ScienceWe get to do gigantic experiments on whole lakes in Canada to help protect water all around the world. Ask us anything...!
Feb 28th 2017 by iisd_ela • 20 Questions • 60 Points
Hi everyone, Freddie Highmore (Norman Bates) and Kerry Ehrin (co-executive producer and creator) from Bates Motel here! Everyone has questions or needs advice from Mother, so we’re here to give it. Check into the final season of Bates Motel Mondays at 10/9c on A&E!
Can you talk about the effects of dissolved carbon dioxide in lakes and its effects on animals with shells, and on up the food chain?
Were there any animals that you considered trying to film and ruled them out because the spy wouldn't have worked?
Along that same line, was there any animal that you filmed and you couldn't really use the footage for the show?
Thanks! Love the show!
What is the hardest you have laughed on the show?
You're having a Baldur's Gate themed costume and pizza party in the Obsidian offices. Who dresses up as which NPC and what exactly is on a Bhaalspawn pizza?
Thanks for doing this today!! Bates Motel has some really great wacky humour (which I love). For Freddie, do you feel that this has shaped your writing style in any way?
Vince Through some of our research we have found that it is unlikely that CO2 will have an impact on fauna in lakes, although it does have more impact on life in oceans.
a lot of research goes into deciding and designing the robots so there were not many if any surprises. the team worked with field scientists who helped inform the team about what they could expect from the animals. we used all the footage. Matt, Phil, please also contribute here. FK
I sometimes wear a hat. For example when I did college tours with my son I wanted the focus to be totally on him. A lot less people recognize me when I have a hat on or else they realize I am trying to be incognito.
Mostly when people do recognize me they are super nice so I don't feel it is a burden to be noticed most of the time.
When people like Norm Macdonald, Will Ferrell, Martin Short, Charlene Yi, Kevin Hart, Bill Burr, Sarah Silverman, etc come on, it always makes me laugh.
I don't think I would be able to have started to write without Kerry's support. I feel that doing Bates Motel and being a part of a long running tv show, showed me that writing and directing was something I really wanted to do. I always had a slightly unfocused sense of wanting to write one day in the future, but Bates Motel honed me in the sort of thing I wanted to write. --FH
Freddie has an inherent idiosyncratic and wacky sense of humor, so it would have crept into anything he would have written...including dark things. It would always infuse in his writing, the way he looked at the character of Norman...little things in scenes that are so subtle. Little touches that made the character very endearing...that's pure Freddie.-- KE
If you could give 19 year old Bill Gates some advice, what would it be?
If you could have anyone from history on your show, who would it be?
How does it feel going from playing more lighthearted fantasy stuff (Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory) to someone really dark like Norman Bates?
Also, happy belated birthday fellow Februarian!
I would explain that smartness is not single dimensional and not quite as important as I thought it was back then. I would say you might explore the developing world before you get into your forties. I wasn't very good socially back then but I am not sure there is advice that would fix that - maybe I had to be awkward and just grow up....
Number 1: Flo the Progressive Insurance lady, Number 2: Aristotle
I don't think that Norman is really dark. Bates Motel has more humor than anything else I've done. It may be a dark humor but there's as much humor as anything else. That is what makes it something special. -F
I think Norman doesn't consider himself dark. He's very hopeful and optimistic, but the world around him is very dark. - K
What do you personally find as your greatest achievement?
I need to make a monument for my sculpture class. What should I make?
You're in Waste Management? So what you're saying it is that you're the Tony Soprano of Irvine?
It seems like I just got into the show only like a year ago, and I have been completely into it since season 1 was released on Netflix. What is your favorite season you have done? Least favorite?
EDIT: How did it feel for you when you got to direct an episode as well?
Although the Foundation work is super promising and will be the biggest thing over the decades ahead I still think the chance to be part of the software revolution empowering people was the biggest thing I have gotten to do.
Right now I am very focused on making sure we successfully eradicate polio - that will be amazing if we do it - as good as shipping even the best software product.
Is it too late to drop the class?
More like I have to SING soprano whenever Feargus demands.
Hmmmm.... I think season 4 and 5 have been perhaps the most challenging. Especially 5 because it's that sense of time running out and the countdown beginning. We wanted to make sure all the characters had a fitting conclusion. They were also the most fun to play for me. Norman changed and matured over these seasons and it was a lot of fun to play. - F
It's kind of like asking which child is your favorite. I love them all for different reasons. I'm closest to the last two right now, but I have to say I sort of love season 2 because it was a time when Norma was starting to hope that she could live the life she had dreamed. I thought that was really lovely and my favorite episode was the trying out for the musical. I remember questioning the decision to have that episode. There's just a lot of good storytelling in season 2. -K
Thanks! How are research topics chosen — does the public ever bring forward research questions?
Were there any animals that you considered trying to film and ruled them out because the spy wouldn't have worked?
Along that same line, was there any animal that you filmed and you couldn't really use the footage for the show?
Thanks! Love the show!
If you had to pick a successor to your show, who would you pick and why?
When are we gonna see you guys get your hands on the Fallout Franchise again?
Did any of the cast and crew members keep any of the props? I think one of the room keys would've been a pretty cool souvenir! :)
Vince We are certainly open to hearing from the public, and much of our research has been developed after public consultation. And this is why we do what we do. We develop and conduct our research for the public interest and to improve our fresh water for all.
Arctic wolves were fascinating and entertaining to watch. We were lucky to get access to Arctic wolves in Ellesmere Island in Canada. They have very little fear of humans because the location is so isolated. So we could observe their daily lives from as little as 25 metres from the den. The pups were hilarious to watch as they played, they often got into trouble from other members of the pack for wondering too far from the den. The adolescent wolves were very cheeky, they would wonder into out camp and steel our pots and pans. On one occasion they ran off with our portable toilet! PD
Warren Buffett has always said the measure is whether the people close to you are happy and love you. It is also nice to feel like you made a difference - inventing something or raising kids or helping people in need.
Zenimax owns the IP for Fallout, so that is entirely up to them. We'd love to do another Fallout game!
Oh yeah. I kept the manager's badge! Norman is more of a manager than ever before in season 5 so I was keen to keep the badge.- F
I kept some things from the house but nothing of great significance (I just liked them!) I also have the bunny in Norman's room that belonged to Emma. I also have a Norma dress. - K
Hey Bill! I have a question pertaining to an issue in the U.S. and it's one that we're all get sick of hearing.
Do you think social media - and perhaps the internet in general - has played a role in helping divide this country?
Instead of expanding knowledge and obtaining greater understandings of the world, many people seem to use it to
1) seek and spread information - including false information - confirming their existing biases and beliefs, and
2) converse and interact only with others who share their worldview
(these are things I'm guilty of doing myself)
Follow up q: What steps should we take to help bridge this social, cultural, economic, educational and regional divide?
Hey Conan, huge fan, who was your favorite character to write for when you worked on the Simpsons?
Thanks for the answer! New Vegas is the absolutely best game in the Fallout universe!
If you could've changed one thing in the Bates Motel storyline, what would it be?
This is a great question. I felt sure that allowing anyone to publish information and making it easy to find would enhance democracy and the overall quality of political debate. However the partitioning you talk about which started on cable TV and might be even stronger in the digital world is a concern. We all need to think about how to avoid this problem. It would seem strange to have to force people to look at ideas they disagree with so that probably isn't the solution. We don't want to get to where American politics partitions people into isolated groups. I am interested in anyones suggestion on how we avoid this.
Mr. Burns. Mr. Burns. Mr. Burns. Mr. Burns. Mr. Burns. (Mr. Burns)
(P.S., I agree with you... or maybe Fallout 2. It's a toss up).
In my own heart, everyone would live happily ever after. -F
What kind of technological advancement do you wish to see in your lifetime?
How do you keep your hair sooo amazing and perfect?
Pillars of Eternity: Deadfire is surprisingly Obsidian's first opportunity to develop a sequel. What were some ideas you had for potential sequels to your past games?
Keep up the good work and I can't wait for Deadfire.
Hey Freddie! Love the show and everyone's acting, y'all are awesome :D
What are you planning on doing after Bates Motel is over? Were you perhaps already approached by someone for a new project (movie/show)? Thanks and have a nice day!
The big milestone is when computers can read and understand information like humans do. There is a lot of work going on in this field - Google, Microsoft, Facebook, academia,... Right now computers don't know how to represent knowledge so they can't read a text book and pass a test.
Another whole area is vaccines. We need a vaccine for HIV, Malaria and TB and I hope we have them in the next 10-15 years.
Mayonnaise, corn starch and embalming fluid. Bake at 125 degrees for 1 hour.
I wanted us to do a sequel to Alpha Protocol called Beta Contocol, just for the pun in the title. That was when I got my first demotion.
I think I'm still in mourning.--FH
I'm doing development. Two projects. --KE
I am sure you have traveled to all types of famous places.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Did anybody in the telenovelas explained you why your character was a cheese seller?
Do you think Stannis actually knew what obsidian was before Tarly told him?
Hello Freddie, :)
Just wanted to say I'm a big fan of your work! My question is which dead Bates Motel character would you bring back to life?
Australia is particularly nice. It is summer there when it is winter here so going there in December and January is especially nice. I spent Thanksgiving there last year.
I have gotten to travel to a lot of great places like the Amazon in Brazil which I recommend.
I seriously asked them to explain many times and they never did. I was fervently looking forward to making out with a beautiful Mexican actress and they made me a pompous asexual cheese merchant. I am honestly very angry about this.
I guess everyone always wanted Jiao to come back. I guess the question was if she ever really died. But I guess it's too late for that one. - F
Blair Watson. I really liked Blair. - K
What tips/tricks do you have for photographing wildlife and capturing such stunning shots [without having a spy camera, of course]? Also, I really want to pursue a career working with wildlife in the future. I love animals! Any ideas on how to get involved, volunteering opportunities, etc.? Finally, squirrels are my favourite animals because I think they're so amusing to watch... what do YOU think of squirrels?
In your talk at Columbia University last month, you and Warren Buffet both emphasized the importance of “curiosity” as a personal quality.
Do you believe curiosity is a trait that is naturally inherited or a trait that can be cultivated and strengthened? If the latter, what methods would you recommend for people to develop and stimulate their own curiosity?
What has been your favorite game to play on clueless gamer so far, and why?
This is probably only me, but I REALLY want to make a wrestling RPG.
Freddie, What's your favorite norman bates quote?
Vince Freshwater drum for me. I just think they're interesting and I love the thumping sounds they make. And they have gigantic inner ear bones, that can be determine the fish's age.
Lee Good answer, Vince, and did you know that those inner ear bones are called 'lucky stones' and are often washed up on beaches? Mine would have to be the white sucker. They make up a big part of food webs, and no one likes them. They're underdog or 'underfish' of limnology! More people have eaten white suckers than they think!
I say keep an open mind when filming wildlife. If you want to stand our from the crowd don't just think about what makes a beautiful shot aesthetically but what behaviour or feeling can I capture from filming that animal. In terms of getting into the business, again being open-minded. Having many strings to your bow and volunteering loads! It took me a good couple of years to get my first permanent job in wildlife filming. So in between all that work experience I worked on volunteer jobs in the field building up my field experience. As for squirrels, I hadn't given them much thought until this series as it showed them in a completely different light and I learnt new things myself. And so I kinda have a new respect for them and their intelligence. MG
Good question. I think having parents and teachers reinforce your curiosity and explain what they are fascinated with makes a big difference. A lot of people lose their curiosity as they get older which is a shame. One thing that helps nowadays is that if you get confused about something it is easier than ever to find an article or video to make things clear.
Witcher 3, because I got to have sex on a unicorn. When that game comes out in VR, you'll never see me again.
Can you smell what the (black and shiny) rock is cooking!?
Laughs Mother! The funeral scene when Norman is giving the eulogy, it perfectly encapsulates that dark humor...balanced with that heartbreaking insanity underneath it is. On the surface, it's all incredibly funny. --FH
That low guttural noise he makes. Whenever he gets close to a girl, he breathes and it comes out like a gurgle noise. That noise will always remind me of Norman Bates.--KE
Are you guys familiar with MrBtongues videos? He made one comparing New Vegas and Fallout 3 and talking about how creating an interconnected world where thought is put into the economy and politics of the world, how people get food and so on, makes the experience so much richer than just having a world where cool setpieces feel kind of randomly stitched together. He made another video about how choice and consequences is done right in games. He often uses your games as positive examples and his thoughts about game development seems to align pretty well with your own design philosophies.
What are your thoughs on his videos if you have seen them?
What do you think it is that makes Norman often so irresistible to women throughout the seasons of Bates Motel?
I have seen those videos and think they're very interesting, and that's all I'm gonna say about that.
A. He's really cute. B. He sees them. The women who have been drawn to him, they're all kind of emotionally damaged, and I think that he feels like this quiet, safe place for them. They feel emotionally safe with him, which is ironic, because he kills peoeple. - K
What are the limits of money when it comes to philanthropy?
