Janet Jackson Appears On ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien’

appeared on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ on Thursday to discuss her latest album ‘Damita Jo’, her ripped abs, her tattoos and how fans tend to emulate them, and her influence on the current generation of pop princesses. Read on for a rough transcript.

Conan: All right, everybody, we’re back. My next guest has sold over 50 million records, including five number one albums. She’s also received five Grammy awards and an academy award nomination. Her latest cd is called “Damita Jo.” Please welcome Janet Jackson.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Conan: It never gets old to get that response, does it? That’s nice.

Janet: No, no, it’s very nice.

Conan: Now, there’s so much to talk about. And we’re not gonna go into the whole super bowl thing, ’cause that’s been talked about to death. We’re going to re-create it later using La Bamba.

[ Laughter ] But I want to talk to you, first of all — no one wants to see that. I owe you, because I use dance moves as a comic, and I think I’ve stolen — half my moves have been inspired by you.

Janet: Really?

Conan: Yeah, I love your move. Sort of that kind of — that’s how I do it, by the way. You don’t look like you’re buying it. This is you.

[ Laughter ]

Janet: No, no, no.

Conan: That’s just me having a fit.

Janet: You like to dance, though?

Conan: I like to dance. I dance very badly. But you inspired a lot of people with this sort of — those military moves.

Janet: Very, very — yeah, it’s very — what do we call it? I don’t know, sticking it very sharp, clean.

Conan: Sticking it, sharp, clean, getting everybody to walk off like that must be a hard thing to pull off, but I’ve tried it a lot. I’ve tried this move. I do this string dance.

Janet: I noticed you do that.

Conan: Have you seen that?

[ Cheers and applause ]

Janet: You do that well.

Conan: Do you think that’s okay?

Janet: I asked someone how you do that, ’cause you do do that well. I watch you, you know.

Conan: Okay. Do you think that’s something you might use some time?

Janet: I don’t know.

[ Laughter ]

Conan: That was very polite of you to say, “I don’t know.” I have not been to one of your concerts, but I’d like to go, ’cause I hear that you pull – you’ll pull a guy onstage during the concert. Is that true?

Janet: From the audience, yeah.

Conan: Well, first of all, that must be amazing for the guy. How do you pick the guy?

Janet: You know, it comes kind of in the middle — it came in the middle of the show. It all depends on it. I’m probably going to re-create it again, but do it differently. I don’t know. From the minute I get on stage, I just start scoping out different guys in the audience. I’ll sometimes ask the dancers, the girls, actually, to help me and look for a guy. But they always try to find the cutest guy, and they’ll come backstage just before that particular song and say, “this guy on the left,” and what he’s wearing. But it’s always the cutest one they want me to bring up on stage.

Conan: What a fun time just to mix it up, you pick, like, the fat guy with the 7-eleven cups? You know?

[ Laughter ] You bring him up on stage. Just to throw a new wrinkle into the thing.

Janet: No, no, there was actually one guy that I had chosen this particular tour. It wasn’t the last one, but the one we did before this one, the last one. He was — I didn’t know he was heavy as he was, because all I saw was his face, and his bottom half was pretty big.

Conan: Right.

Janet: And I was supposed to put him in a chair, and I was, like, “oh, god, is he gonna fit in the seat?” He squeezed in it.

Conan: Right.

Janet: Yeah.

Conan: But then when he stood up, it came with him?

[ Laughter ]

Janet: It stuck to his butt.

Conan: “Bring that seat back!” That’s what I would want to see. I wish I had been at that show. You’ve been famous for such a long time, I’m curious. Do you ever get tired of having people recognize you and just wear a disguise when you go out in the world?

Janet: Well, I’ve done that before, I had a disguise on. One time — I had never gone to Venice Beach. I’ve only been once. I was in the walking area.

Conan: There’s the area where sort of where the muscle men are. Yeah, exactly.

Janet: All that stuff you see all along the side, the performers. So I took my dogs with me, but I put on a mustache and all the professional stuff with the glue.

Conan: You put on a mustache?

Janet: Put on a mustache, got my sideburns, got my baseball cap, get out there with my dogs, and there’s, like, this 4-year-old kid, “mom, that looks like Janet Jackson.

