Former SNL cast member Maya Rudolph is on the Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast this week, where she took a moment to explain why she says “bubble bath” the way she does (so perfectly) on Netflix’s Big Mouth. In addition, Rudolph and Conan end up talking Prince for a good 15 minutes, prompted by Rudolph’s work in her Prince cover band, PrinceSS.
Over the course of the conversation, Conan — who described Prince as “the most perfect looking human being I have ever seen” — ended up telling a story that Maya Rudolph suggested was “maybe the best story ever about Prince’s mystique.” She is not wrong, either.
The story began at a charity concert that Conan was hosting, where Stevie Wonder was closing the show. “There was a rumor that maybe Prince might show up and play with Stevie Wonder,” Conan said. “So I am backstage and Stevie Wonder is on stage, and he is playing, and I’m suddenly aware — the way you are aware, like a sixth sense — of a presence.”
“I turned to my left,” Conan continued, “and Prince is there, backstage, and he is air-drumming along to the music. And it is the best air drumming I have ever seen. It is better than what the real drummer was doing with Stevie Wonder. It’s fantastic.”
“And so he saw me, and he said, ‘Hey.’ And I said, ‘Hey! Hey! How are you?’ And he said, ‘Good.’ And he’s still air-drumming, not missing a beat.”
“And then I said, ‘So, there’s a rumor that you’re going to go out and play with Stevie Wonder.”
“No, no. I’m not going to do that,” Prince told Conan. “I’m just here to watch.”
“Oh, so you’re not going to play?”
“No. I’m not going to play.”
“OK,” Conan said. And just then, Stevie Wonder starts to play “Superstition,” and Conan turns to Prince and said, “Yeah, people said you were going to go out and play.” And Prince looked at Conan again and said, “No man. I’m really not going out.”
“And as he said, ‘I’m not going out,’ his technician put that perfect paisley guitar around his neck and it was all mic’d up, and he looked at me and said, ‘Gotta go.'” And that’s when Prince walked out on stage and started playing “Superstition” along with Stevie Wonder.”
“And I’m like, ‘That f**er!'” Conan yelled.
“But this was him saying, in his own way, ‘I can’t ruin the surprise.’ And I thought, ‘That’s just perfect. Perfect. That’s who he was.'”
It’s exactly who Prince was.
Source: Conan Needs a Friend