As the only black writer Conan O’Brien has ever hired for one of his talk shows, Deon Cole holds a unique position in the “Conan” writing room. “You’ve got the whitest guys in America, from Boston, Harvard-educated, and they’re kicking it with a black guy from the South Side of Chicago — and we’re all friends,” Cole says. The stand-up comic frequently appears on-air, usually to deliver a rant from a perspective that — on “Conan,” at least — is uniquely his.
You covered the Republican National Convention for “Conan” and were kicked out by the Secret Service.
The Secret Service said that we crossed the line when we went onstage. They detained us in an area outside with barbed-wire gates. Two people for the rest of my life I’m not going to mess with: ninjas and Secret Service.
You also performed in a comedy showcase that week featuring Republicans doing stand-up.
I was one of the only blacks and the only Democrat in the building. So I went up there and was like, “OK, something’s different about me.”
What kind of boss is Conan?
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Conan was in the hallways one day and he started shouting: “I want to let you know that I am very happy, everyone is happy.” He jumps on his desk and starts playing his guitar … and runs out. I was just like, “That’s my boss. I work for that dude. That guy is responsible for my kid going to college.”