Conan Twitter Tracker: An exclusive chat with Freckles
In Part 4 of our investigation, "The Truth Behind Freckles, Beard and Squirrel," we spend quality time via IM with @ConansFreckles, all 70 billion of them.
Freckles has been communicating with Show Tracker from the beginning of time. Or rather, since Feb. 28 when we first noticed them on Twitter. Warning: this exclusive conversation gets a little spotty, what with 70 billion participants and all.
We're here, we're freckled, and we're not going anywhere.
How many freckles are there?
Well, approximately 70,000,000,000 (that's 70 billion), but it fluctuates. You know, with the Sun, or defectors and such. And NONE of us have ever been on AIM! Whee!
Nice to meet you, too! Frieda is especially thrilled.
She's a fan.
Do they all have names?
Yes, once they're a full freckle.
Thanks, Frieda. Here's my autograph. (At this point we added a lot of happy faces).
That's -- what? OK, Frieda, I'll let you talk --YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! THANKS!!!!!! She gets excited.
It's my impression that all of you want to remain relatively anonymous?
Yes, we do. I mean, first names is OK -- Frieda et al -- but yes.
We're so thrilled to be talking to the LA Times. LA is the land of the Sun!
Yes. Dangerous for freckles.
Well, Coco takes care of us. He uses SPF 1,000.SPF stands for Sexy Power Freckles, by the way.
Ok, let's start at the beginning.
Yes, the beginning. Shoot!What made you start tweeting?
Well, we freckles are easygoing but shy types. But when we saw Conan's Squirrel's first tweet, and then that Sharpie (he was SHARP! Almost injured Fredonia) getting into the action too, some of us were just inspired to pipe up.
I didn't realize Sharpie was up before y'all.
We thought of something to say, so we just said to ourselves, heck (we're kind of old-fashioned), why not get out there and be heard! Read! Whatever!It's very important to express yourself.
Yes, it is! Wow this AIM thing is like crossing letters in the amil! It's like rubbing one's freckled tummy while patting one's head! Cool!Yes, it takes getting used to!
Ah! Well, you might be right about the chronology.
I honestly have no idea. Lost track. Too many of you.Yes. We have Frodo, Fritzy, Franny and Frau Blucher on the keys, but it's still hard to keep up.
Does it surprise you that so many of us thought Team Coco was behind all these accounts?
Yes! I mean, gee! We were so surprised and pleased and embarrassed, you could hardly see us for a little bit for all the blushing. Frankly, we were a little fraught (a favorite Freckle word) with a tiny bit of distress, because some folks online seemed to think it was a fraud (NOT a Freckle-condoned word at ALL). Not at all. But we're flattered that people might even for a second have thought so. See, we're just FRECKLES. Conan is the star. We're just the crew. After all, Coco's Brain is the brains of the outfit. We're just -- well, it's Coco's world. We just speckle in it. We're delighted, though! although all this attention HAS gone a bit to Fred's head. If freckles have a head.
How is Fred acting?
He's taken to singing every time Coco tweets, and occasionally jumps ship. He wanted to join the Away Team that was behind that wonderful 'Coco FTW' hand-design on the fan who posed with the dreaded Chin. (It WASN'T Sharpie-related. Ah, these rumors. It was a freckle Away Team.) But we wouldn't let Fred join in on the mission. He gets all wild and drunk and stuff. No good for morale. But we manage! After all, there's a lot of us to watch over him. Most of the time.Do you guys drink a lot?
Not really. Occasionally we get into the melanin stashes, but that's just par for the course. We're freckles.
Why do you guys tweet? What do you get out of it?
Why do we tweet? Why is the sky blue? Why do Sharpies write? I don't know. It's just that je-ne-sais-quois of life, I guess. (That was Francois talking. Francois let it get to his head that a nice fan pointed out that 'freckles' in French is 'taches de rousseur [I think]. He's been a bit insufferable since then). Freckles love tickling people, since we never get to really do that in real life. (we don't itch). So we do it on Twitter!Where do you live? Do you guys have a job?
