Conan From the Front Row

21 Aug

IMAG0724-1My husband and I have an evening weeknight routine that goes like this: 1, make dinner; 2, catch up on each other’s day while making dinner; 3, watch “Conan.” Thanks to the magic of the DVR we never miss an episode.

When my husband and I took a California vacation two years ago I entered the ticket lottery to see Conan live. No luck. Instead we spent a day in Hollywood and saw the WB Studios from the freeway. As we planned for this summer’s California trip I again threw our names in the hat. This time, SUCCESS!

We received an email about a month ago that said we’re in and instructions for the day: where to park, where to check in, no cameras, etc. Conan’s website has a comedic video explaining how to be an audience member. To sum it up, it’s a lot of waiting. And when you think you’re done waiting, there’s more waiting.

On our second day in California we rented a little bitty Chevy Spark (dubbed Sparky) and took to the craziness of California freeway driving. The day of waiting began. We arrived to the designated parking garage outside the WB Studios at 11:30 a.m. We went through security and were given the No. 12 (12th Man to the Seahawks fans!) to hold our place in line. We sat in a holding pen of benches and other Conan fans waiting for the first set of instructions.


Riding the elevator down.

About an hour later Conan’s people came out to say we were free to go for a couple hours as long as we returned by 3 p.m. Being the worrier that I am, I was fearful we would drive somewhere and get lost or we would lose our parking space, so I made the suggestion to my husband that we explore on foot. He graciously followed along and we walked and walked and walked under the very warm California sun until we came upon a Taco Bell.

After our afternoon snack we hiked back to the holding pen that was bustling with excitement and music. It was almost showtime! But first we had to wait.


Outside WB Studios.

While we sat staring at people around us (we were trying to save our phone battery for Google Maps) we noticed a Conan writer walking about the crowd, taking notes and observations of the crowd for a skit. After 3 p.m. we were gathered in groups based on our place in line and were herded on to the WB properties. We walked past massive studios where shows like “Friends,” Two and Half Men,” and the “Big Bang Theory” are filmed, but unfortunately no photos allowed.

We then waited outside under a semi-covered area. More waiting. And did I mention it was hot? But soon Conan’s people arrived in golf carts with Popsicles for everyone! Eventually we made it into Conan’s studio where we were blasted with amazing air conditioning.

As the 12th group in line we just so happened to be directed to the bottom of a column of two-seater seats. Front and center! Which is only really awesome when Conan does his monologue because he stood right in front of us, but when he interviewed Eric Bana and Josh Gad the seven cameras on the floor caused an obstructed view.

My husband proudly wore his bright green Seattle Sonics T-shirt and Seattle Mariners baseball hat to represent home if we were seen on TV (which we were!). But sadly, Conan didn’t notice us.

After the show was filmed Conan addressed the audience and asked if he could record his monologue for the following day’s pre-recorded show with Harrison Ford. So not only could see us on TV on Wednesday’s show, but you could see us on Thursday’s show, too!


That’s us on the left of the screen!

By the time we were escorted off the studio property it was 6:30 p.m. and prime freeway traffic time. But luckily the Dodgers were in town so we made a detour before heading back to Anaheim.

We’re glad for the opportunity to experience Conan’s comedic genius in person and I encourage you to try to snag tickets if you’re in town! The wait is definitely worth it!

What shows have you seen live?

2 Responses to “Conan From the Front Row”

  1. Tina August 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    Loved your narrative! Your wit and writing are incredible…it’s a good thing that you’re a journalist!:)

    • somerbhanson August 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

      Thanks for being my fan, Mom 🙂

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