Carlinville native appears on ‘Conan’
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2018) – Local late-night television viewers may have noticed a familiar face last week, as 2010 Carlinville High School graduate David Hopping was featured in a segment of Conan on TBS on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
The segment focused on host Conan O’Brien finding someone to take his place in the event something were to happen to him. That someone, at least for the purposes of the skit, was Hopping, who serves as a production assistant on the show.
“I’m a personal production assistant to Conan O’Brien and Jeff Ross, the executive producer of the show,” said Hopping. “I help them out with anything they need, whether it’s show related or personal tasks. I work with both of their assistants to help make their day run more smoothly. I cover their desks when needed, run errands, etc. A few weeks ago, I was approached by two writers from the show. They explained the premise of the sketch and asked if I was interested. I instantly said I was, and we filmed it two days later.”
“Shooting the entire segment was a lot of fun,” he said. “There was no script, so I just had to react to whatever Conan said or had me do. I think my favorite part was everyone’s reaction when I walked out in the wig and suit. It took several staff members a bit to realize who I was at first.”
Hopping went to college at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, pursuing a degree in mass communications with a focus on television and radio. He visited Los Angeles the summer after his junior year of college for a development internship at a reality show company called Lighthearted Entertainment, then went back to SIUE to graduate before moving back out to Los Angeles for an internship at Conan in the summer of 2014. After the internship, he was hired as a tour guide on the Warner Brothers lot, where Conan films. In May 2016, he found out there was an opening for his current position, interviewed, and has been working on the show ever since. “I’ve always known I wanted to work on a talk show, specifically late night,” he said. “My long term goal out here would be to work as a segment producer on a late night show.”
He added, “I’ve been a huge fan of Conan for a long time now, and sometimes still can’t believe I now know him and have the opportunity to work on the show. Conan is great to work for. He’s really nice and constantly funny, both on camera and off, which makes it a fun environment to work in.”
Hopping said he has received some unexpected attention since the skit. “The day after the segment aired, I saw there was an article in the Hollywood Reporter about the segment, with a picture of me and Conan in it. That was such a surreal feeling. I was at a sitcom taping on the Warner Brothers lot this past Friday, and had someone recognize me for the first time. It’s been a lot of fun seeing everyone’s reaction from Carlinville and how excited everyone is.”
To view the segment, visit youtube.com/watch?v=mEZXJcQmbqU.