How is the old time baseball league looking this year?
apologies if I've written this twice, new to Reddit .
Will we have Pirate sound tracks with the crew singing like on assassin's creed black flag?
Freddie - What was the hardest scene to shoot in season 4 ?
Philanthropy is small as a part of the overall economy so it can't do things like fund health care or education for everyone. Government and the private sector are the big players so philanthropy has to be more innovative and fund pilot programs to help the other sectors. A good example is funding new medicines or charter schools where non-obvious approaches might provide the best solution.
One thing that is a challenge for our Foundation is that poor countries often have weak governance - small budgets, and the people in the ministries don't have much training. This makes it harder to get things done.
If we had more money we could do more good things - even though we are the biggest foundation we are still resource limited.
Edit: We discuss this in our annual letter this year: www.gatesletter.com
Thanks for remembering my favorite remote of all time. Sometimes late at night I think about the young woman Nell and how we were supposed to be together but sadly we were born 150 years apart.
I don't believe Justin Bell, our composer, has any sea chanties planned -- but you never know. I will suggest it to him, as I actually think it's a great idea! Then again, what do I know, I clean toilets for a living.
The hardest scene in season 4 for me was when Norma died. It was so hard but I got violently ill and couldn't go to set- I'm CONVINCED its because I couldn't stand to go see it- K
I think some of the bigger moments with Dr. Edwards were challenging. For episode 10 Kerry and I chatted for a while about that one and tracked Norman through the entire episode to make sure everything lined up. It was an internal episode for Norman. - F
Did the locals in Mexico recognize you as Conando from Noches de Pasion Con Señor O'Brien?
Freddie, what was your experience working with Rihanna like? Love you, Freddie!
I will be 76 at that time. Hopefully a grandfather. The Foundation with its partners will have eradicated a number of diseases and health in poor countries will be a lot better - specifically instead of 5% of children under 5 dying it should be at 2.5% which is still a lot.
I hope I can still type fast enough to do Reddit sessions without someone transcribing for me.
I was surprised how many Mexicans were shouting my name through their car windows. I don't know if they knew who I was before, or were just reading coverage of my visit. I was recognized more there than any other country. Except Finland. Finland's weird.
Not this time, we decided to add a bunch of islands that Fulvano the explorer can discover, instead. It makes for a more varied adventuring experience.
Oh she was wonderful. It's hard to say too much without giving away what she gets up to in Bates Motel...but she was incredibly engaged, professional and always gave absolutely everything. She threw herself into the role and made her Marion Crane unique and special with arcs back to the original performance in Psycho, but she made the character her own.
What do you think is the most pressing issue that we could feasibly solve in the next ten years?
What are you going to do once your hair starts turning grey?
Kerry! How was you knew Freddie will be perfect to be Norman Bates!!?(:
Lee This is really important to us. We do research that no other place in the world can carry out, and so we want to share the results of this unique science with the fresh water community. We have shared our data with countless individuals and institutions over the years, and will always continue to do so.
If you're interested in our data, take a look at the following link, and also reach out directly to our researchers. https://www.iisd.org/ela/science-data/our-data/data-requests/
I started dyeing it when I was 15. So I'm way ahead of the curve. My true hair color is jet black, and my real name is Blaze Falcon (I'm just babbling now).
Carlton and I skyped with Freddie- he was the first person we talked to and met with. We loved him. But we thought we can;t just hire the first person we meet with! So we looked some more and read with some more people and it became increasingly clear at every point that he WAS Norman. he has very unique qualities that fit this role so well and we are so blessed and lucky to get him to do it. It would not be the same show without him. - K
There seems to be a lot of pushback on environmental issues from the municipalities, especially when it comes to lakeshore development in cottage country. Any suggestions?
Are there any animals you did not get to film for this documentary that you would have liked to?
Ok, Mr. Gates, what's a typical Bill sandwich consist of? I'm talking breads, meats, cheeses, condiments. if you could only have one sandwich on earth, what would it be?
How do you still trust Paul Rudd after all these years of Mac and Me clips?
It's like Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football. I believe in my heart one day he'll do the right thing.
I'm enjoying bacon rolls back in England. It's like a bacon/sausage roll. Circular roll, bread roll, with ketchup. I like pancakes, scrambled eggs. Marmite. --FH
If you could create a new IP and business with Elon Musk, what would you make happen?
What is the origin of the string dance?
