I could tell yesterday would be a great day when my wife and I received a shout out on the Jason Ellis Show. This came not from the radio program’s host himself, of course, but rather from a good friend of ours who called in from the psychedelic depths of the Kootenays’ Shambhala music festival. Thank you, Craig!
That was only the precursor to an afternoon engagement that we had been anxiously anticipating for weeks: a live taping of Conan! We drove to Warner Brothers Studios and shuffled into our seats on the set, giddy for a roster made up of Julian McCullough, Anthony Jeselnik and Sharon Stone.
Despite her highly prolific status as an actress, I don’t believe I have ever actually seen any of Sharon Stone’s myriad film or television appearances. I had to Google her infamous leg crossing moment in Basic Instinct to see what the hype was about. Most likely I will see Lovelace, though. It sounds like a decent flick. Sharon’s clip from the movie was intriguing, and her exchange with Conan stood out as hilarious, even within the context of a lineup that included successful comedians.
Not to say that either of the other guests lacked hilariousness. Anthony Jeselnik of The Jeselnik Offensive delivered his usual brand of dark humour, albeit it a mildly subdued version of what he is capable of. Having a preference myself for morbid jocularity, I wish he would have let loose more in that respect, but he did manage to squeeze in references to fatal shark attacks and dead parents.
Julian McCullough’s subsequent standup set kept the laughs coming. His performance capped off the show with some solid Jeopardy jokes, carrying forth the theme of a tear jerking bit from the show’s opening monologue. Thus concluded another episode of one of my favourite television shows, which I still can hardly believe I was able to witness in person.
As a big-time fan of Conan‘s general format and ensemble since I was a kid staying up past bedtime to watch Late Night, it was surreal to share the same physical space as Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, and Jimy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band. To be there at all was a momentous pleasure, and the off camera audience interaction and epic musical numbers were an enjoyable bonus. What a way to end our honeymoon!
It has been a truly amazing period of bliss with my freshly wedded sweetheart, and I am grateful for everything we got to do together these past two weeks. Our days spent in America have been memorable, but now the time has come for us to return to Canada and the people and pets we miss. Friends, family and animals, we will see you soon!
– Cory Magnus Stumpf