Team Coco Presents The Set Up

There’s a new episode of “The Set Up” from Team Coco Originals, and it’s the 12th in an ongoing series, so a great time as any to check in with the webseries in which J.P. Buck, the longtime comedy booker and producer for CONAN, sits down with stand-up comedians to revisit their first or most impressionable performances on the late-night show over its first decade on the air with TBS.

Beth Stelling kicks off the webseries, feeling extra critical of her younger comedic self in retrospect, and reminisces about meeting Kevin Nealon and Ben Stiller that day. Team Coco went on to produce Stelling’s stellar HBO Max special last year, Girl Daddy!

Daniel Sloss was unknown in America before appearing on Conan, and still cannot believe he got away with telling an abortion joke on American TV.

Solomon Georgio critiqued a Founding Father, attacked the Disney corporation, and forgot a joke in his first CONAN set. And still crushed!

When Dulcé Sloan got a call from J.P. Buck in 2015, she had no idea he was the comedy producer/booker for CONAN. “No clue. I’m a ding-dong!” Plus: Dulcé gives a shoutout to CONAN’s hairdresser and stage manager.

Jena Friedman‘s second set on Conan was so dark she didn’t think it’d ever air on late-night, talking about murder shows on Netflix, and oh, how to add a last-minute tag about Jeffrey Epstein.

Conan specifically requested Tig Notaro to perform on CONAN in 2011. Notaro came up with the idea of closing with a bit using the stool. But which stool would do the trick? That’s a whole nother story.

In the post-mortem after Ron Funches‘s first CONAN appearance, which went long by a minute and a half, Conan insisted on keeping Ron’s full set in the show. “You’re not touching that set. Pull one of my monologue jokes.”

Pete Holmes rewatches and rehashes his first CONAN set, where one of his premises came from John Mulaney making fun of him on tour. It also shows just how long ago it was that smartphones felt new.

Conan superfan Nikki Glaser talks with J.P. about different opening jokes, and she shares the line from her set that she got from the late Harris Wittels. And more of her Jen Aniston impersonation!

Vir Das reflects on doing his Apu joke in front of Hank Azaria, feeling short standing next to Conan, and explains how this set redeemed him after starring in a disastrous Bollywood movie.

Shane Torres on building his entire set around Guy Fieri. “I always wanted to tell jokes that nobody else could tell.” We also learn how he learned he needed to change one part of this bit since then.

“Robin Williams watched Jay Larson‘s wrong number joke five times and told him it was one of the best jokes he’s ever seen.” It’s the most-viewed set on Team Coco’s YouTube channel. Larson remembers how he almost messed up the story at the beginning, and clues us in on the amazing reality behind the phone calls. Someone also accused Larson of stealing this bit. But from whom???

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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