people, you should see the look on their faces.

  • These air people with Children, they have mortgages.

  • And I'm like, Caligula, at this point, I'm like, you know, I'm not firing you and hiring my horse, you know?

  • And so that's fun.

  • Uh, I would say one of the challenges with anything is on.

  • Everybody has this issue.

  • I don't care who you are.

  • If you're whatever your field is you've got to keep it fresh for yourself.

  • For me, I think I've been fortunate that I've been forced to reinvent it many times.

  • The initial show was one show that then gradually morphed into a slicker, more Polish show.

  • It started in 93.

  • I think it got a little more polished around 1 4002 and then it morphed into the Tonight Show and I went out for that.

  • But that all blew up because I got into a big argument with my network and I ended up forced to you re decide who I waas and it was.

  • This was a huge story in America and I had to figure out Okay, who am I now?

  • And start again on a different network, and that has gone through about two revolution.

  • So and now we've changed the format again.

  • Toe, half hour, because an hour long I started looking my hour long show and looking at how it's represented on YouTube, which is how most people see it and should see it.

  • And I said these two don't relate to each other.

  • So I changed my show to look more like it would on YouTube reduced to half a now, and I talked to one person as opposed to a show that is comedy.

  • First, guess that you want to see second guess you don't care about third guest you don't care about.

  • And I hate to say that to the second and third guests of the world, but right, I decided I'm too long in the tooth.

  • I've been doing it too long.

  • I don't want to say it was great talking to you.

  • Now we're going to stick around for that guy who's 19.

  • And he just got on a show where he plays a brooding teenager.

  • He's never had a life experience.

  • His big disappointment in life is they didn't have the portion the color gray he wanted, and I'm supposed to pretend to care about him so I couldn't do that anymore.

  • So we weigh, just shoved it down to 1/2 hour, and then I talked to one person.

  • Here is Will Ferrell.

  • I have a great time talking to him.

  • We do much more than half a now er for the studio audience, and we put all of it on YouTube because there's no