10 Questions with Rodney Lee Conover


Rodney Lee Conover grew up in Aurora, Illinois -- a great place to be from... Surely he would take over his dad's company, put his knee down and run out the clock...

... So on the last day of high school he took his diploma like a relay runner's baton and drove to California to become an entertainer.

His first job was in "Raiders of the Last Mini-mart" a traveling improv group, which led to an audition and being hired at The Comedy Store.

There he was noticed by Gabe Kaplan, who took him on tour for the USO, and then had him write jokes for him on Kaplan's dearly-missed sports radio show in LA. Rodney also landed several small TV and film parts, while continuing his stand-up appearances.

One night, Jay Thomas, star of Cheers, Murphy Brown and the #1 radio show in Los Angeles, saw Rodney's act at The Ice House. Thomas immediately hired him as a writer, sidekick, and (eventually) producer on his morning show, which reigned as the top radio program in L.A. for several years. After Thomas left the show for a regular TV gig and the format changed to hip-hop, the programmers discovered something they had not known -- despite being named Rodney Lee, Conover wasn't African-American -- he was a stocky Irish-American.

At the world famous Ice House in Pasadena.
But by this time, Conover was being noticed by television producers, who hired him to write and produce network specials like "Robbie Knievel Jumps" and other television events. Rodney then traveled the world, producing beauty pageants and a show that still makes Conover wince, When Good Pets Go Bad.

He landed several film roles -- Oscar contenders with names like Desperate, but not Serious, 40 Large, War Stories, A Howl in One...

But success on a large scale seemed to be out of his reach. Mainly, because no one knew what to do with him. Is he an actor? A stand-up? A television producer or writer? Conover decided that the answer was simply, "All of the Above..."

...Then while doing his act one night at UCLA, Rodney met screenwriter Jeff Hause and tey began writing together, creating the popular humor services COMEDY ON TAP and SPORTSHOLLYWOOD. Then together with Hause's writing partner Dave Hines, they crafted a film called BachelorMan. The film was funded and will be shot this Spring in LA. Rodney is working on the film as an actor, writer and producer...

Rodney also just wrapped Behind The Screams, directed by Michael Bayouth and starring Dave Thomas, Thomas F. Wilson, and his personal hero, James Coburn.

So between the films, the joke writing, and bad pet shows, Rodney barely has enough time to chase women, attend every Laker and Kings game, drink too much, and have a great time in his chosen life -- but somehow he finds it.



SportsHollywood: Do you see yourself as more of an actor or a writer?

CONOVER: I see myself as an actor, but if you doubt my writing skills, check out my theatrical resume -- brilliant fiction.

SportsHollywood: More fun to watch: Lakers or Clippers?

CONOVER: Clippers girls are MUCH better... you were asking about the cheerleaders, right?

SportsHollywood: Name five Clippers:

CONOVER: Odom, Miles, Parks, Piatkowski... no, I can't name 5.

SportsHollywood: What's your favorite sports movie?

CONOVER: Field of Dreams. I cried, which totally aroused my girlfriend. Now I cry whenever I'm horny.

SportsHollywood: What is the worst sports movie ever made?

CONOVER: Stallone's Over The Top. 90 minutes of arm wrestling and a twist ending... (Sly wins!)

SportsHollywood: What sports do you play?

CONOVER: I box and run... depending on how big the guy is.

SportsHollywood: Were you more like Wayne or Garth when you lived in Aurora?

CONOVER: Wayne, definitely. But in 18 years, I never saw a woman in Aurora that looked anything like Tia Carrera.

SportsHollywood: Which is more fun to you: Acting in a film or performing onstage?

CONOVER: Film is difficult. No one laughs when you say something funny and it causes flashbacks to bombing on stage.

SportsHollywood: Proudest moment in show business??

CONOVER: I opened for rapper Marky Mark and 15,000 12 year old girls pelted me with ice.

SportsHollywood: Did you work on a script for Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?

CONOVER: Yes. I also wrote "When Good Pets Go Bad". 2nd and 3rd proudest moments.

SportsHollywood: What is your favorite joke that you've ever written for anybody -- and why is it your favorite?

CONOVER: I wrote a joke about Woody Allen that I sold to 5 different people. Three of them used it on the air the same day.

SportsHollywood: Worst show business moment:

CONOVER: Getting fired from The Comedy Store. Pauly Shore insulted me, so I got onstage and called him a pussy in front of his mom.

"I wonder what it is that always makes the Rodneys choose the wrong side."
--Derek Flint(Our Man Flint)

Little Rodney Rodney Lee Conover
Rodney has been performing on stage professionally for fourteen years both as a stand-up comic and comedic actor.

Rodney is currently co-host of the wildly popular "Jay Thomas Show" on Sirius Satellite Channel 108 and XM Channel 139.

Most recently, Rodney produced the feature film "BachelorMan" written with fellow COT staffers Jeff Hause & Dave Hines. Rodney was also credited with breaking in the MoHo. Mmmm...moho.

Films: Desperate but not Serious, 40 Large, A Howl in One, Dirt Merchant, Behind The Screams