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"Conan's" Brian Stack talks sketch writing

Conan writer Brian Stack, via

In 1997, after Conan writer Brian Stack graduated from the stages of Second City, he joined NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He has remained aboard Big Red’s ship ever since. Upon weathering the now-famous Tonight Show storm in early 2010, O’Brien and his crew landed at their current home on TBS.

Recently, Stack (who’s mostly behind-the-scenes but also pops up on-camera in the guise of various characters) spoke with the Onion A.V. Club for its series Expert Witness, in which entertainment sausage makers talk about the manufacturing process. Here he is on the evolution of his character “The Interrupter.”

“Conan would often joke around when we’d be pitching middle-of-the-show sketches that a lot of them involved him being interrupted. Like with a prospector: [High-pitched voice.] “Gold!” He’d be in the middle of a sentence and a character would just pop out of the audience or pop into the door. So one of our writers, Michael Koman, who was the co-creator of Eagleheart and is one of my good friends, had the idea for me to be this character called The Interrupter where we would just hit the nail on the head. This is a guy who isn’t just interrupting the show, but that’s his sole purpose.”

For the whole interview, go to