Font expert, shark whisperer, hot sauce aficionado, animal impressionist, sandwich king of Cincinnati and more. Is there anything Steve Zampanides can’t do? Well, apparently he can’t appear on Conan. Despite having been booked nine times on the show, the mysterious renaissance man has yet to appear on television.
At first, I blamed Steve Carell. However, it soon became apparent that there was more than a lack of time due to surprise guests preventing Mr. Zampanides from appearing. The show’s star Conan O’Brien himself seems to be a part of the Steve Zampindes bumping conspiracy. In what would have been the debut of Zampanides not only did announcer Andy Richter mispronounce his name during the opening, but O’Brien left him out of the guest lineup following the monologue. There was clear disrespect for the multi-talented professional from the start. After the musical performance, O’Brien apologized to Steve Zampanides. In following shows, O’Brien would attempt to rush through announcing Steve Zampanides without giving the audience time to applaud. If they managed to get some claps in, he would laugh it off and sarcastically say, “Oh, I know you’re excited for him.” Night after night, O’Brien would half-heartedly apologize to Steve Zampanides at the end of the show.
I wasn’t alone in noticing this curious treatment of an aspiring guest. The YouTube and Facebook lit up with “Fan Correction” videos and status updates asking about Zampanides and accusing O’Brien of trickery and deception.
Well, we finally have some answers. A website popped up at www.stevezampanides.com. As of now, the site is suffering server problems and is inaccessible (probably being moved off of tumblr?). The Google cache shows us what was there:
The website links to his Twitter account. With less than 700 followers and no verification from Twitter, we can’t be certain this is our man. The tweets, though, seem real.
Now, this is where things get awfully suspicious. Despite having a website coming soon and a seemingly real Twitter account, a little Web forensics reveals the very man behind Steve Zampanides is the same man behind Team Coco’s online presence. The whois information for the domain has it registered to a John Wooden on the Warner lot.
Either Steve Zampanides isn’t real or Conan had him murdered in order to usurp his fame for personal gain.
Let’s go back for a moment to the Google Cache of the Zampanides website. You’ll notice there is a Twitter bird image linking to his Twitter profile. The URL of this bird is http://diekipper.com/steve/twit_bird.png and the URL of the Zampanides’s signature is http://diekipper.com/steve/sig.png. Sure, this could be simple hotlinking, but why would diekipper.com have a subfolder called “steve”? The owner of this website isn’t John Wooden. It’s Matthew Kipper!
He also works for Team Coco. And what exactly does Matt Kipper do for them? He’s not just on robot patrol. It’s far more sinister.
He’s the Manager of Social Media & Integrated Marketing. You know what that means? Steve Zampanides is nothing but a social media tool designed to integrate marketing into us.
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