Well folks, the Conan premiere has come and gone. Despite what seemed like nine straight months of incessant hype and wacky publicity, I have to say that it was actually really nice to see Conan O’Brien hosting a late-night talk show again. In the studio—cracking jokes, interviewing celebrities, and goofing around with Andy Richter—is where he belongs.
I think the first installment of Conan was a success. Not a smashing one, to be sure, because most of the guests were really boring. Seth Rogen is basically insufferable with that bellowing laugh, Lea Michele didn’t really get Conan's sense of humor, and the nutcracker lady didn’t even get to talk. The exception was Jack White, who seemed to have a real rapport with Conan. The two of them performed a rockin’ duet that ended the premiere on a high note.
But aside from choosing yawners to talk to, the bearded red-head did exactly what he needed to do last night: He took (okay, a few too many) stabs at NBC, he brought the Masturbating Bear out of hibernation, he put together an awesome cold open video that featured Jon Hamm and Larry King (among others), and he displayed that twitch-y excitement we know and love. He looked comfortable on his un-flashy, intimate set—and when he’s comfortable, we’re comfortable, too.
And at the end of the hour, I didn’t feel like I was slogging through a bunch of exhausted segments or forced interactions, even if the sparks didn’t fly between Conan and his guests. Instead, I saw a ton of potential, just waiting to be realized as Conan and his team of writers finds their comedy niche on TBS. I have a feeling that we’ll soon be seeing skits, games, recurring segments, and other stuff that’ll really distinguish Conan from the pack of other late-night talk shows. Until then, let’s just celebrate the fact that Conan, Andy, and the rest of the gang have jobs again.
What did you think of the premiere? Did Conan meet your expectations or let you down?
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom