2 Degrees of Alie
As the writers’ coordinator for Conan since 2010 (and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien from 2009 to 2010), Alison Flierl ’01 is part of the team that compiles topical pitches for segments that might work in that day’s show.
“All our comedy pieces live or die by rehearsal and whether they get laughs,” she says. On the bright side, there tend to be a lot of laughs. “Doing four shows a week is very challenging and can be a grind,” Flierl says. “But the reward is I have a job where I get to work with talented, hilarious people.”
Flierl’s no slouch herself. She got into comedy in elementary school, convincing the powers-that-be to let her rap on the school’s news show and “add a couple sketches and some fake ad parodies.” A cinema and photography major and a scriptwriting minor at IC, Flierl participated in the L.A. program and said her internships there gave her insight into how show business works.
Flierl learned a lot about teamwork at IC, which she said is important when putting on a big show like Conan. She also said the “guerrilla filmmaking style” she acquired as a student proves useful when shooting her own web series, TV Guide Letter Theater, which features some very dramatic readings of real reader letters published in TV Guide.
“My goal for my own future is to create TV shows and write a few features that make people laugh,” says Flierl.
But Flierl isn’t just out for laughs. In her work on her podcast, 2 Degrees of Alie, she gets industry insiders to share their stories of how they broke into Hollywood—valuable information for getting ahead in a tough industry. “I think a lot of young people can benefit from hearing about the many paths one can take working in entertainment,” she says.