Will Conan Live Up to the Hype?

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

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I actually preferred the 2nd episode. Conan's good but I'm interested to see how he stacks up on cable television, I mean guys like Stewart or Colbert have no real limits in terms of where they take their comedy but Conan's a bit more of a network television guy, so that will be something to be hold.
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He is NOT funny.
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I had no expectations. i was merely curious. So I watched the first Conan show until the first guest appeared. Seth Rogen?...Who?...
Andy & Conan were good together, as usual. The nice clever boy from Chicago always makes Conan laugh, and that's half the fun. He should have his own talk show, shot in fabulous "Richter-Rama!"
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The phrase "godawful bore" springs unbidden to mind. Nice to see he's on-air again for his fans, but whether or not he can get the numbers to stay on, that remains to be seen.
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Can we PLEASE stop with the Leno bashing and whining? Conan demanded he be promised the Tonight Show five years in advance when Jay was #1 or he'd leave a very cushy time slot that served his kooky humor well. NBC forced Jay to agree to this (unheard of for someone who is #1 in ratings) and then when the five years were up Jay was STILL #1. To force him out so that Conan could move up an hour into a time slot and television institution like the Tonight Show, which is much more mainstream and popular with older Americans and the middle America in general (and which was not suited to his brand of humor) was just a stupid move for all involved. Jay was "rewarded" for being #1 by being forced to move to a failing time slot at in prime time as well. Conan was so lucky to be where he was after Jay with two hit shows that worked back-to-back. If he threatened to walk 5 years earlier they should've let him. He would not have succeeded and would've been sorry. I like Conan and his humor, but considering how Jay was treated to satisfy what Conan "wanted" (despite what was best for the network and ratings) and the $40 million he received when he left NBC, there is NO REASON to feel sorry for Conan.
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Opening skit was awesome. Interviews, meh but then that's true for most guests. I am just happy to see Coco back on TV again. It's only his first episode. He will be fine. I am still angry at NBC, Jay Leno, Jeff Zucker, etc.
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Meh. Not painful. Ratings won't hold up once the curious fall away. His cult following won't be enough to keep it going.
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great to have Conan back and it needs to be said that moon in the background is fantastic - well done set designers :)
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The show was awesome,He still has it! He is so much better than them two L's on the other networks.I hope he has lots of success! That song at the end of the show was the best way to end it!
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I'm sooooooooooooo happy to see Conan has returned.
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I'm happy for Conan. I think he did a fine enough job last night, except for a little period during Lea Michele's sit-down (during the interview, Conan told about 5 consecutive jokes about a "boom" that occurred back stage, while Lea's sitting there trying to get back to her story -- not that I cared about her story, but one joke was enough). I know both Seth Rogen and Lea Michele are popular celebrities, especially considering their target audience, but I didn't find either of them very funny or intriguing -- made for fairly boring interviews. The monologue and videos were pretty well done, though.
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Glad to see him back, was a nice first episode
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i'm with 'headclub'. Glad to see Conan back, he was always my favorite. never liked Leno or Letterman and have never understood why they're the head hanchos of Late Night, they're not funny. Jimmy Fallon, while I personally like the guy, has never been funny as a comic, only with characters like SNL and movies.. Kimmel is alright but he's not worth watching unless you like the guests. Craig might be obnoxious but he's 2nd to Conan... let's not forget Carson Daly.. who shouldn't have even had a show to begin with. completely 100% unfunny
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I'm so happy CONAN IS BACK!!! So happy. So happy. So happy. So happy. So happy.
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Letterman is a awkward weirdo. Leno is just lame. Craig Ferguson is obnoxious (though amusing). Fallon is a nice guy, but not hilarious. George Lopez flat out sucks.Jimmy Kimmel is really annoying and squinty.....so yeah I'm glad to see late nights FUNNIEST host return. Really f'n glad!!
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