June 2, 2009

VIDEO: Conan O'Brien Tonight Show Premiere

I ride for Conan.

VIDEO: Conan O'Brien Tonight Show Premiere

Now that Conan O’Brien has succeeded Leno and taken over THE TONIGHT SHOW, there’s finally someone competing for my late night attentions.

Last night’s premiere episode of THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O’BRIEN was more heartfelt than Leno’s succession, because O’Brien’s tenure feels like the revenge of the nerd – the guy everyone counted out before he even began the LATE NIGHT slot at 12:30 am back in 1992.

Here’s a guy who is more Letterman than Leno or even Carson. Someone who speaks geek and is very funny. Plus he has some of the smartest writers in late night.

So when he walked out on the stage last night – there was a sense that he really deserved to be on that stage.

“I remember watching Johnny Carson as a kid and thinking ‘that’s what I want to be when I grow up’,” O’Brien said during his opening monologue. “And I’m sure, somewhere in America, there’s a little kid watching me thinking ‘what is wrong with that man’s hair? Is that a man? Why is she crying?’”

With that alone, O’Brien’s monologue was ten times funnier than any given night on Leno.

At around midnight, O'Brien paid tribute to Jay Leno, who manned the "Tonight" desk for 17 years, calling him "a true gentleman" and "a very gracious man."

Ferrell facetiously campaigned for a Tony Award (he is nominated for his portrayal of George W. Bush) by calling Liza Minnelli, nominated in the same category, "a communist." He also referred to her as a "red menace" -- perhaps not knowing that Minnelli starred in an off-Broadway show called "Flora the Red Menace" in 1965 -- and won a Tony for it. Just a bit of theatrical trivia, folks.

The hour was solid with noise, both visual and audible. The house band under Max Weinberg sounds bigger and better than ever. The set really is beautiful from every angle

VIDEO: Conan O'Brien Tonight Show Premiere

Posted at June 2, 2009 6:01 AM

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