Alan Yang: “Parks and Recreation” Is A Fun As Hell Rewatch | Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

you were interested in comedy at a very early age right yeah it's a thing where again this is this is just we were talking about david letterman earlier for me you were like letterman because i didn't watch letterman so i just that was comedy it was to me it was the simpsons snl seinfeld and and and conan was late night to me so this is a weird thing for me well uh that's very cool of you to say um and uh we're just gonna put that on the loop if you don't mind we're just gonna put that over and over and over again truly it's more of a function of my age it's not like i like you better than letter that's just exactly it's really just no exactly exactly you just weren't alive uh when dave was hitting it out of the park that's all i'll start first of all by congratulating you on on the podcast uh you're doing with with mr rob lowe and it's called parks and recollection this is a show that i'm very excited about yes full disclosure it's part of our team coco uh empire if you will but you guys talking about that show which i really admire which you uh wrote on and so you have all this access to how it was put together as does rob from a different angle sounds like a very cool project yeah and it has n you producing has nothing to do with me being here zero oh not at all you know let me tell you something um alan i'm at a point in my career uh where i don't even know what i'm involved in anymore so it's an empire it's an empire it's a shondaland you you know no it really is it really is i am and so there are there are times where people remind me hey conan you have a big part of exxon mobil right like you're a major stock holder uh and i'm like oh i didn't know and that's when you encourage them to just forget safety precautions send the boats out there no matter what the weather conditions are just hey they're getting paid the last time i checked they were getting money and i say if there's a rough seas in the north atlantic get out there and get the oil that's what i say to them who cares where the icebergs are no but the the podcast no the podcast has been really fun we just started recording it and uh god at first to be honest i was like i don't know if i want to watch all these episodes again it's a lot of times let's let's bring people up to date you yeah you worked for were you there the entire time i was there for 125 episodes as far as writers go mike sure the co-creator and me i think we're the only ones who were there the whole time so right yeah so and so um you were there at that show and i remembered uh i'm obviously very good friends with greg daniels who uh who was responsible for bringing the office uh to united states and then of course uh you know had a hand in in getting parks and rec going and so uh i was very familiar with both shows and i remember the office had kind of a slow start initially and then took off parks and rec it didn't happen right away for parks and rec it's still taking off now it's 2021 i think you know it it was though season one it was it was definitely almost an identical trajectory to the office and i think for similar reasons because if you look at the office what greg did with the office again a brilliant show he's adapting it from a british one and so the the first season is a little bit closer to the british one and then the second season kind of sprouts its wings and and flies on its own and becomes its own thing and parks and rec started as was conceived at first was maybe going to be an office spin-off and then it wasn't and so that first season i think mike and greg were still trying to work out kinks and trying to okay how different from the office tonally etc right and then second season it really starts taking off and part of that was taking on amy poehler's personality as well and and making use of her so a really good tv show in my opinion is not a finite thing it's an organism the shows i've always really loved if you look at the simpsons for example you can look at the first season and dan castelnetta does not have homer's voice yet yeah his way into homer was he sort of thought of his voice as being a walter matthau kind of voice and you can listen to that first year of the simpsons and it's a lotta boy yeah it's a lot of boys boy get here boy now you will send me and then it it changes and then they find it and i think shows like a lot of things and probably like a restaurant or you know so many endeavors you need to figure it out you need to you find it by doing it and i think people sometimes misunderstand and think uh it's a widget it's something that's manufactured and you're cranking them out and you do 22 and then the next 22 the only way you really know what your show is is by doing it my late night shows were constantly changing and morphing and often sometimes not by design it was just sheer desperation we don't have anything today i know let's what if a bear masturbated uh and then suddenly you're off on that and you've hit what many call a renaissance form of television television in general just as far as masturbation humor goes i think quite fairly a renaissance but but yeah it's it's it's fascinating to me that these things and evolve and uh it's it was not all assigned on day one it's fascinating it's exactly what you said which is and you lived on the long end of this right you're doing a daily show a show you can really react to what the audiences think you know how they're reacting right what you're like as a host what andy's doing whatever all of that stuff you can react it's a read and react type thing and so with a show like parks they don't make that shows that run that long anymore so you know we went on to do master of none it's been six years we've done 25 episodes of master you know it's like it's crazy aziz aziz is now i i i tuned in the other day he's 65 years old yeah uh and he he's on his third hip yeah yes that kind of television where you're just cranking it out every day and going through uh massive arcs sort of creative arcs over three month periods yeah uh and and you know people saw it or they didn't there was no checking it out later on online now when you go back and watch it and for a lot of people for the first time they say wait a minute there's something going on here and i think that's what's happened with parks and rec is that it's enjoyed a renaissance i'm friends with nick offerman and he said the same thing like this is this is fascinating that people are finding the show now uh and we it's been what has it been 10 years since you guys made one yeah and it's a fun as hell rewatch that's what i'm realizing while re-watching it it it's almost perfectly designed for right now 2020 2021 the darkest time in a long time where everyone's indoors you're looking for something warm something heartfelt something comforting it's a great rewatch i'm i sound like an nbc executive right now but but literally like while watching it it's yeah i was going into uh night terrors yeah yeah uh just something i i smell sulfur in the room

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