Conan O’Brien was asked to follow John Candy’s diet when he attended Harvard, but nothing came of it By Matthew Cage - November 13, 2022 0 John Candy remains the best. One of the most enjoyable things about entering a large college is the number of musicians, actors, writers, politicians and other influential people who attend it. Whether you’re giving a speech, putting on a performance, or going to some alumni event, there’s usually a steady stream of celebrities, and most often a lucky student manages to take these celebrities with them. So it was when John Candy came to Harvard in 1984, and Conan O’Brien turned out to be the lucky one. The student was asked to drive a funny person, and he was given a list of foods that he could eat. It didn’t go well. Earlier this week, Conan O’Brien stopped by the Howard Stern show to reflect on a variety of topics. During the conversation, the topic of John Candy came up. O’Brien was apparently a big fan, as he watched his sketches on SCTV and asked the school to bring him. When he did, O’Brien was assigned to drive him around Cambridge. Candy was apparently “everything (Conan) wanted him to be” as well as hungry. And for none of the allowed products on his list. After all, we hung out, and what I remember most clearly is that he was everything I wanted him to be. He was John Candy. He was excessive, joked all the time, called me a child… I was given a list. He was supposed to go on a diet: the Pritikin diet. We’re driving, and he says, “Baby, let’s take a walk.” I said, “All right, Mr. Candy.” He said: “John! Don’t call me Mr. Candy. I’m John.” I walk next to him, and we wander around Cambridge, and the first thing he does is he sees a candy store and says, “Come on, baby!” And we go to the candy store, and he says: “I’ll take one of those, one of those, one of those, one of those.” He starts putting all these different eclairs in a box…. He sees me looking at him and pushes me: “Don’t worry, baby. These are Pritikin eclairs. (And then he burst out laughing in an excessive manner) For those of you who are not aware of the bizarre diets of the late 70s and early 80s, the Pritikin diet was based on the bestseller by Nathan Pritikin (opens in new tab). People were advised to eat foods low in fat and high in fiber and mostly avoid alcohol, red meat and processed foods. The eclair mountain wouldn’t have qualified, of course, but John Candy was going to do what John Candy was going to do. O’Brien remembered the whole day. You don’t often meet your heroes, and they justify everything you hope for. However, it turns out that Candy also remembered it. The story of that day at Harvard, which Conan told several times, reached the family of the late comedian, and they remembered several photos that they found. Candy apparently took two photos of O’Brien that day at Harvard. You can check out one of them below… In 1984, John Candy took this photo of a young Conan O’Brien at Harvard University. Thank you @ChrisCandy4u for finding it. In conclusion, the comedian is the absolute best. Many of John Candy’s best films are still beloved today, including the funny, emotional and beautiful “Planes,” “Trains and Cars,” as well as the classic “Uncle Buck,” in the latter of which, apparently, he played a version of himself. He is also well remembered for his key supporting roles in such favorites as “Home Alone,” “The Blues Brothers” and “Vacation.” Ryan Reynolds is currently filming a documentary with Colin Hanks about his favorite comedian, and the whole world is delighted, including Candy’s children. Let’s eat an eclair in his honor today. This will work with any diet you’re on.