Freddie, in your opinion, what is the best scene between Norma and Norman?
All three Here at IISD-ELA we do not support building walls.
I was doing it in the office for a few years and the writers dared me to do it on the air. The rest is history.
I think there are so many. One of my favorites is when he talks about moving to hawaii and sing Pearly Shells, knowing in the back of his head htat he's going ot trun the gas on. It's creepy and heartbreaking at the same time. Writing that scene I was thinking about if you hjad a kid and you knew something terrible was happening the next dayand you had to fkill them for their own good how would you do that? He had to think about how to put her to sleep peacefully and was so well done by Freddie and Vera. - K
In the first episode of this season when Norman comes home and they're at the dining room table and you get this sense of where their relationship is at, I feel that all the stories we've had are written with such nuance and and are never long but are done so well and so fun to play with Vera. It's really sad (not to be down about it!) that we won't working in a scene like that again. - F
Whats the most memorable moment you've ever had on your show?
I met my wife while filming a remote on my show. And that's interesting moment #28.
The most interesting moment was a cooking segment with Jerry Orbach.
There have been so many great songs in the show. Mr Sandman. Dream Lover. You belong to me. --FH and KE
Can you still jump over an office chair from a standing position?
Edit: Reference for those who need it.
Are you giving up comedy for a career in lucha libre?
Freddie, Kerry & Mother: What was the best part about filming in Vancouver?
Ken I would say Teggau Lake in NW Ontario, for sure. You have to canoe into it, it has First Nations pictographs and the water tastes awesome.
Vince Westhawk Lake in eastern Manitoba. Great scuba diving!
Lee Come and see Lake Winnipeg! It's the tenth largest fresh water lake in the world and it has surprisingly beautiful beaches. Seeing it first-hand can also help you understand the problems with eutrophication we are seeing in that area.
When you watch the segment tonight, you'll realize that even when I'm seriously trying to wrestle, I'm still doing comedy.
I really love Vancouver. It's beautiful. The crew was amazing. Inspirational crew. People who came back year after year. Everybody came back every year. A collective belief in what we were doing. Really inspiring.
I have to know.. I saw what you got your secret Santa this year and it was amazing but what did YOU end up receiving?
Edit: Helpful Redditors answered my question below so thank you!! Follow up---- what did you think of it and what would you suggest to get you, if I were lucky enough to pull your name this year?
Hey Conan, I'm allergic to penicillin, clindamycin, and sulfa-based antibiotics. What type of medicine would you recommend for my next infection?
Vince Not at all. We always identify everything right down to the genus ;)
Ken Actually, I did once see moose swimming across Lake Winnange. Not unidentified, but certainly unexpected!
You are very wise to ask me. I'm not a doctor. Next time you're not feeling well just bite into a glow stick and suck it down.
Carlton and I have always felt like we had to honor the material but not be beholden to it. To honor the essence of it and certain sensibilities but we didn't want to be bound to it. We wanted to create our own universe.--KE
Hi Mr. Gates!
Thanks for doing this AMA! You are doing a lot of work eradicating diseases like Polio. In fact you've said that the diseases malaria and polio could be eradicated within the next 15 years, with polio gone as soon as 2019. I'd like to know which other deadly diseases that you think could be either 100% curable affordably or gone completely by 2050?
And one more thing, you have said previously that you think AI can pose a serious threleat to humanity. I'd like to ask, apart from a killswitch, which other precautionary measures we could take to ensure that AI behaves well and doesn't wipe us out?,
Thanks a lot Mr. Gates!
What is your favorite flavor of Ice Cream?
Personally, I think he started to fall for her around episode 6 of the first season. When he went into his office later that season and tried to play ball with him on a criminal level and he slaps that down, at that point she already has a little pull on him. I think that's when they both allow themselves to see it. - K
Would you say the interactions between Norman and Norma are emotionally taxing for you? Especially in season 5, now that all of his interactions with Norma have this undercurrent of sadness to it, since it's all in his mind.
I think all bigger scenes (which there are lots in Bates Motel) are challenging. You put real emotions into them and in some ways acting should be seen as a form of therapy, it can be very cathartic. Like after a big cry, you feel better. I get to vent my anger in Bates Motel, and then in my real life I'm endlessly happy. I never stress about anything.
A 3? Nice. Okay I was definitely rating it as a 5. Woohoo! YAY MORE NATURE DOCUMENTARIES!
Did you copy Steve Jobs or did he copy you?
