A Day with Conan
TVF students visit the Conan O’Brien show
March 20, 2017
Filed under News
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Journalism 3400, a course that focuses on interviewing, recently visited Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank for a live taping of the Conan O’Brien show on TBS. Cal State LA Alumna Ashely Wheeler, started as an intern at the Conan O’Brien talk show production, and now serves as an assistant for the Talent Department, personally invited Professor Tony Cox and his class to attend the taping.
Imagine being in a group tour walking behind the scenes at Universal Studios. Cox and his class were classified as “The college group” and were accustomed by the WB staff with VIP treatment. The class was one of the first groups escorted into the production studio and seating was organized in a specific way, but the group of students and Professor Cox were all placed together in a section that was pretty close to the stage, in the fourth row right next to the well-known announcer, Andy Ritcher.
Conan is a show that is based on interviews with two celebrity guests and a musical performance of an upcoming band. Such as Aubrey Plaza, most commonly known for the NBC comedy show, Parks and Recreation, and Darren Criss who is most commonly known for his role in Flash/Supergirl. The musical guest was an alternative country band from Texas, called the Old 97’s.
The show required a lot of on cue applauding which created an energetic audience with chanting that really made the show come alive from fans of Conan and the celebrities.
After the show, Wheeler invited the class to take a group photo on the infamous couch on the stage. Wheeler walked the group to the office where the students had the opportunity to have a Q&A with someone from the talent booking department, research department, a producer’s assistant, and a segment producer.
It was an unforgettable experience as Conan himself made a surprise appearance in the conference room and openly answered questions, he hung around for more than ten minutes. Conan gave the students advice on how to become a sharper interviewer, that keeping an ego-free mentality to accomplish your dreams of becoming successful is important, and that starting somewhere small is usually the best way to achieve your dreams, although sometimes it may not seem like it.
Brisa Dominguez, a Broadcast Journalism major, who attended the field trip, said, “It was awesome! I was able to see how the studio looked in real life as well as how everything behind the scenes worked. Seeing how fast the crew needs to set up for each segment was also very cool to see.”
Since Cal State LA is less than 25 minutes away from Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, going to a Conan TV taping is highly recommended. It is truly a fun and free experience.