Conan Twitter Tracker: The Beard Speaks Out!
Part 3 of our Investigation, "The Truth Behind Freckles, Beard, and Squirrel," brings us an exclusive IM interview with @CoCosBeard who -- get this -- turns out to be a young woman who is attending college in New England. You read correctly, Beard is a woman. (How much cooler can this story get?)
She contacted Show Tracker on Saturday after reading our Friday report requesting that now that it's come to light that all of Conan's Twitter pal accounts were created by fans -- and not Team Coco -- said pals should come forward and make themselves known.
As a result, Beard sent Show Tracker a direct message on Twitter stating: "I sincerely apologize if I have led you to believe that I was working with Conan. I made this account to humor and entertain his fans." To which we thought, "How sweet. But how could we ever be serious about anything related to tweeting beards, freckles, and squirrels?"
We reached out to Beard who agreed to IM us exclusively. (Take that, Barbara Walters.) Here's a transcript of our IM chat:
I've never interviewed a beard before.
Ha ha, well, lucky for you, you're interviewing an anonymous person today who only tweets as a beard, not an actual beard!Awww. Can I talk to the real beard?
Ha ha ha. I wish! But unfortunately, not even I can talk to the real thing.OK, so you want to remain anonymous, right?
Yes, definitely. I never really meant for the Twitter account to be about me. It's all about the beard!
And the man himself, of course!
There's been a lot of interest over all the Conan accounts. Some people assumed at first he was doing it all or that his team was. But apparently it's his fans. Would you say you are a Conan fan?Yes, I am definitely a Conan fan and have been for a long time. It's amazing that people think I'm Conan or another member of his team. It's a huge compliment! I've never really thought of myself as funny before. Especially at that caliber!
What made you do it?
Well, I just thought it'd be a funny idea. I enjoy making people laugh, so Twitter was the ideal way to connect with other Conan fans. And I was recovering from a concussion, so I thought the idea was very silly at the time! It's nice to know that people still think it's silly and fun.
Were some of those other accounts up already? I'm not sure which one was first.
I think the Squirrel came first, then I thought I would follow and create the CoCosBeard account. I was so discouraged at first, because the Squirrel already had 1,000 followers! But now I have about 300 more than the Squirrel, so things are going very well!When you saw the Squirrel's account, did you think Team Coco was behind it?
At first, I wasn't sure. But after a few days, I thought, "Wait, do these people have time for additional Twitter accounts?"
He is unemployed!
Yes, but do you think he has enough experience at computers to be able to manage another account? I really did hope Conan was behind it, though. But knowing that it's most likely a fan behind each account made me realize how awesome Team CoCo fans are!
You are way smarter than me. Until very recently, I thought it was not Conan himself but a team of people having a good time.
I think most people thought that it was his team, so you're not alone!
Were you aware that I've been tracking you?
Oh, of course! After I read your article (which was posted on the "I'm With Coco" Facebook page), I started Googling other articles where my account was mentioned. It surprised me at how many people were actually following this thing!
You're not CoCosMoustache, too, are you?
Oh, no, definitely not. I don't know why that thing keep associating itself with me. It's quite sad, really. It doesn't really make sense, having a moustache account, since the moustache is included in the beard!
Hilarious. Let's go back to your concussion. What happened?
Oh, wow, well, this might take a minute or two. ... I'll start off by saying that I did not get this concussion because I wanted to be just like Conan. In December, I hit my head on a low door frame very hard! It kept me in bed until early February, and it took me a few weeks after that to recover from the symptoms. One symptom being that I found anything and everything downright hilarious, including the fact that Conan had grown an unemployment beard.
Wow, this sounds intense.
Very! I occupied myself by watching television, mostly. I couldn't even read!
But I'm much better now and questioning my sanity at the time that I created this account.
But knowing that more than 9,500 people are following me makes me think that it may not have been such a crazy idea after all!
You have no idea how hard I work on Twitter, and I don't even have 2,000.
It's all about how news spreads. With the combination of several writers publishing stories about the accounts and Conan's Twitter friend Sarah Killen following me, people became curious!
