Alan Smithee (also Allen Smithee) was an official pseudonym used by film directors who wished to disown a film.
The anecdote (a film fact according to Mark) about the failed Arthur Hiller movie "An Alan Smithee film: Burn Hollywood Burn" concerning a filmmaker by the name of Alan Smithee trying to take his name off the fictional movie, with the result that the movie within the movie still was credited to Alan Smithee. The director of the actual film got so fed up with the movie that he wanted to take his name off the film. So the film about Alan Smithee ended up being directed by Alan Smithee.
This was a film fact that Mark thought was going to be interesting to Simon, but to which he responded "That's probably the most boring fact I've ever heard" and said that the zipping sound of Mark's computer case was more entertaining than his stories.