Conan to Caro: “I respect you too much to have you on my show”

Conan and Caro

Conan O’Brien recently interviewed historian and writer Robert Caro.  John Kelbin tells what happened in his recent piece at The New York Times.  Here is a taste:

“They probably told you,” Mr. O’Brien said, “I’m a fan to a disturbing level.”

“I want to say, if I’ve ever been asked to be on your show, my publisher never told me,” Mr. Caro replied.

“I like this way better,” Mr. O’Brien said. “I respect you too much to have you on my show.”

The host then asked Mr. Caro if he agreed with Ernest Hemingway’s comment that a writer should not “exhaust the fuel tank in one writing session,” so that it’s easier to start again the next day.

“I want to say, if I’ve ever been asked to be on your show, my publisher never told me,” Mr. Caro replied.

“Yes, and you’re the first person that ever mentioned that,” Mr. Caro said, before noting that he had written his thesis at Princeton on Mr. Hemingway.

“Why am I in comedy?” Mr. O’Brien said.

Did Mr. Caro ever take breaks? Sneak away from his desk to an afternoon movie?

“See the new ‘Avengers,’” Mr. O’Brien suggested. “Ina doesn’t have to know about it.”

“Never in my entire life,” Mr. Caro replied.

Mr. O’Brien proposed coming by Mr. Caro’s office one day and taking him to a matinee.

“If I don’t answer,” Mr. Caro said, “it’s because I’m so deep in the work.”

After a Q. and A. session and another round of applause, Mr. Caro seemed pleased. “I thought these questions tonight were exceptional,” he said in a side room. “Incisive.”

Read the entire piece here.

Ron Chernow Kills It at the White House Correspondents Dinner

As many of you know, the White House Correspondents Association chose historian Ronald Chernow to be the keynote speaker at this year’s annual dinner, a responsibility that normally falls to a comedian.

Whatever you think about Chernow or his work, the celebrity historian who wrote the book that inspired the smash Broadway musical “Hamilton” was excellent.


Who says historians can’t be funny?

I lived tweeted the talk.  Here are some of my tweets:

Tips for Holiday Networking from "The Onion"

NEW YORK—Emphasizing the importance of “developing contacts and getting your name out there,” sales coordinator Keith Elliott told reporters on Tuesday that he was traveling home to Ohio for the holidays to put in some solid networking time with his family. “Christmas is a great opportunity for me to really work the room, and I’m hoping to make some big contacts, especially on my mom’s side of the family,” said Elliott, who mentioned that he would “definitely try to get in some good face time” with his dad, who works in retail. “You just never know which sibling or nephew might have an ‘in’ for you somewhere, so it’s really important to cultivate personal, win-win relationships with all of them.” Elliott added that he planned on enclosing his business card in his gift to his second cousin Steven Brolin, who reportedly “knows some of the higher-ups over at a Fortune 500 company.”

HT: Scot McKnight