Conan and Community

Today’s post is from our intern extraordinaire, Allie Blalock.


Black coffee with a dash of skim milk and Splenda. This coffee order was ingrained in my brain two years ago when I interned at Conan O’Brien’s TBS late night comedy show on the Warner Brothers Lot in Los Angeles. Everyday around 4 p.m. I would travel into the “Central Perk” of the WB lot and get the “Boss” his coffee. But I took away so much more than Conan O’Brien’s coffee order.

As a general production intern, my duties ranged from these coffee runs, organizing fan mail, and even helping with rehearsals and remote shoots. Basically, anything and everything. While the work can come across as typical Hollywood “grunt” work, it never really felt like it. The environment, the people, and the show itself acted as a motivation and compensated for the sometimes trivial tasks. I was part of Team Coco.

Last week, I had the opportunity to once again work on the show as Conan remotely filmed in Atlanta, Georgia for four days. With the filming just two hours from Greenville, I couldn’t resist signing on to help. Throughout the week the tasks were similar to before: errands running me throughout Atlanta, food orders, and rehearsal assistance. Ah rehearsal–for us who work at Conan, it’s our favorite part of the day. As Conan rehearses his monologue and comedy sketches with the writers, the interns sit, stare, and absorb–so many personalities, so many quirks, and so much knowledge. It’s then I’m reminded of my why. Why I love being on the show, love being with those people, and love being able to take part in a unique culture. The work environment at Conan isn’t your Devil Wears Prada experience. It’s filled with people who are genuinely great. They work hard, love what they do, and take chances to pursue their dream careers.

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As my undergrad days dwindle and the real world begins to filter in, I am overcome with respect for these people. People who are willing to pursue goals and dreams once thought impossible. Barriers overcome, comfort zones eliminated, and pride swallowed. I continue to see these people all around me today- our Fitness Rebellion Community, The DriVen Class, and even my friends here at BOF who work incredibly hard and with passion.

Although I’m still working on the ever changing “life plan”, I follow the cliché but true words of Thoreau’s Walden, “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” So join me in the bold pursuit of little victories and great risks!


Allie Blalock is graduating from Furman University this May. She rocks the Firesphere as an account team intern. She’s got COCO clout.

  • Mike Atkinson

    Great post, Allie! I have a follow-up question for you…”They work hard, love what they do, and take chances to pursue their dream careers.” Do you think those people drive this environment or does management do something to encourage it? Or it could be a mix. That just doesn’t happen usually. Who on Conan’s team was intentional to ensure this scenario would occur? That’s a takeaway I’d like to hear…thanks!

    • Allie

      Hi Mike! Thanks for commenting!
      I think the environment is definitely a mix between the type of people that fill the office and the leadership within it. Having a respect and loyalty to your superior goes a long way and people definitely feel that way about Conan. He’s just an overall nice guy who is walking around the office, knows everyone’s name, and getting his hands dirty on the show and production. Every position there is crucial from administrative to creative. While some positions like an office coordinator may seem trivial and mindless work, that person is depended on for the widest range of duties and responsible for much of the communication in the office. So overall, I think it’s a mutual respect for everyone’s contribution (no matter the hierarchy) and a love for the end product that everyone has a hand in producing. Does that answer your question? Thanks again!

  • vkonnect

    i think Allie is right…..i agree with her.There are number of people who are having different thoughts and habbits.