When you created it, did you think you would just do it a couple of days?
Yes. I figured that Conan wouldn't have his beard for long, so I'd make a few jokes while I could to the few people who actually read my tweets, and then I'd move on and forget about it.
And now it's a full-time job?
Oh, not at all. It takes me a few minutes to write something every day. I'm not sitting here at the computer like a gamer who still lives at his mother's house. I have other things that occupy most of my time. It's certainly on my mind a lot, though!
You=funny. Do you wait for Conan to tweet?
Nine times out of 10, yes. It's pretty easy to work off of someone else's idea and write a comeback of sorts. I also like to write my own things once in a while. Like the beard's impending death.
But isn't it time-consuming to also stay on top of what Freckles, Squirrel and all the rest of them are saying?
I don't follow the other accounts at all, I let them do the work and respond to what I'm saying. I'll let them sit at the computer for hours while I actually go out and have a life!
Tell me about that life. What do you do, if it's not too revealing and will point fingers?
I'm a full-time student at an amazing school in New England. But that's all I will tell you.
You're in college?
Yes. I can't say any more! Like I said before, this is about Conan, not about me!
Why do you like Conan so much? What about him?
I think he's an all-around nice guy. I like his style of comedy. It can be silly and childish but then switch to smart and witty.
What did you think of what happened at NBC?
I don't want to go into that too much, but I think it was a poor choice to use that lineup. Having Jay in prime time before Conan was never going to work.
Conan's last shows were inspired!
The last shows were pretty funny, but it was all in good fun. Making fun of NBC in a harsh way was never Conan's objective, I'd imagine.
No, his tone was perfect.
Did you take me seriously on the blog? Did you think I was really mad at you and Freckles, etc., for turning out to be fans?
Oh, no, not at all. It was pretty funny to read that you were "breaking up" with us! It seems like yesterday that you were making fun of me for having only 100 followers.
Exactly! Good for you. It was yesterday. Come to think of it. It's all been a whirlwind.
It really has. I can't believe people have put up with me for this long, though.
I wasn't sure whether to take your apology seriously or if you were winking behind it.
I was definitely apologizing. I think a lot of people were upset when they realized it wasn't Conan's team tweeting behind the scenes. Some of my followers actually tried to ask me (as if I were Conan) to add dates to the tour. I felt awful that I couldn't do anything!
Nah, if there are this many clever Conan fans out there, more power to you. It was kinda hard to believe that that was the case, but it seems to be. It's funny what you said about this not taking that much out of your day but that you think about it a lot. I do too! This Conan Twitter Tracking business has taken over my life.
I really do think about all of this a lot. But it makes me happy, so I've given up trying to stop thinking about it!
Am I right in assuming you are male?
Do you seriously think that a man could be this funny? I am most definitely a female.And a feminist, at that.
Yes!I LOVE THAT EVEN MORE
Ha ha, why, thank you! But I have almost no doubt that the other accounts are men. With too much time on their hands. And no, I do not have a beard! Thank goodness!
Do you think each account is a different person?
With all the Conan fans out there on the Internet, I think so.
I'm amazed at how sharp everyone is
Well, Conan's fans are a smart bunch. And a united bunch, at that! It's great how everyone is coming together. It really is. I just wish more had contributed to his "Tonight Show" ratings!I know, right?
But at least the tour is sold out. I'm very excited to go. I don't think this Twitter account will last until June, though.
Does it end when he shaves?Nor do I want it to last until June!
It will definitely end when he shaves, and I see proof that he has shaved.April 12!
That will probably be the day!Awww. I'm sad.
I do hope that people will remember my account, though. I'm planning on revealing who I am when I see his live show in Connecticut.
Oh, I'll just walk around with a sign that says "I'm @CoCosBeard. "I think that should do it. Or I'll look like an idiot. One of the two.I think it's awesome that you're a woman!
Thank you! I'm very happy that I'm not an obese man sitting at home on the computer with his mother!
-- Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)
Photo: CoCosBeard Twitter photograph. Credit: @CoCosBeard.