September 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT

Donald Glover was a rising star in comedy, swiftly shooting from Internet sketches to writing for 30 Rock and then starring in Community. At one point, he began making music under the Childish Gambino moniker, and he eventually left the sitcom in the midst of its fifth season to focus on music.

On Tuesday’s Conan, host Conan O’Brien asked what was going through his mind when he made the choice.

“I didn’t think it was a big deal, I really didn’t,” Glover says. “Like my mom was kind of just like… ‘You have a good job, like why would you do that?’ “

“And also she wanted to meet Alec Baldwin,” Glover adds. “So she was like, ‘No! Why are you leaving?’ “

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He lightheartedly concedes that perhaps it was not the best idea on paper, although the result ended up being positive. “I think it was a bad decision, but I didn’t know it. So it worked out great!”

Watch the clip below.

Glover has a role in The Martian, out in theaters Oct. 2.

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