In a recent episode of Conan O’Brien‘s talk show, “Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend,” actor Zach Woods reveals his childhood dream of becoming a jazz musician. Woods, who started doing improv at the young age of 16, shared how his fascination with jazz blossomed thanks to a CD-ROM video game called “Living Jazz.” This video game took him on a virtual journey through the history of jazz, introducing him to legendary musicians like Louis Armstrong and Lester Young.

The game had a format similar to a first-person shooter, but instead of being an active participant, Woods found himself passively wandering through the captivating world of jazz. He humorously mentions that as a young teenager, he had even considered transitioning to playing Grand Theft Auto, a popular video game, but realized his passion truly lies in the rich history of jazz.

Unfortunately, Woods’ dream of becoming a jazz musician came to an end when he got braces. The braces interfered with his ability to play the trumpet, and he was unable to continue pursuing his musical aspirations. However, he shared a hilarious anecdote about visiting a jazz dentist named Dr. Chops, who recommended an expensive toothpaste as a substitute for his inability to play the trumpet.

Undeterred by his musical setback, Woods found a new passion in comedy. Inspired by his brother’s involvement with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, he started taking classes at the renowned improv theater. He fondly remembers the early days when the UCB theater was located in a converted ex-strip club, complete with lingering traces of its previous occupation.

Woods recalls the unique ambiance of the theater, with occasional discoveries of misplaced condoms and the unexpected presence of confused patrons expecting a strip show. These peculiar experiences only added to the charm and humor of his journey into the world of comedy.

Reflecting on his time at UCB, Woods expressed how therapeutic and enjoyable it was to perform onstage. He particularly enjoyed a monologue format where performers would share stories based on audience suggestions. He acknowledged the vulnerability that comes with oversharing personal anecdotes but found it liberating to connect with others through these shared experiences.

As the conversation took a lighthearted turn, O’Brien and Woods playfully discussed their past embarrassments and personal quirks. From O’Brien’s envy-inducing head of hair to Woods’ childhood shoplifting adventures, they shared amusing stories that showcased their lighter sides.

Despite their frequent humor, the conversation took a more introspective turn when touching upon the consequences of shoplifting and the importance of conscience. Woods shared his upbringing, which instilled in him a strong moral compass. Even the smallest acts, such as dropping trash on the street, would prompt him to stop and correct his actions.

Their discussion on ethics and shame led them to discuss historical methods of public humiliation as a means of enforcing moral behavior. While the idea of public hangings to deter shoplifting in 19th century London may sound extreme, it served as an interesting point of comparison to the modern-day concept of shame and consequence.

In this lively and engaging episode of “Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend,” Zach Woods revealed his early aspirations of becoming a jazz musician, the unexpected detour that led him to comedy, and shared amusing anecdotes along the way. It is clear that Woods’ journey, sprinkled with humor and personal revelations, has contributed to his success as an actor and comedian. So, be sure to check out this entertaining chat show and witness the delightful banter between Conan O’Brien and his intriguing guests.