What are you talking about! Yes of course it does. Don't listen to Phil! MG
The main "copying" that went on relative to Steve and me is that we both benefited from the work that Xerox Parc did in creating graphical interface - it wasn't just them but they did the best work. Steve hired Bob Belville, I hired Charles Simonyi. We didn't violate any IP rights Xerox had but their work showed the way that led to the Mac and Windows.
Nopales. It's cactus with cheese on it. It instantly cured me of my 25 year impotence.
Maybe that could be a new rule when making a pizza with pineapple on it. That every bite must contain pineapple. I'd like that! To be honest I think another question could be does any type of seafood belong on a pizza? MG
Overall like Warren Buffett I am optimistic about the long run. I am concerned in the short run that the huge benefits of how the US works with other countries may get lost. This includes the aid we give to Africa to help countries there get out of the poverty trap.
Taking Jordan to Italy is already in the works. We're waiting until it's legal to bring a cyborg into a foreign country.
I'm going to become a father this summer. Do you have any advice you wouldn't mind sharing, from one dad to a dad-to-be?
Every spy creature produces results that is often surprising. Reactions can vary depending on the subject. But there is a pattern to how they react. We always deploy the spycreatures when the animals are not around, for example if they are away foraging. We then wait for them to return. First reaction is normally curiosity , they investigate it, make an assessment and realise it's not a threat and then they ignore it. Once they are happy and relaxed around the spycreature that's when we the magic happens. But I have to say the Caledonian crows did not seem too interested in Spy Crow, he was very much there as a passive observer. But he did look a bit scruffy compared to the real crows. PD
I just went on a trip with my 17 year old son to see 6 colleges. He is a junior in High School and trying to figure out where he should go. Trips like that have been a great way to spend time together. He reads even more about politics than I do so I let him pick books for me to read.
Melinda is very creative about helping me find chances to spend time with the kids. Even just driving them to school is a great time to talk to them.
Sandalwood and regret.
What are you listening to lately, favorite new album or something older I should check out?
Over time countries will be rich enough to do this. However we still have a lot of work that should be done - helping older people, helping kids with special needs, having more adults helping in education. Even the US isn't rich enough to allow people not to work. Some day we will be but until then things like the Earned Income Tax Credit will help increase the demand for labor.
My son really got me into 21 Pilots other than that my wife and I like to slow dance to John Grisham audio books.
Hi Bill and thanks for doing this. I recently read 2017 annual letter in response to Warren Buffet on the impact of his donation (2006) to your foundation, and the world it serves, and I thought the information you highlighted was incredibly powerful and insightful. For those of us that cannot start our own foundation, or even if we could, how do you recommend finding a cause worth fighting for? Clearly your access to information and resources has allowed you to isolate some of the world's larger problems and find those folks who can actually make a difference. But where did you start? (For those who haven't seen it- https://www.gatesnotes.com/2017-Annual-Letter?WT.mc_id=02_14_2017_02_AL2017GFO_GF-GFO_&WT.tsrc=GFGFO)
Lastly, can I ask for your opinion on the status of the world refugee crisis. I've seen a lot of information on both sides of the fence, but I think I lean towards the belief that charity/donations need go into these communities and the folks that relocate are often the top thinkers/earners that could truly change their home country if they stayed. Here is a rather oversimplified video that summarizes the basis of my thoughts, I'd love to hear your view on all of this. (Poverty/refugee by numbers- https://youtu.be/LPjzfGChGlE)
Thanks again for taking the time. You truly are a visionary, role model, and hero without a cape to many of us worldwide.
Hey Conan, what's the most difficult part about prepping for a show?
There are so many ways to get involved - schools have mentorship and volunteering opportunities. Small gifts to things like Donors Choose have a big impact. I think most people start getting involved in local social service organizations. If you can travel to developing countries and see the needs there that is also great. It is great to start philanthropy when you are young.
In the long run the way to avoid refugee problems is to help countries develop by having good health, education and governance - fortunately the overall trend is good despite huge setbacks like Syria, South Sudan and Somalia. Unicef has a lot of good information about how to help with the current refugee challenges: http://uni.cf/2ltdjfr
For a show like "Made in Mexico", we really wanted to make sure we struck the right balance between being funny, but also being culturally sensitive and attuned to how people were feeling there. We really did want the star to be the Mexican people, and I feel good about the result.
Bill, big fan but I've got a question and I need you to formally settle it.
Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Hi Conan! Thanks for consistently making me laugh out loud. What is your favorite cereal?
Good question. If you don't have a bun then it absolutely is not. If you slice the hot dog and put it on a normal piece of bread (like Burgermaster) then it is. When you use a hot dog bun then it is ambiguous.
It's a tie between Fruit Loops and Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries
Hey Conan, big fan.
How did you become friends with Jack White?
I am not sure if Steam here means the gaming platform or adding Arts to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. I have always been a big STEM fan but I have nothing against either STEAM.
True story: I met Jack and Meg in a bowling alley in Detroit in 1999 while shooting a remote. They were part of a group of people that came over and hung out. Later, they became famous and told me they were part of the group that were chatting and drinking beers all night. I totally lucked out. Since then, I just hang out in bowling alleys looking for future rock stars.
Hey, Mr. Gates! Was there any book that helped you through your career?
Does the superhero outfit still fit, and how often do you just wear it around the office?
I have recommended a book called Business Adventures that chronicles some big successes and failures - I learned a lot from that.
It does fit. I do not wear it at the office at all; I wear it at home, and to the gym at Venice beach.
Hi Conan. It's Riley, the intern that you yelled at the other day for eating too many almonds. My question: How much water does it take to produce a single almond?
Riley, I yelled at you because you exceeded my 'one almond an hour' rule. That wastes water (an almond takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce).
How many four year olds would you kill before they killed you?
I was in this scenario two years ago. I wounded one before nine of them took me down and ripped the flesh from my bones with their baby teeth.
Do you ever wish you were an animal instead of a human, and if so which one?
See my previous answer about the penis covered stegosaurus.
Because the bread is connected, and forms a "hinge" if you will, it falls under the "taco" classification. Ergo, hotdogs and tacos are not sandwiches. The pita, however, takes us into strange territory and demands further study.
This is a question for Conanando. I am a 30 year old Hispanic male, about to get married in sept of this year. Any solid suggestions for wedding vows?
If you're future wife is anything like mine she'll insist on taking out the part of the vows where you promise to honor and obey your husband. Try really hard to get that part back in.
Conan! Boston native here. I want to take my girl out for a real nice dinner to celebrate, anywhere in the Brookline/Boston/Quincy area. What do you suggest? If I can tell her I'm taking her somewhere (even if it's Taco Bell) because Conan Fucking O'Brien suggested it, she'd love it.
Go to Pino's Pizza in Cleveland Circle. There's only two tables but it's the only pizza my family and I eat. I've been going there since elementary school.
It's a tie between Jack White and Springsteen
Have you received any offers to play professional soccer after your incredible display with Gio Dos Santos?
Thanks for calling that an incredible display. The goal I scored was so incredibly fake that I felt bad for the goalie who had to pretend to miss a ball moving at 2mph.
Your remotes are probably my favorite thing you do. In the future, would you ever consider doing a travel show? I'd definitely watch that. Thanks for all the laughs.
Great idea. I'd love to do a travel show. In fact, I'm going to go shoot one in Mexico right now. It will air tonight at 10pm on TBS. Look for your name in the credits under "Idea By".
If you could turn into any vegetable at will, what would it be and why?
The Asparagus, because I could change the odor of your urine against your will.
All 45 US presidents engage to a fight to the death. Who makes it out alive?
Harry S. Truman. Do not screw with Harry S. Truman.
There has been a rise in antimicrobial resistance in recent years due to abuse and overuse of antibiotics. What do you think needs to be done to change this trend? Also, I have a degree in Microbiology and have been applying to state level Epidemiologist positions with no luck. Where should I find good entry level positions in this field that will help bolster my resume and make me a better candidate for these positions?
My father Dr. Thomas F. O'Brien who works at Brigham and Women's hospital in Boston has been working hard on this problem for decades. He's the smartest guy I know. He and his team have been working hard on this serious issue for a long time.
I don't think I've been very secretive about it. If I cold mate with The Fly, I would.
Hi Conan, my left pinky finger has been twitching since midnight and seems to have moved to my buttocks. Any tips?
Without intimate photos it's hard to say. I'll send you some.
Is there ever going to be a beard reprise? I wouldn't be mad about it...
I got a complete 50/50 response on the beard. Half the people loved it, half the people hated it. Since it was my kids who hated it, it had to go. Don't fear, I still keep it in the attic with my wedding dress.
