The Good: Not that we really had any doubts, but last night Conan O’Brien assured fans and critics alike that the franchise Johnny built and Jay kept running smoothly over the past seventeen years will be in good hands for, oh say, the next seventeen. From the solid opening that had O’Brien pulling a Forrest Gump of his very own by running from New York to Los Angeles, to a highly enjoyable remote that had O’Brian taking one really lucky group of tourists on a Universal Studio tram tour they won’t soon forget, O’Brien was in fine for; Delivering laughs with his trademark mix of self-deprecating, funny and slightly off-beat sense of humor. Plus, his interview with Will “I do the same schtick in every single movie that stopped being funny six movies ago” Ferrell was almost entertaining enough to have us reconsider our self-imposed moratorium on Will Ferrell movies.

The Bad: Not enough Andy Richter. Sure Conan is funny and all, but if last night’s utterly inane, albeit highly entertaining conversation revolving around “Choco Taco” proved anything, it’s that there is no such thing as too much Andy Richter and definitely such thing as too little.

The Ugly: That this TV Addict is getting too old for this sh*t, failed to stay up past 11:35PM, and embarrassingly enough, had to watch the majority of THE TONIGHT SHOW… this morning.

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  • http://yahoo Jack Pitts

    Conan wasn’t funny or entertaining
    in fact he was down right boring…
    I am not styaying up to 11:30 to lienten to that “Jerk”
    I thought Dave Letterman was bad but I think Conan
    is worse.
    You have lost me and NBC can’t afford to lose any more viewers……

  • luke

    They may have lost you as a viewer, but they gained me :~)
    I thought there were some slow parts during the show, but it’s the first episode and I’m willing to cut it some slack.
    I agree, the more Andy Richter the better.

  • james

    tonight show is dead, the cheap ,forced crap coming from the untalanted o’brian was gaggy. andy fatass was loud, his forced mike laught was pitiful and unsessary. last time i will ever watch the tonight show. long live movies!

  • Todd W in NC

    I missed the first few minutes of the monologue and intentionally skipped Will Ferrell & Pearl Jam, but the part in between was pretty good, not perfect, but better than most of Jay Leno’s skits & monologues.

    What I really hate is that I missed Dave Letterman last night. I hear he had a phone conversation with his mom about how didn’t get the Tonight Show, again.

  • Nick

    My worlds have collided….my two favorite late-night guys are now head-to-head. Dave and Conan are both great, as is Craig Ferguson. Either I’m punch-drunk and half-comatose when he comes on, or that guy is insanely funny.

  • theTVaddict

    Todd W in NC,
    While I’m not Jay’s biggest fan in terms of his trademark working man’s humor (ie. never-ending OJ jokes) I’ve always found Letterman seem like he resents being on CBS. Like he’s still bitter that he has always been America’s second choice.

    The great thing about Conan is that he, like Leno is always giving 110%, and isnt’ afraid to fail, and fail big. There is nothing it seems Conan won’t do for a laugh. Where as Letterman just doesn’t look like he cares.

  • Mel

    I thoght it was good overall. The opening bit (the run) was good. Found some awkwardness (on his own and with Andy Richter – talking over each other etc) in the very beginning, but it didn’t take too long for him to find his groove. When the Universal bit was over and the audience was chanting “Circle, Circle!”, and Conan laughed and said “Don’t chant Circle!” I knew he was back. Didn’t stay awake much longer after Will Ferrell showed up, but I think things are heading in a good direction.

    I like Richter and am glad to see him back… but the podium just isn’t working for me.

  • Don

    I watched Conan’s debut on The Tonight Show and thought it was just boring. Conan seems to be a likable guy, but he comes across as someone who tries too hard to make people laugh and doesn’t have the comedic ability to do so. His jokes fall flat and his mugging is annoying.

    The opening sketch last night of Conan running across the country was inventive for a while, but quickly became dull and predictable, as did his tour of Universal, and his sketch with his old car and the monologue. Oh, and the bit with the letter “D” from the Hollywood sign? Zzzzz.

    I’m certain that his hard-core fans will love him, but Conan, like Dave and Jimmy (Fallon and Kimmel) and Craig don’t have what it takes to be funny on a regular basis. Jay used to be, before he became a celeb. suck-up, as was Dave before he became a bitter liberal.

