Conan O’Brien Reveals Chris Rock Listened to NWA Before Meeting the Pope

Vatican Pool
Vatican Pool

Conan O’Brien is revealing more details about his recent visit to meet the Pope, including the interesting music choice of one of his fellow comedians.

On a new episode of his podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, O’Brien said that as he and others took in the monumental moment where they were going to meet the “leader of this very massive church all over the world,” he noticed that Chris Rock was wearing ear buds. “I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for saying this,” O’Brien began the story, “but I thought it was just a very cool moment.”

“We’re in this beautiful, like, gorgeous space,” with these “gorgeous murals,” he said, painting the picture of what went down. “Everyone’s wearing these elaborate costumes and we’ve just had this—we’re meeting this man who’s the leader of this very massive church all over the world, and you're thinking about all the significance of it. We’re all sitting there and Chris Rock is sitting right in front of me and I noticed that he has these little earbuds in, and I’m like, he’s listening to something.”

O’Brien said he was curious what Rock would be playing on his headphones in a moment like this, so he took a peak. “Chris is holding his iPhone in his lap,” he said, recalling that he’d leaned over Rock’s shoulder. “And I see that he’s listening to the soundtrack [to] Straight Outta Compton. I’m not kidding.” He continued, “So I nudge him and he looks at me and I point down being like, ‘Really?’ And he takes one earbud out and he goes, ‘I like the juxtaposition.’” O'Brien recalled saying back, “‘That’s cool. I like that.’”

Musical contradictions aside, O’Brien also shared a few more details about his visit to the famous church, including what it was like to shake hands with Pope Francis.

“You get in a line and you shake the Pope's hand,” he said, “That is very brief, I have to tell you—and there’s no [big] moment,” he said remarking that he expected to be a virtual unknown to the famous church leader. “I never had any illusions about this,” he continued, “but there might have been the occasional celebrity there” who was addressed more personally by the Pope: “He might know Whoopi, I think from Sister Act,” he quipped.

Ultimately O’Brien was thankful for the experience, even though he felt like Forrest Gump for some of the visit. “It was kind of a remarkable thing [to be there]. And I have to say, in my career, my favorite thing is when I just pop up places I shouldn’t be. That’s my favorite thing is to be the goofy Forrest Gump that’s showing up places,” he said. “But anyway, my thanks to the Vatican for having me—that was quite an experience.”

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