Fisher Stevens on... Conan O'Brien

Conan O’Brien 12/11/97
Host: Conan O’Brien (CO)
Co-Host: Andy Richter (AR)
Guests: Fisher Stevens (FS), Todd Barry (a comedian)

CO: My next guest this evening has appeared in numerous films including “Bob Roberts” and “Super Mario Brothers.” Currently you can see him on the CBS Television series, Early Edition. Please welcome Mister Fisher Stevens.

{Fisher appears in 4-pc suit, sporting a pair of glasses. Handshake for Andy, Todd, and Conan}

CO: How have you been, my friend?

FS: I’ve been excellent.

CO: Yeah?

FS: Yeah. In a lot of airplanes, flying back and forth from Chicago.

CO: You also, you travel a good deal. Remember last time you were on the show, you said you love to go to exotic places. You travel more than most people I know.

FS: I have a bit of a traveling addiction, and, ah, yeah. I went to, ah, Bali this summer, and, ah, went, ah, everybody says Bali...

CO: That’s supposed to be beautiful.

FS: It’s gorgeous. But I arrived in the south, and there were tons of surfers, and Australians drinkin’ beer, so we decided to go up north and, ah, I was with a friend of mine, Alona, and, ah, you know. I had read in a guide book, that, ah, “Lonely Planet Guide,” that cockfight, cockfighting is a big, big pastime in Indonesia. There’s a lot of betting, and it’s a very exciting thing - “don’t miss the cockfights,” so, I, ah, rented a jeep, ah, a stick-shift, didn’t know how to drive it, drove right into a ditch, and, ah, found....

CO: Didn’t you, I mean, you *knew* you didn’t know how to drive a stick shift when you got into the jeep, right?

FS: Yeah, yeah. I thought Alona was gonna - she’s from L.A., she’s like, but no, she couldn’t drive it, so ah, I got a quick lesson from the rent-a-car place and it didn’t go too well.

CO: Sounds like a good lesson.

FS: I was like, “Dudes, just relax - it’ll be fine.” No - it was a disaster. So I hired a guide, and ah, one of the first things I said was I really would love to see a cockfight. It’s a big thing. He says, “Oh, no problem, no problem, sir.” So, ah, four days we’re driving around looking for cockfights - there’s no cockfights. And finally, we’re on this long road, and, ah, he says “Cock!” and I go, “What?” He goes, “There! Follow that!” I’m like, “let’s go!” We see these two little gangster guys in sunglasses like {imitating the sound of a moped} “rrrrrrr” with this, this burlap sack, and I go “In there?” He goes, “Yes.” And so I said, “Follow that cock, follow that cock!” So we get into the van, we’re starting to drive, and we’re like tearing after this little ah, this little moped and these two gangsters...

CO: Uh-huh.

FS: And, ah, they pull over to get a coke. And I buy ‘em, like, cokes, and they say, “Yes, yes, you want to see?”

“Yes.” So, they take us to this cockfight, and it was like an arena, like “Ben Hur,” like thousands of people in this, ah, in this, under a canopy.

CO: Right.

FS: Umm, actually, ah, betting. And there were, you know, all these cockfights. And, ah, he’s like, “This is a very good cock. Don’t worry about it.” I’m like, “Alright. Great.” So, ah, my friend at the time, who is a woman, was allowed in, and she actually sat there, and all the men are like looking at her - she’s the only woman inside the arena.

CO: They probably don’t like women to be in on these things, right?

FS: No, they don’t. You know, it’s a very sexist society, Indonesia. I don’t know if you’ve been there, but, ah...

CO: No, no. Never been there. No.

FS: Ok. Someday, I’ll tell you more stories. But anyway, so, ah, we get in there and, ah, it’s, it’s unbelievable. It’s like prehist- it’s primitive, and they’re screaming, and throwing money, and they’re having these cockfights. And I had a little Sony, ah, digital camera with a screen, and it was so crowded, that I’d hold it up, and I had all these people looking at my, I was like, you know, Roone Arledge {chairman of ABC News} or something, and I was like looking...