    Bottom line for me is that Conan isn’t worth watching, based on his debut.

  • Ace

    I love Conan. I used to always stay up and watch him during college. He was always my favorite, followed by Letterman. I just can’t stay up that late anymore! I hope this goes well for him. And, as always, however nice Jay Leno may be, I hope his fall show falls flat.

  • Bevinda Collaco

    Such a pity. i thought Conan would be edgy, but he doesn’t compare with Leno’s comic timing. Leno works his audience and viewers. Conan’s material was unimpressive.


  • Jon

    “Such a pity. i thought Conan would be edgy, but he doesn’t compare with Leno’s comic timing.”

    Bevinda, I’m going to have to completely and respectively disagree with you. I’ve never been a fan of Leno, maybe because I had to stay up longer to watch Conan, but probably because I never found him to be funny. He can barely recover from a joke gone wrong, his improv is neither quick nor on point, his interviews after all these years seem awkward and way too dependent on the pre-interview.

    I wasn’t always on board with Conan, but I’ve come to realize the man has a quick wit, and although he can be a bit goofy for some people’s taste, you can’t deny that he can turn a mundane situation into something interesting – whether you find it funny or not.

    I found this first show way more skit heavy than his usual fare, but if you give him a chance, you’ll see that his monologues are normally meatier and, other than Will Ferrell (who just likes to hear himself talk), his guests look like they’re genuinely having a good time on the show.

    Keep watching and let him settle into his game. It might be worth it to you to see what his show turns into once things get rolling.

  • Len

    Hey Jon. Leno can’t recover from a joke gone wrong and his interviews are awkward? I totally disagree. Leno is a pro and remarkably quick. It was always a complaint of mine about Conan that he lacked any real quickness and is about the most awkward interviewer I have ever seen.
    I do agree that he can be a bit too goofy for some people’s tastes, mine included but infantile humor is not everyone’s thing although it’s apparently yours.
    Oh. In that context the word is respectfully and not respectively.

  • Penelope

    Craig Ferguson would be best suited for this time slot though he probably must maintain loyalties to David Letterman. Conan’s offbeat humor doesn’t work for this timeless show or hour. He doesn’t appeal to the masses. I thought most of last night was boring and embarrassing. I was hoping he would make changes from his former show and make a successful go of it. Sadly, I won’t return to NBC tonight. David Letterman has lost me too. I must wait for Craig’s promotion.

  • Charlie

    John Stewart is the heir to Johnny’s late night throne. Colbert is a tasty dessert. The talkers on the major nets are high on concepts and low on funny. Comedy Central’s line up makes me laugh out loud every night.

  • chris clarke

    It was terrible. His monologue bombed and the taped skits were excrutiating – especially Conan repeatedly wailing on the Universal tour. Even the other passengers were staring at him wondering “What’s wrong with this annoying lunatic?”

    As for Andy Richter, how many sitcoms did they give him, none of which made it through half a dozen episodes? So now he’s back, forced into being Conan’s Ed McMahon, complete with phony guffaws. How embarrassing!

    Will Ferrell was as annoying as always, but he may have been on the mark with his goodbye song. As for Pearl Jam, they are well-past their sell-by date, with a paunchy, moon-faced Eddie Vedder now looking like Ron Jeremy while yelling out yet another nondescreipt song.

    What I find really depressing, is that this also marks the end of the Jazz Age. Max Wienberg, like Paul Schaffer, is a pop musician. Fallon has a hip hop band (which always looks like a gang of large, angry black men making the skinny little white kid nervous during his monologues). KImmel has retro rock & Ferguson doesn’t have any band at all.

    Gone are Doc Severensen, Bradford Marsalis, & Kevin Eubanks & the class, intelligence, and sophistication they brought with them and their music. Oddly enough, this is happening at a time when the white house has finally brought elegance & sophistication back into style.

    Late night shows were the last bastion of jazz, since even the Grammies no longer feature jazz performances. So, now, kids get left with the same old crap from MTV as the highest cultural norm. Very sad, & will undoubtedly be the last nail in school music education programs.

