Dax Shepard's How-To-Guide: Getting Banned From a Talk Show

DaxShepard225.jpgSometimes showing up for a talk show interview under the influence won't hurt your career (see: Danny DeVito, Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, et al.), but other times -- say, when you're just starting to get steady work on-camera -- showing up drunk for a late night segment can get you blacklisted by one of the most powerful P.M. personalities. Just ask Dax Shepard, who learned that lesson the hard way.

As Shepard told Howard Stern today while promoting this weekend's new film The Freebie, his irresponsible behavior got him booted from Conan O'Brien's couch for five years -- just as the comedian was starting out on MTV's Punk'd. Here is the foolproof strategy he used to get banned from Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Dax told the crew he got himself banned from Conan O'Brien early in his career after a drunken appearance ("I used to drink way too much. I had a bit of a problem...I had done the pre-interview in a total blackout.") in which he claimed to have been bitten by an animal from the preceding segment: "And then I just [pretend to] pass out and I go over the back of the chair. I break the table."

Dax said he gave up drinking on his own--he's been sober for six years--because he would never survive a Hollywood-partyboy persona like Ashton Kutcher or Jack Nicholson: "The truth is I'm Gary Busey. I'm Jan Michael Vincent. I'm not Jack Nicholson. I'll be a closed-head injury."

Still, even this story has a happy ending: When Conan moved to his short-lived Tonight Show, he did invite Dax back.

· Funny Man Dax Shepard