Hi Conan, I've brought a puppet to your studio audience a few times, but the last time Jeff Ross sternly requested I keep it down during the show. Why does Jeff Ross hate puppets?
Jeff Ross was molested by a puppet in 1958. When he testified in court he had to point to a human to show where the puppet touched him.
Hi Conan! Did the trip improve your Spanish? Any new words or phrases you'd love to share?
I honestly think my accent for stronger, and I think if I lived in Mexico City for a while I would get better much faster. My favorite phrase is on the back of a jacket someone gave me; it's "México es Chingón".
Do you have to adjust your comedy routine when traveling to a different country (in this case, Mexico) or is comedic timing universal?
Thank you and looking forward to tonight's episode!
That's a great question. What surprised me the most is how little I have to adjust. Especially in Mexico. The Mexican people are really funny and sharp, and they always got the joke instantly - and they weren't afraid to give me a hard time. I'm very comfortable being the underdog when I do remotes, and all the Mexican people I encountered were great and generous improvisors.
Hey Conan, would you rather have a vagina on your forehead or have a row of penises down your back like a stegosaurus?
Ah, the old classic question. I've always been a penis stegosaurus guy.
Wow. Your friendly, casual demeanor cracked through my cold emotionless exterior. The answer is no. Bud's not okay.
The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara
In 2015, The Masturbating Bear died of autoerotic asphyxiation alone in a Motel 6 in Flagstaff, AZ. He was buried with full military honors.
Yes, Bill Tull is exactly like that.
Still no curtains. My dad says it happens for guys at different times.
Do you have any particularly vivid memory of your time at Brookline High School? Warriors rule
My favorite moment was when I threw the big pass that won the game. Or maybe that was Jimmy Hennessey.
Seriously, I went back to Brookline High School about 15 years ago, and it was so much nicer then when I was there. They actually had a sushi bar (not kidding). I felt like I had gone to high school during the Great Depression.
I'm from Boston, and a huge Patriots fan. We had to edit out all the times I tried to kiss him.
Conan, in 40 years time after you stop doing your show, would u consider doing conan travels as a netflix show?
in 40 years time we'll all be brains in jars connected to a giant server. But yes, my brain will travel the world.
Do you plan on traveling all over the world with the Conan Show ?
I'd like to keep this going as long as I can. It's really fun, and at this stage in my career it feels like something new and exciting. I've always loved my job, but the one downside is being in the studio every day. The chance to travel and try my comedy out on people who speak different languages is a great joy.
"Conan: Made in Mexico" (which airs tonight at 10pm on TBS). Aside from that, season two of One Tree Hill. When Peyton hit bottom, I thought my life was over.
Thank you for taking your show to Mexico for your travel special. I love the country!
Of the places you visited, what was your favorite? Would you go back to do another episode or for a vacation? What the tastiest meal you had? What is Diego Luna like?
I went to the Trotsky museum; it's the house where Leon Trotsky was murdered with an ice pick. I think it's safe to say that I'm the only late night host to ever go there.
What was it like to speak to former president Vicente Fox and did you take away anything that you weren't expecting from your trip to Mexico?
President Vicente Fox was very funny, and although he was talking about a serious issue, he came prepared almost like a comedian. He entirely caught the spirit of what we were trying to do, and he's a big part of the show.
I have some great leather "F The Wall" boots from President Vicente Fox, a "México es Chingón" jacket, and a Trostsky keychain.
I think it's time to tell people that yes, we are dating.
Hey Conan! I imagine you're a busy guy, but did you ever finally get to meet Forss Fagerstrom?
No, I did not. It's one of the great disappointments of my life.
If your really conan then, what's something only he would know?
I have a scar from an appendectomy on my lower right abdomen. I have three cats named Thor, Maow and Cleo and the only one I like is Thor. My ATM Pin is 1494.
Liam Cartwright. He played tenor sax with the group, but left for better things in '58.
Hello Conester, I've been to Mexico many times and it's one of my favorite countries to visit. When you were there, were people really hesitant about Americans?
Absolutely not. The Mexican people were warm, friendly and eager to participate in the show. We spent a week there. I met thousands of people and I never felt the slightest hint of trepidation or hostility.
How is Mike Sweeney still alive? What sort of superfood do you feed him?
Don't make fun of Mike Sweeney - he served our country valiantly during the Korean war. We give Mike Sweeney the same hormones they inject into old Redwoods. Currently there's a branch growing out between his shoulder blades.