Monday, June 1, 2009

First Impressions: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien

I would vote for Conan if he ever ran for political office. No, I don't know his personal political preferences nor do I care. That is because Conan did not lie to us when he left Late Night and he is still the same old Conan.
The pressure was there to change his show, to make it fitting for the 35 and up crowd that tunes in to The Tonight Show and it would have been so easy to tone things down and be a little less...Conan. But right from the start it was obvious that, as promised, there would be no dramatic change: Conan is still Conan.From his trademark hip-string cutting to his tram tour of Universal Studios, Conan picked the Tonight Show up right where Late Night left off.
I must say that Conan took 900 (or 170) lucky, lucky fans on what I would have to wager was the best tour of the studio of all time, a tour that I would have loved to have been a part of. It was signature Conan, reminiscent of the studio tours that Conan took over in 30 Rock during the writers strike.
It was also good to see Max, La Bamba and the rest of the band formerly known as the "Max Weinberg Seven" back in action under the new moniker of "The Tonight Show Band." Everybody's favorite sidekick, Andy Richter, looked like he will make an admirable announcer and even offer more to the show than his voice. For instance, when the top of the 'D' broke off and the camera shots switched between Richter and Conan took me back immediately to the awkward exchanges between Max and Conan.
Having Will Ferrell as the first guest provided a nice flair to the show and his theatrics and personality matched Conan's so well that the jokes about how long Conan will be on the air seemed ridiculous. Plus, Ferrell's line about Twitter, "Forget Twitter, I'm on the CB," was an instant classic.
Overall I am excited to watch Conan in his new time slot for what I believe will be a long time.

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