  • Veronica

    Conan is the best!!……he attracts a younger audience. Jay Leno nice, but so cookie cutter. Godspeed to Conan. :)

  • Bump

    Having watched the show 1/2 way (all I could stand) for two nights now…. I’m sure glad that Jay will be back soon. Conan’s debut on The Tonight Show was worst then expected. Before I would watch him after Jay and I could at least make it though his show. He was over inflated with a bigger then life ego before. Now it’s just sad to watch his self absorbed antics that comes though on the screen as a over baked ham.. I’m sorry but I really can’t stand to hear him talk about himself more then he did before. Time for me to switch stations, maybe after some time he will calm down and focus on the guests more them himself.

  • danny

    You need to all calm down. Noone cares if you could only watch half of the show! shut up and go to you new station. dave is alright but I would hardly call him funny. conan is a very likeable guy and it shows in his interviews. they all love him where as alot of people are nervous to talk to Dave cause hes an asshole. conans skits can be hilarious as in his shopping spree down rodeo rd. How about you all take the sticks outta your asses and get a sense of humor

  • Zilly

    I found the show contrived, yes, BORING, unfunny… Andy Richter sucks. I didn’t miss his falling asleep on the couch or looking off disdainfully as though he knew he could do better, after his tenure on Late Night, and his kissy over-laughing here, was the kind of Hollywood absurdity he’s been known to make fun of. I can also do without Conan still doing his banal “I’m a celebrity now…” shtick. It’s too old, and really annoying.
    The show was over-rehearsed and flavorless. Technically perfect, cold and without the edge.
    I really miss Joel Godard, silly fool that he was and the band, which has been reduced to being just, THE BAND.
    The intimacy is gone, as is the hipness.
    This is the worst of both worlds, Tonight Show and Late Night.
    But hey- I’m not looking forward to Leno’s re-emergence, either and I’m betting that’s going to fall flat, too.
    Familiarity was a big reason why Jay Leno was watched, and I really doubt his audience loves him enough to make the earlier trip every weeknight, especially when they can be watching other primetime fare.

  • BloughMee

    The difference is simple: Jay Leno is a genuinely nice guy and everyone wanted on the show… Conan O’Brien is a snarky douchebag. He’ll fail miserably in Hollywood and here’s why: The West Coast celebs hate Conan and won’t book the show. They’ll book Leno at 10 on the same network and be done with NBC for the day. Mark my words

  • georgi

    I just don’t understand NBC. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. I liked Conan at 1:35 and that’s where he should have stayed. he doesn’t even come close to Leno’s comedic abilities and while “looking into the future” bit was funny at 1:35 it’s boring at 12:35. Conan seriously needs to start coming up with new staff. His old bits are just not good enough for the Tonight Show.

  • Ole

    Andy Richter sucked big time.
    I don’t want to hear him giggle all the time.

    Conan wasn’t as good as in Late Night with Conan

  • Sheri

    Gone is the last bit of class once known as The Tonight Show…I liked Conan in his old time slot but his skits such as the Wax museum etc. are well…just boring and way too long…Too bad Craig Ferguson was’nt in a position to step in…..slight modifying and he would have been Perfect…I never thought I could go to sleep before the Tonight Show ended…now I find I can sleep very well while it’s still on…I Love my “new Life”!! No more Tonight Show…It has slowly passed away and nobody on NBC can revive it with class…the only one worse than Conan as new Host…is Jimmy Fellon…or whatever his name is…..Now I can get a full 7 hours sleep each night!….at least Jay still had class…Don’t even get me talking about the entertainment bit…over the hill Spinal Tap…..Yaw-w-wn-nnn Good night NBC

  • Lauren

    I LOVE CONAN! I never watched him until his reign at Late Night was coming to an end. I haven’t missed an episode of the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien yet! (Thank you,
    My generation is excited to see Conan on the Tonight Show and will laugh with him for years to come!

  • Gene Vincentt

    Conan is no Jay and could never be considered a Johnny ! Sadly, his target audience is juvinelle and the iconic franchise as we know it, may be a thing of the past.

  • Anjan

    i have got nothing against connan..i tried watching it without being judge mental or biased towards leno..but i found the show really boring, it was forced humor, and he has got a tendency to stay with a joke for a long time which makes it even more unfunny , the only person who laughs at his jokes is his sidekick and he does that too loud.. first show was average but since then the show is completely sliding down, the twitter joke segment i watched a couple of nights back was horrible, even the live audience were not laughing .. eagerly awaiting The Leno show to pull NBC out of it’s misery!