Cuckoo for CoCo | Disrupt 2020 | Summary and Q&A

October 7, 2020
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Cuckoo for CoCo | Disrupt 2020

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Conan O'Brien discusses his podcast, his love for the medium, and the creative opportunities it provides. He also talks about his preference for podcasting over traditional talk shows and the importance of reacting in the moment. Additionally, he shares his thoughts on the pandemic and how everyone is forced to react and be creative during this challenging time. Conan also addresses the future of his career, his willingness to try new things, and his focus on creative satisfaction rather than financial gain. He mentions the various podcasts he has launched and his support for young comedians. Finally, he talks about the possibility of exclusive deals with streaming platforms and his desire to keep creating content that reflects his brand.

Questions & Answers

Q: When did Conan start taking podcasts seriously and realize that his comedy translated well to the audio format?

Conan explains that he initially had no expectations for his podcast and saw it as a surprise opportunity. However, he quickly realized how much he loved doing it and how well it suited his sense of humor. The podcast allows him to be more free and spontaneous, putting emphasis on the Conan that exists in the writer's room and reflecting his true nature.

Q: Does Conan prefer podcasting over his TV show?

While Conan acknowledges that there are aspects of podcasting that he enjoys more, he also appreciates certain things about hosting a talk show. He explains that the conversational flow in podcasts feels more natural, allowing for longer, in-depth discussions. Additionally, he likes the freedom from hair and makeup that podcasting provides. Ultimately, Conan's philosophy is to stay curious, keep moving, and find something that makes him feel young and excited about his work.

Q: Has the pandemic affected Conan's listenership or led to any synergistic benefits with his TV show?

Conan discusses how the pandemic has forced everyone to react and adapt. He mentions that people are seeking entertainment and he aims to be positive and optimistic during this time. While he doesn't explicitly mention changes in listenership or any specific benefits, he emphasizes the importance of staying creative and finding inspiration in the current situation.

Q: How does Conan prioritize his other podcasts and plan to roll them out?

Conan explains that he prioritizes quality over quantity when it comes to creating podcasts. He wants them to reflect his brand and his ideas about being a decent person. While there's no set goal for the number of podcasts, he aims to collaborate with good people, have a good time, and make people laugh. He also mentions that he's open to exploring visual content and expanding beyond podcasts.

Q: What are Conan's thoughts on exclusive deals with streaming platforms?

Conan states that he hasn't given much thought to exclusive deals with streaming platforms. He believes in staying creatively satisfied and working with people he respects. While a lucrative deal might be tempting, it ultimately depends on whether it aligns with his values and allows him to continue creating content that brings him joy. He expresses excitement about the numerous ways to be creative and make people laugh in the current media landscape.

Q: How does Conan support and promote young comedians?

Conan shares that he finds joy and inspiration in working with young people. He mentions the goal he had early in his career to help aspiring comedians and sees it as a giving and receiving relationship. He mentions specific comedians, such as Moses Storm, Beth Stelling, and James Beach, who he has collaborated with and helped produce their shows. Conan hopes to see them succeed and often takes pride in being associated with their success.


Conan O'Brien's podcast has been a surprise success and a source of joy for him. He prioritizes creative satisfaction and working with good people over financial gain. He appreciates the freedom and natural flow in podcasting compared to traditional talk shows. The pandemic has forced everyone to react and be creative, and Conan aims to maintain a positive and optimistic tone. He supports and promotes young comedians, finding inspiration and joy in their talent. While open to exploring new opportunities, he stays focused on creating content that reflects his brand and brings him happiness.

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