8
Nov
2010
Conan
Conan
Sam
So let's get this out of the way first--reviewing the first episode of a late-night talk show is pretty a futile as the first show (for that matter the first week of shows) will look drastically different than what Conan's new show will really look like. Now, how was the first episode of CONAN? It was great. First because comedy nerds across America got their late-night champion back and second because it generated laugh out loud comedy.

The opening to the episode was probably the funniest bit of the night. With a Sonny Corleone-esque sendoff from NBC, Conan had to being looking for work. Thankfully he applies to SCDP and Don Draper has none of it because Conan would only be two years old. For the record, Jon Hamm cameos are welcome at any time anywhere.

Of course, Conan takes the deal with TBS and gets shot up again by NBC hoodlums. I got chills when Conan walked out from backstage as he was introduced by Andy Richter. Now walking to his star with Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, Conan O'Brien looked at home. Conan's monologue was solidly funny but the most noticeable change was that he could actually walk up and touch the audience (which he did frequently). He also walked around quite a bit which was a bit disconcerting but I could see myself get used to it. In fact it seemed more in line with his monologue MO as he usually loves to jump off frame.

One of the other hilarious bits of the night was a recorded message from Ricky Gervais that predicted his next downfall, and the few fumbles after that. Conan introduced his "winner" of the first guest poll and it was a nice old lady who was the curator of a nutcracker museum. This was a bit of a dud though it was comfortably familiar crazy Conan fare.

As for the night's guests, Seth Rogen was what he always is--funny and crass yet somehow charming. Lea Michelle was a bit of a thorn in the side but we shouldn't expect more of a Glee castmember. The show was capped off wonderfully with Conan joining Jack White in a song recorded for the album the pair made together earlier this year. It was fun and showed off O'Brien's pretty sweet guitar skills.

The problem is this episode is not very representative of what the show will be. In fact it wasn't a perfect episode. Conan fumbled some intros and outros a bit and was a bit overconcerned about Rogen saying "shit" on the air. Hopefully Conan can embrace the fact that he's on cable and use it to his comedic advantage. People made the argument that when Conan took over The Tonight Show that he'd have to be toned down. Well, he's on cable now so that should not be an issue. This late night endeavor should make for an interesting experiment in whether the format can thrive outside of network television. Yes, I know George Lopez has done it for a year or so, but Conan's the first Major League late-night talent to make the venture. One thing is for sure though, it's great to see Conan O'Brien back on my TV. Maybe the best part of the premier was knowing that he'd be on again tomorrow night.

A

Observations:

-It seems as though the masturbating bear has returned! Great news since this seemingly means that Conan has some rights to his old characters and bits though time will tell there.

-Conan displayed his most valuable asset during his interview with Lea Michelle, his ability to think on his feet and make funny of an awkward situation. When something backstage made a startling sound he pulled the biggest laugh of the interview out of it.

-Conan's "getting shot repeatedly by machine gun" was hilarious, the funniest thing I'd seen all night.

-Good to see Andy function as sidekick again rather than awkward podium guy.

-Conan's back on tv, just wanted to throw that out there again.
Tags: Conan
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