Steve Carell Explains His ‘New England Guilt’ on Conan

It caused him to sweat over a $250 flannel shirt.

Steve Carell may be a big Hollywood star now, but the actor still carries a bit of New England with him, especially when he goes shopping.

The Big Short star stopped by Conan on Tuesday night and chatted with fellow Bay State native Conan O’Brien about the origins of his “thrifty ways.”

After getting a round of applause at the mere mention of Massachusetts—”They’re just fans of states,” O’Brien joked—the late-night host told Carell that he has a reputation for being generous to others, but he seems to be pretty frugal when it comes purchasing items for himself.

“It’s like that New England guilt of ‘I’m not going to spend an exorbitant amount of money on myself,'” Carell said. “I tend to be sort of frugal that way—like I don’t buy super-expensive clothes.”

The actor went on to tell an awkward story about the first time he bought an expensive shirt. Carell forgot to look at the price tag on a flannel shirt and was flabbergasted to find out that it cost $250 when he got to the store’s register.

“I started to sweat,” Carell said. “I don’t want to embarrass myself by not buying it because he told me the price.”

He added, “I thought it would be bad form, so I bought it and I decided I’m going to wear this shirt as much as humanly possible to try and get my money’s worth out of it.”

Carell admitted that the shirt is in pristine condition and he wears it all the time.

“I have to get in under a dollar a wear,” Carell joked.

In addition to chatting about being cursed with New England guilt, Carell opened up about creating his new series Angie Tribeca starring his former Office pal Rashida Jones, as well as being starstruck by Harrison Ford at the Golden Globes. The actor also had a pretty hilarious story about how Universal Studios nearly nixed his breakout movie role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

“After the first week, Universal pulled the plug,” Carell said. “They said, ‘We’ve been watching footage… and you look like a serial killer.'”

Luckily they were able to convince the studio to move forward with the film, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Check out a clip from Carell’s appearance on Conan below.