Conan O’Brien Vows to Solve Infamous Lizzie Borden Case
Devitt, a Westport native and 2005 graduate of Westport High, has always had a love and knack for journalism and local history. I know this because I’ve been friends with him since Westport Elementary School. For as long as I’ve known him, Devitt has been the biggest Conan O’Brien fan – not only of his comedy, but also his positive personality and his work ethic.
"I've been a huge fan of Conan since I was a kid,” Devitt said. “I started watching his late night show in middle school and would stay up late every night to watch it. He has really shaped and had a huge influence on the person I am today, so to get the chance to talk to him for 20 minutes was beyond my wildest dreams. It was a lot of fun.”
The Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast comes out twice a week, every Monday and Thursday, featuring O'Brien alongside his co-host and assistant Sona Movsesian and producer Matt Gourley. Normally, O’Brien has celebrity guest appearances, but now he interviews his fans as well.
How Phil Devitt Was Selected to Be on Conan's Podcast
“I threw my name into consideration via his website,” Devitt said. “I filled out a form and never thought I'd be picked, but apparently they liked me enough that a couple of days later his team got in touch with me for a pre-interview via Zoom. Two days later, the producer emailed me and said 'We'd love to have you on the podcast,' and a week after that I was sitting face to face with Conan.”
A Pleasant Wake-Up Surprise
Since the show was pre-recorded, Devitt was clueless as to when he’d be hitting the massive following of O’Brien’s social media platforms, but was awoke today to a pleasant surprise.
“It's been a bizarre day, because I knew the episode was coming out but didn't know when,” Devitt explained. “I woke up to the podcast episode released and immediately I started getting nothing but positive messages and support from fans of Conan’s podcast.”
How Phil Devitt Felt Talking to Conan O'Brien
"You can't help but be positive when it comes to Conan. Our conversation was his own casual style where he can find the humor in every situation very quickly,” Devitt said. “He doesn't need a team of writers begging him to come up with witty observations. I was happy be the object of some of his jokes. That's just how he relates to people, it's all good natured. It felt like I was talking to a friend of mine.
"As nervous as it was to be on the call, it all went away the second we started talking, because it felt like I knew him my entire life, because in fact I did by watching him on TV," Devitt said.
Talking Lizzie Borden With Conan
Devitt had no idea where the direction of the conversation was going to go or where it was going to begin. When he initially filled out the form on the website to apply, he talked about journalism and officiating weddings and other hobbies that he enjoys.
“The Lizzie Borden house was part of that application process that I included, but I never got any indication that we were only going to talk about that specific subject,” Devitt said. “When I told him I lived in Fall River, he immediately knew 'Oh, Lizzie Borden,' and form there it was a real treat to inform that I actually work at the Lizzie Borden House as a tour guide. He’s a huge murder buff so from there on out it was off to the races.”
A Birthday Gift to Remember
With New Year's baby Devitt celebrating a birthday only a few days prior, this was surely a gift he’ll never forget.
“I was sitting there looking at the Zoom screen watching him talk like I always do on TV, but then I had to remind myself that he's actually talking to me so I needed to actually engage in the conversation,” Devitt said. “The whole thing was so surreal and a great joy.”
Hear Phil Devitt Talking Lizzie Borden With Conan O'Brien
You can listen to the Phil talk with Conan on the episode entitled "Skull Soup."