[ Laughter ] Mom, that’s Janet Jackson.” She’s like, “leave that man alone.”

[ Laughter ] You can’t fool kids. I thought, “well, this is going well.”

Conan: Yeah, she starts spanking the kid.

Janet: She yanked him, “leave that man alone.” The kid’s just trailing behind her, yeah.

Conan: You have fans that are so devoted to you that they get tattoos that say, “Janet,” or that re-create an album cover.

Janet: Or they get some of my tattoos put on their bodies.

Conan: They copy your tattoos and put ’em on their — can you tell us about what kind of tattoos you have?

[ Laughter ]

Janet: I have, I think, four or five. I have one from the Sankofa tribe I put here. That means to do with your past in order to move ahead into the future. I’ve seen this in the same spot on a lot of kids. And really big on their shoulders. I’ve seen my album covers on their shoulders. I’ve seen my name. My signature, actually, written on their arms and then tattooed.

Conan: Right. I’ve seen “Conan” on some people.

[ Laughter ]

[ Cheers ] But then it says “sucks” underneath.

[ Laughter ]

Janet: No.

Conan: Those have got to stop. You have a Disney tattoo, is that right?

Janet: See, I wasn’t mentioning that one, but yes, I do.

Conan: Let’s talk about that one.

[ Laughter ] It’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, is that right?

Janet: Yeah.

Conan: And they’re not just holding hands, are they?

Janet: No.

[ Laughter ]

Conan: Should we leave it at that?

Janet: Well, see, now you’ve taken it to a whole ‘nother place. I mean, come on, they’re sweet and innocent, but they’ve got a little naughtiness in them, so.

Conan: That’s all I’m saying. It’s mickey and Minnie having a good time, that’s all I’m saying.

Janet: Yeah, yeah.

Conan: I’m not saying what’s going down. I don’t want any trouble with the Disney people. They’re animals.

[ Laughter ] They’re sending Disney robots after me right now.

[ Laughter ] You have an — I notice it on television, and I notice it whenever you make an appearance anywhere. But when I meet you in person, this is the first time, your abs are insanely ripped.

Janet: Oh, no.

[ Laughter ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

Conan: You have — don’t cover up. I mean, I would kill for abs like yours. You have to work out constantly to get abs like that, don’t you?

Janet: No, not really. No. Some people do ab workouts every day. When I’m on tour, I work out six days a week, 2 1/2 hours a day, even on show days.

Conan: Oh, wow.

Janet: And then we do a two-hour show. No, I just — when I am working out — I’ve been pretty bad lately, but I worked out this morning. I did ’em every other day.

Conan: Every other day. That’s making a lot of people just cry watching this interview right now that you can achieve that, not working — does that mean you can’t eat a giant bowl of pasta or something, because —

Janet: Well, pasta’s really not that good for you. It sticks to your colon.

[ Laughter ] It does.

Conan: You’re gonna get some letters now. “Pasta, it sticks to your colon!”

Janet: But it’s good. It’s good, though.

Conan: It’s still good. You know, a little colon stick every now and then, not the worst thing in the world.

[ Laughter ] That didn’t sound right.

Janet: A little Conan stick? Oops.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Conan: How dare you come here and trash talk me. It’s so true. I did want to mention — I know this has occurred to you, but just how influential you are on all the people that are performing today like Britney, Christina. I mean, you– don’t you feel in some way that you’re responsible for a lot of these young performers today, who I think idolized you when they were coming up.

Janet: They’ve mentioned it in articles, Christina and Britney and Jennifer. Yeah, they’ve mentioned it in articles. I mean, it’s flattering.

Conan: That’s cool. We’re out of time. Before I go, I’d be remiss if I didn’t just ask you about your brother and how he’s doing.

Janet: He’s doing well, thank you.

Conan: I was talking about Tito, actually.

[ Laughter ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

Conan: “Damita Jo” is in stores right now. Janet Jackson, very nice to meet you. Thanks a lot for being here. We’ll take a break. We’ll be right back. Stick around.

[ Cheers and applause ] today! if you suspect a child

[ Cheers and applause ]

Conan: All right, everybody, that is our show

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