1. Mike Birbiglia's Revenge On Harvard

Mike Birbiglia's Revenge On Harvard

Mike only wanted to join Harvard to work on the Lampoon like Conan, but the Ivy turned him down flat.

Transcript:

CONAN: WE HAVE A BIT OF HISTORY THAT WE SHOULD PROBABLY COP TO RIGHT UP TOP WHICH IS THAT BACK IN THE DAY WHEN WE WERE DOING A SHOW IN NEW YORK, THE LATE NIGHT SHOW, YOU WERE AN INTERN FOR US.
MIKE: I WAS AN INTERN IN 1997.
CONAN: WAS IT -- I HOPE IT WAS A GOOD EXPERIENCE.
MIKE: IT WAS.
I WAS A CONTROL ROOM INTERN AND I DIDN'T -- YOU'RE A COLLEGE KID WHEN YOU'RE AN INTERN, YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO ANYTHING, NO, REALLY, YOU DON'T.
YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO ANYTHING AND I HAD ONE RESPONSIBILITY, THEY SAID, THERE'S THAT -- SEE THAT PHONE, IF THAT PHONE RINGS, AND IT'S RICK, BRING IT TO US IMMEDIATELY.
AND I WAS LIKE, GOT IT.
WELL, THAT PHONE NEVER RANG FOR THREE MONTHS.
SO I DID LITERALLY NOTHING.
LIKE WHEN I WENT TO INTERVIEWS AFTER I LEFT THE SHOW, THEY WOULD BE LIKE, DO YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE ANSWERING PHONES AND I WOULD SAY, KIND OF -- I'M AWARE OF WHAT A PHONE IS.
AND IF RICK CALLS, I KNOW WHAT TO DO.
BUT I'VE NEVER ACTUALLY DONE THE THING, YEAH, NO, IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE, I FEEL VERY LUCKY.
CONAN: YEAH, SURE.
NO, DID YOU KNOW EVEN AT THE TIME WHEN YOU WERE INTERNING FOR US THAT YOU WANTED TO GO INTO COMEDY?
IS THAT SOMETHING YOU WERE INTERESTED IN?
MIKE: THAT WAS MY DREAM.
I GREW UP IN MASSACHUSETTS AND I WAS A BIG FAN OF YOURS AND YOU WENT TO HARVARD AND EVERYTHING, IN THE HARVARD LAMPOON, YOU WERE IN IT.
AND THAT'S WHAT I WANTED TO DO SO I APPLIED TO HARVARD.
CONAN: YOU APPLIED TO HARVARD JUST BECAUSE YOU WANTED TO WRITE COMEDY?
MIKE: THAT'S THE ONLY REASON.
I THOUGHT OF MYSELF AS LIKE A BASKETBALL PLAYER WHERE I WAS LIKE, THEY'LL WANT ME, THEY'RE GOING TO NEED ME AND I THOUGHT HARVARD'S A GOOD FIT.
WHEN YOU'RE APPLYING FOR COLLEGES, YOU DON'T GO FOR THE BEST SCHOOL, YOU GO FOR THE SCHOOL THAT FITS LIKE A GLOVE AND I THOUGHT, ME AND HARVARD -- ME AND HARVARD REALLY FIT AND SO WHAT I DID WAS I DIDN'T REALLY HAVE THE GRADES OR THE S.A.T.'S OR THE ACTIVITIES TO GET IN THE WAY -- YOU KNOW, THEY'RE OBSESSED WITH STATISTICS AND NUMBERS AND ALL THAT.
CONAN: SO I HEAR.
MIKE: WELL, I WENT TO THE INTERVIEW AND I THOUGHT, THIS IS GOING TO BE LIKE MY HOME RUN DERBY.
I'M GOING TO KNOCK THEM OUT OF THE PARK AND I BROUGHT A BIG STACK OF SATIRE COMEDY WRITING PIECES I HAD DONE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND I SHOWED UP AND SAID TO THE WOMAN, I WAS LIKE, THIS IS WHAT I WROTE AND SHE WAS THIS WOMAN, SHE'S A LAWYER, VERY SERIOUS LADY AND SHE WAS LIKE, OK, THANKS, AND SHE PUT THOSE OFF TO THE SIDE.
SHE DIDN'T SEEM LIKE SHE WAS GOING TO READ THEM OR DIDN'T GIVE THE SENSE SHE INTENDED TO READ THEM OR WANTED TO READ THEM SO PUT THOSE OFF TO THE SIDE AND GOES, IS THERE ANY OTHER REASON YOU WANT TO GO TO HARVARD.
CONAN: OTHER THAN TO WRITE COMEDY.
MIKE: AND THIS WAS ONE OF THE BOLDEST MOMENTS IN MY LIFE, I SAID, NO, THERE IS NO OTHER REASON I WANT TO GO TO HARVARD AND I WAS REJECTED BUT I FEEL LIKE -- I FEEL LIKE IN RETROSPECT, I FEEL LIKE, YOU KNOW, IT'S A SELECT CLUB OF US, THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO EITHER LEFT HARVARD OR NEVER WENT TO HARVARD IN THE FIRST PLACE.
YOU GOT YOUR BILL GATES, YOU GOT ZUCKERBERG, ROBERT FROST, YOU GOT BER BIG LEA, ALL OF BIRBIGLIA'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND WE GET TOGETHER EVERY YEAR AND WE'RE LIKE, HA-HA-HA, REMEMBER HOW WE DIDN'T GO TO HARVARD FOR THE FULL AMOUNT OF TIME AND THIS YEAR, I WAS ASKED TO BE IN THE HARVARD LAMPOON AS AN HONORARY MEMBER.
CONAN: SO YOU WON.
[APPLAUSE]
THAT'S EXCITING.
MIKE: POINT OF THE STORE IS, [BEEP] YOU, HARVARD!
I DON'T NEED YOU!
ANDY: WOW.
MIKE: ON BEHALF OF CONAN O'BRIEN AND MIKE BIRBIGLIA, WE WANT TO SAY [BEEP] YOU, HARVARD.
IS THAT ALL RIGHT?
CONAN: GO AHEAD, SURE.
THAT'S NOT REAL, BY THE WAY.
ANDY: IT SAYS PIG BREEDING!
CONAN: THAT'S WHAT THEY ALL SAY.