We all live in Chicago for now. Chicago is a down-home kinda town, where Freckles can live and breathe and jam out and stuff. We all have different kinds of jobs..some of us work, some of us do various odd jobs, some of us jam out (freckles can be very musical).
I"m sure! Because there's so many of us.I mean, *we're* sure. For reals though, what would you like to ask of 'ME'?Do you want to tell me a little bit about yourself?
I think I want to retain a little mystery in it all... Just curious, how much did 'Beard' reveal? Some of us freckles are fresh as a new flower and some have been around a while.
What made you want to do this?
For real, I saw Squirrel's tweet, thought of some snarky comment or two, and started the account. I love snarky humor and enjoyed creating a silly account like that, and doing the one-liner-type responses to what Conan would tweet. It's a playful, fun thing that just, I dunno... I just felt like it!
Did you realize at the time that Squirrel was a fan account? Or did you think Team Coco was behind it?
I never thought it was Coco. I read @ConansSquirrel's tweet and thought, Ha, good one! I *loved* his/her/its first tweet, "Finally landed that interview". And I guess I 'got' the idea of creatively riffing off of someone else's comedy... after all, I live in the Second City, right?
In Second City (I don't work with them or anything but I've seen them once or twice, and of course we all know "Saturday Night Live" has a lot of Second City alums). They have a motto or whatever called "Yes AND" (or, "yes, and", whatever). Meaning, someone does something on stage, and you take it and run with it. You don't COUNTER it, you 'accept' it and go with it.
So the idea of improv is familiar and natural to me, and I recognized Squirrel's riffing as someone having fun with and being creative with what Conan had said. I found it hilarious to read on -- was it your blog? - someone saying that Squirrel MUST be Conan bc he/she/it consistendly answered within one to six minutes. The idea that the only way something witty could be said in reply to Conan's tweets would be if it was SET UP beforeheand, is--sad? Funny? I mean, as brilliant as Squirrel's tweets are (and he's quick, he is... well, after all, he's a squirrel), and as funny as the rest of the crew are (*humble blush*) at times, think of it -- on stage, Second City, and Improv Olympics and Upright Citizens Brigade and lots of other improv groups -- well, they reply/respond within less than six seconds!!Well, I am very impressed by the creativity of the fans behind it all.
Well that is a great compliment!!!! Thanks! 98.7% of us are blushing!
Did it surprise you that so many people thought the same thing and are now surprised that fans are doing this?Yes, again I thought improv is something that -- well, it's not an unfamiliar concept or anything. So the idea that it HAD to be Coco and crew, because of 'swift replies', is funny.
We freckles were frankly a bit miffed -- even though we have no clue who Squirrel is -- that that misleading and hilariously 'certain' f-wire article said they found Squirrel's high follower count 'inexplicable'. One, he had a head start in getting followers, and two, we all find him very funny - and quick (again, *squirrel*, we know).
What's great is that the humor complements his.Yes, the humor complements his. That's what improv is about, really. But again, what a compliment that people might have even thought for a sec that WE were The man!
So how much time in your day is dedicated to this?Well, sometimes a bit too much heh (housework is suffering, even the HouseFreckles are getting in the action, giggling, 'stead of washing dishes and such), but see I'm on the "L" and buses a fair amount, and our cell can do SOME twitter functions - like tweet -- so, we do that instead of reading RedEye or whatnot. I meant WE are on the "L" and buses.
Do you stay on top of what all the Conan pals are tweeting or just Conan?
All! Of the Big 7, anyway. A
Name the Big 7: Freckles, Beard, Squirrel, Sharpie, Monkey, and? Taurus and who else?
We follow the Elite 8, then. There are a bunch of scattershot other accounts that, to me, aren't really that funny. And you know, when you think about it, it's Coco's Brain that's the Great Chief of all this. OK, I'll name 'em: @ConansSquirrel, @ConansSharpie, @ConansTaurus, @CoCosBeard, @ConansFreckles [stop giggling, Froopie], CocosATMCard, and @ConansMonkey. Oh and of course Conan! Almost forgot him.Beard told me that account will close when Conan shaves. Do you have an end date too? Coco's always gonna have freckles, right?
We don't have a plan. I guess that's the way it is with improv. We don't want to jump any sharks. Freckles can't jump high enough.
