Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Conan O'Brien, Rectory Crasher

The late-night host helped kick off a suburban Boston meal center run by a Harvard classmate who went to the sem while Conan toiled at Wilson's Suede & Leather.

The Globe's Michael Paulson got the story, an interview and, with them, quite the scoop.
``As you can imagine, you do a TV show like mine, and you live in New York City, and you talk to the kind of celebrity guests that I talk to, and your job is to make people laugh, it can be easy to lose perspective occasionally on what's really happening," O'Brien said in a brief interview, standing in the unused kitchen of the new Cor Unum meal center, under the still-gleaming pots and pans.

``I probably shouldn't even admit this, but it's still hard for me to believe -- I find it a little shocking that there are people in the 21st century living in the United States who are hungry," said the comedian, who is host of ``Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on NBC-TV. ``But obviously it's true."

The meal center -- the name Cor Unum is Latin for one heart -- is scheduled to serve its first meal this Saturday. Run by Father O'Brien's St. Patrick's Parish with one paid staffer and multiple volunteers, the center is planning to begin by serving dinner Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, then gradually expand to dinner seven nights a week, and then add breakfast, and then lunch. The Greater Boston Food Bank has agreed to supply much of the food for the center at a deep discount.

The building, a 5,600-square-foot structure on land owned by the parish, cost about $1.8 million to build, and supporters have raised another $500,000 toward the first two years of operation. The endeavor has been funded in large part through an innovative marketing campaign, called ``labels are for jars," in which supporters have sold black T-shirts featuring derogatory labels such as ``addict" and ``mentally ill," and then have used discussions about the T-shirts to raise funds.
O'Brien may say that his "parents are very Catholic" but, as with Colbert, it's been observed that the trait doesn't end with mom and pop....

Stay cool, my babies.