Life lessons from a funny man

I LOVE COCO. Not the puffs, although it’s pretty yummy. I love Coco, the comedian. For those who have been under the comedy-in-cable-tv radar out there, Coco is the insane, witty host of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and more recently, the cable TV show Conan. For quite some time, he was also the brains behind several episodes of the beloved yellow Simpsons. I’ve always been fond of catching his shows on ETC and reading his tweets but a few weeks back, when I came across this video of his Dartmouth speech, I got..well, speechless.

“But then something spectacular happened. Fogbound, with no compass, and adrift, I started trying things. I grew a strange, cinnamon beard. I dove into the world of social media. I started tweeting my comedy. I threw together a national tour. I played the guitar. I did stand-up, wore a skin-tight blue leather suit, recorded an album, made a documentary, and frightened my friends and family.Ultimately, I abandoned all preconceived perceptions of my career path and stature and took a job on basic cable with a network most famous for showing reruns, along with sitcoms created by a tall, black man who dresses like an old, black woman. I did a lot of silly, unconventional, spontaneous and seemingly irrational things and guess what: with the exception of the blue leather suit, it was the most satisfying and fascinating year of my professional life. To this day I still don’t understand exactly what happened, but I have never had more fun, been more challenged—and this is important—had more conviction about what I was doing.

The whole speech was riveting, both funny and profound. Who would have thought this nutjob of a man would be the one to assert exactly what I believed in? Thank you Conan. I’m blogging, writing stories, and doing unconventional and seemingly irrational things just like you. I hope for and know, that I will have that same conviction some time soon. 🙂


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