Steel Notes Magazine November 2016 - Page 32

Steel Notes Magazine traumatic battle with cancer. I was already not in a good place in my life. I was working 10 – 12 hour days in retail management and struggling to overcome some personal demons that were difficult, at best. Having watched Saturday Night Live with varying degrees of regularity over the years and being a BIG Simpsons fan from the very start, I was already familiar with Conan O’Brien’s work as a comedy writer. When he was chosen to move from behind the scenes to behind a TV talk show desk to fill the gap left by David Letterman’s departure on NBC’s late night lineup in the fall of 1993, I was more than ready for some laughs and Conan did not disappoint. (Conan, screen grab taken from a “Today Show” interview, NBC, spring 1993) Though he, like any other new talk show host, was a little nervous at first, unlike other talk show hosts, he combined the smart and the silly into something special. “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” fast became my weeknight oasis of laughter and one thing I could look forward to, no matter what else the day had thrown my way. Conan, along with the incredible comedic talent Andy Richter adding to the laughs as his co-host and the amazing musicians of the Max Weinberg 7, was a rock of stability through his show providing me with a bit of sanity and joy through some of the most difficult and turbulent times of my life. There were times where I was this close to being homeless, couldn’t afford to eat and had to sit under several blankets because I couldn’t afford heat; however, I always had Conan’s show to look forward to and for the hour he was on each night, I didn’t think about any of that. I credit Conan, Andy and the band in a big way for getting me through all that with my heart and sense of humour intact. 32 Steel Notes Magazine November 2016