Loyal CIC fans, company members, and blog readers may remember this little gem:
Months ago we set out on a mission to get Conan an award for enduring such a snub and having the presentation of the award coincide with Snubfest. Our goal was to get him to judge, just because we love him and we wanted him to know. Plus, how cool would that be? We tried every Chicago connection to Consie we had. Everyone was as helpful as possible, but this was the most feedback we received: "I'm sure if Conan were going to be in Chicago during your festival, he would love to accept the award. But I don't know what his schedule will be." Leaving us to ponder..."Wait...schedule?"
Lo and behold, Conan announced his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television tour several weeks later. We booked the final two tickets for the last Chicago show (probably) and then we said, "I guess we should think about making an actual award now."
Thanks to Nathan Petts and Cynthia Shur, we had this beauty:
A beautiful, golden, Snubfest statuette. Accompanying the statuette was a certificate of appreciation and an explanation of the thing so Conan wouldn't think we were just flipping him off.
(Side note: This thing was in my possession for several days before the show. I was carrying it back to my car on Monday night when I was stopped by a cop writing a ticket. "Is this your car?" he asked. "Nope, " I said, as I slyly flashed the award. I strategically placed it in my window each morning before work. Something for the neighbors as, it truly was, a glory to behold.)
I was sure security would take it from me when they checked my bag, but the guy at the door seemed to have little issue with it. He even fondled it. Good stuff.
We walked to our seats, which were ridiculous. Please look:
As I said to Lina in a text message upon entering the theater, "Shut the fuck up at how close we are!"
The Coco fans were out and proud and there were no less than six opportunities for us to grab his attention with the award. All of which were missed by mere nanoseconds. Angie even came across his executive producer by the stage door. Andy Richter panned the crowd with a camera for Conan groupies and put them on the big screen.
Angie was equipped with my digital camera because I knew, if he saw the thing, he'd comment on it.
The dream: Conan sees the statue. "Are you flipping me off?"
"What the hell is that thing? Get up here"
I go onstage and am asked to read the explanation of the award. My friends in the balcony piss themselves, I faint, then piss myself, Conan carries me gingerly (pun intended) back to my seat and thanks Angie for the award and promises to follow CIC on twitter. I see all of the video footage once I come around.
The first version of the dream did not happen.
Conan did an encore and it was glorious.
Our keen and perceptive eyes caught a security guard jump down from the stage. He stood in the aisle, not a foot from me. Angie says, "Why's the security guard standing there?"
My response: "Exactly what I was thinking."
This was our moment.
Conan walked down the stairs towards the aisle. My heart was pounding out of my chest. If you don't understand my love and adoration for this man, I will have to explain later. Just to let you know, it's somewhat ridiculous. He was coming towards me, holding his guitar. I held out the award and the only word I could think of at the time was "Conan!" (Idiot.)
He looked down for a brief moment and there was a look on his face of "What? Are you flipping me off?" Then his expression lightened. He touched the bottom of the award, but was high fiving so many people up the aisle, that he didn't have a second to grab it. If I'd known it was going to be that type of a situation, I would have offered my own hand instead. Nevertheless, he took off towards the balcony and gave out hugs like a maniac, pleasing the screaming fans. Then he came back down a different aisle, took the stage, which was rushed by me and other screaming chicks.
A security guard tried to push me back. I said, "I don't want to go onstage. I just want to give him this!"
"Will you please give this to him?"
Show over. Dream #1...didn't come true.
At the stage door, I was in a prime spot for a photo-op if he chose to come out for a meet and greet. Angie's keen eyes landed on someone with a laminate. She starting talking with him while I waited. She called me over because he was actually someone important. My spot in the front was filled by other fans. It was worth the sacrifice.
The man Angie had met was friends with the executive producer that she'd seen pacing by the stage door before she show. He told us that Conan was exactly what you would expect him to be and that he would help us get the award to Jeff, the exec pro. If that didn't work, this lovely man was going to personally see to it that Conan received it later. We exchanged contact info. He was amazing. He took off backstage to see if he could find his friend.
Dream #2-- This lovely man comes back to us and says, "I've told Jeff and Conan about the award. Conan would like to meet you both. Please follow me backstage."
Fifteen minutes later, he came out and said, "Where are my girls?"
Angie and I perked up immediately. He walked over and said, "Let me see this thing. He's getting it right now!"
He rushed through the crowd with our award in hand. Meanwhile, La Bamba came out for autographs:
I thought there was no way Conan would approach this crowd. They were pretty tame for the moment, but I was sure his presence would send them into a frenzy. All we needed was confirmation he received the award.
Ten minutes later, our new friend came by to tell us he got it and he loved it. Great, so let's leave...right?
Wrong. Conan O'Brien, at least while in Chicago, does post-show meet and greets. We were too far back to get anything signed but check it:
Dream #3- Conan tweets about his prestigious award. Fingers crossed.
I'm seeing him again in Atlanta. It's the final night of the tour. Rest assured, I will be front and center for that meet and greet and I will mention CIC's tribute to him. Keep the dream alive, folks!