CO: People could see on your screen what was going on.

FS: On my video, what was going on inside of the cockfight. And, ah, so finally, my...

CO: Did you make money off this?

FS: Well, my guy, ah, he, he’s like, it was his turn, and I, ah, he’s like, “Bet,” so I bet like thirty dollars, and he takes out the smallest, most rinky-dink cock I’ve ever seen. Takes it out, and I’m like, “Oh, no! I bet all this money,” he’s like, “No problem, no problem.” And I look at this thing, and in three seconds my, our cock was dead. And I lost it all.

CO: Many stories end that way, yeah. The ah, the... Now, what, were you worried at all about, were, were you at all worried about the, as I think some people would be, like the whole cruelty to animals aspect? Does that bother you?

FS: Yeah, well, that was actually, Alona was in shock. You know, they put spikes, they, it was really horrifying, actually.

CO: They put spikes on the birds?

FS: Yeah, yeah.

CO: I call them birds.

FS: But Conan...

CO: Which makes my story much less interesting, yeah. {in a high voice,} “Oh, look at the boid”

FS: Yeah, yeah.

CO: {in a low voice,} “It’s not a bird, it’s a cock!”

FS: “It’s a cock, Conan.” Anyway, ah, yeah, they {laughing} Andy, you know what I’m talking about.

AR: Well, I’ve been suppressing this the whole time.

CO: Come on.

AR: {girlishly} Hee, hee, hee, hee...

CO: Yeah. Yeah. I was gonna let it go for as long as possible you know...

FS: You know...

CO: I thought for a while, let’s just let it go, let’s be adults here.

FS: Yeah, but it’s difficult.

CO: Well, you know, yeah.

AR: Wrong show for that, buddy.

CO: Yeah.

FS: Actually, I had a, I had a pet tortoise.

CO: Uh-huh.

FS: Yeah, it was a put-, a red-, it was called a red-foot tortoise, and I named him Robert Redford.

CO: Mm-hmm.

FS: Umm, and, ah, when I was a kid and, ah, living in New York, I used to travel to see my father in Chicago, and I, ah, I remember having a down jacket and putting the tortoise in my jacket, and buying a ticket, going on the airplane, and I had fallen asleep on the airplane, and I woke up to {screams} “Aaaaahhhh!” this scream of terror, and I look, and I see my tortoise is walking down the aisle of the airplane, leaving droppings everywhere it goes. And they’re like, “Will the person...”

CO: Just leaving a gift for everyone wherever he goes.

FS: Yeah, so they were like, “Please claim you tortoise, whosoever tortoise it is,” but I *do* love animals.

CO: That’s embarrassing to have to be the one that’s like, “It’s my tortoise,” and to run down there and “Sorry, everybody.”

FS: And pick it up, and pick up the...

CO: And pick up everything else, too, I would think.

FS: Right, right. It was pretty horrifying.

CO: Well, ah, Early Edition is Saturday’s at 9 o’clock on CBS, and...

FS: Yeah, yeah. I fall in love with a Rabbi next week.

CO: On the show?

FS: Yeah, yeah.

CO: Alright.

FS: His name is Alfred, and, ah - no, it’s ah, this woman, Ellen Goodman {portrayed by Karen Fineman}, ah, she, ah...

CO: Oh, it’s a *woman* Rabbi?

FS: Yeah, just kidding, it *is* a woman Rabbi.

CO: Ok. I was gonna say, “Wow! CBS!”

FS: “Rad! Yeah!”

CO: CBS is really trying hard to change it’s image.

FS: Yeah.

CO: “Tune in to CBS! Alright!” Look for that show. It’s Early Edition. Thanks a lot, Fisher Stevens.

FS: Thanks, buddy.

CO: I appreciate it. We’ll be right back.

FS: {waving at audience} Hi, Dudes!

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