Are all of you going to his show?Coco and freckles go together like Pimpbots and-- FRED! Fred got loose. He typed that. Never mind him.
Well, the @ChicagoTheatre didn't have 70,000,000,000 seats together, so we're still figuring out a way. There weren't even any tix by the time I checked it out.
Tweet about it. Maybe they'll get you in. You are Freckles, after all.
Well, I did DM @ChicagoTheatre actually. I'm hoping there's a way. Even if it's Standing Room only. But everybody and his squirrel probably wants one!But you're Freckles!
I KNOW! I'm FRECKLES!!!!!! We're hoping that our SPF factor will come into play. Sexy Power Freckles, that is.The comments you've left on Show Tracker have been so funny.
Heh! Thanks!The movie!
Heh! Yeah, that was fun. Don't you think Zellweger would be the choice for Sarah Killen?and I saw your comment of course about who should play you. 'Our people will get back to your people'. Or should I say our pimples? NAAWWWWWWW. Our pimples will talk to your pimples! ACCCCCKKKK!!I wonder how much the Man himself is cognizant of all this stuff. I mean the multiple accounts, and the conjecture about them. That was Fritz, he's very intellectual, uses big words, BTW. Fritz is our Freckle Guru. He was thinking of starting a column called 'Ask Fritz', but then but then we realized, Freckles can't write. Well HE can, but who would write in?
I think we need to get working on this movie.
I agree! Director? Coen Bros?Perfect
"There Will Be Blood Sausage"? Oh wait that's not Coen Bros! It came out around the same time as "No Country For Old Men" so we got confused.
I feel very honored that you chose to talk to me today and not, say, Barbara Walters.
Oh absolutely! Love your sense of humor. Besides, not sure we would want to do an interview that every five seconds would sound like "Now then, Fweckles..." (That would be Barbara, of course.)
Also, we wouldn't want to have Baba make Fweckles cry. Have you ever seen a freckle cry? It's not pretty.
That would be the worst! Weeping fweckles!And, so sad.
Freckles: Do you think you will ever IM again?
We think we're a little hooked. We love how the Space-Time continuum is sort of suspended as we talk. Sort of like communications between Houston and the Moon, with a delay...
Freckles, Freckles, we have a problem skin!
You just get used to it. Like tweeting. It becomes second-hand. Or 70 million-hand.70 BILLION. Ah make sure to get that right in the article! We're very adamant about that one.
No offense. Heh.Yes, yes, 70 BILLION. That is a very important fact. Of course.
Freckles are very cognizant of math. FRITZ! That was Fritz again. He should be counting, not typing.
Is Fritz a geek?No, he's more of an absent-minded professor. We do have approximately 43,245,322,017 geeks, however.
I noticed that you have more than three times the followers that I have already. What's your secret?Hmmmm. Abandoning household chores in order to watch the Twitter? We love to watch the Twitter. Well that, and payola. We try to give a free freckle to every landmark follower. Like, say, our 1000th. We remember our 100th.. *sigh* that was special... Or, maybe it's just our SPF.
Our Sexy. Power. Freckles!!!! *cheer* I mean, have you ever heard of SPF 70,000,000,000 before?
Never.It's HIGH, let me tell you, HIGH. We're off the scale. 4 out of 5 dermatologists LOVE @ConansFreckles.
Well, are there any parting words for Conan himself or your thousands of followers or your frenemies?
Oh, we freckles don't have frenemies, although you think we would, from the name. Or, who knows...To Conan: We love you, as you know, and go easy on that blood sausage, not sure it's really the power diet we thought it was. To all the fans? Stay in school! Stay off drugs! Stay sweet! Stay cool! And to Frockly, just STAY! (He's our freckle pet). Remember: It's one small tweet for a Man. One giant cadre of insane followup tweets, for Melaninkind. Or something.
Well, thank you very much for this exclusive interview, Freckles.
You are QUITE welcome. We enjoy your blogs very much. We are happy to have chatted with you. Frieda will be excited for WEEKS. Freckles don't get out much.
--Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)
Photo: @ConansFreckles Twitter page picture.