Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Conan Completely Hilarious

For his debut as NBC’s Tonight Show’s newest host, the Conan O’Brien team pulled out all the stops to ensure that Conan’s premiere would be one of the funniest shows ever on television.

The fun began after a somber homage to NBC’s peacock logo, which marked this incredible landmark transition from host number 4, Jay Leno, to host number 5 Conan O’Brien in the 55 years since the show has aired in 1954.

Conan, nervously getting ready for his big debut, suddenly realizes that he forgot to check off one of his big To Do’s: Move to LA. Whoops! After failing to hail a cab, Conan runs west across the continent: through the streets of New York City, through Amish country, through a Chicago Cubs game on Wrigley Field, swims across the Mississippi River, and only stops for a short moment to visit a Victorian Doll Museum where a doll has real corn silk for hair (any idea where this museum is?), before finally arriving at the studio only to discover that he has left the keys on his desk back in Manhattan. Whew! No problem: I’ll just bulldoze down the door.

Most of the jokes were completely funny, and only a taco joke fell flat. (I have to imagine that this joke was an inside reference to Cosita Taco where the staffers like to order lunch). Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was given an unexpected cameo, a film clip grabbed where she simply said, “hello,” which I have to imagine even her own staff was unaware would be aired.

Will Ferrell marked his first guest and serenaded the audience with a surprisingly good rendition of “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

Seattle based Pearl Jam closed the show in raucous style, typical of Conan’s edgier former time slot.

I have to admit, I really didn’t watch Leno much and instead watched Letterman on CBS. First, Leno’s opening monologue of political jokes seemed a bit too right wing. Second, the show sometimes seemed a bit… well, boring? However, I always changed the channel back to NBC to watch Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Now that I’m older and it’s harder for me to stay up late, it’s only fitting that O’Brien move into the 11:30 PM slot.

The new “Conan” website offers an extremely easy to read schedule. There are also numerous other features, blogs, photos, and recap videos (the volume could be louder) available for the high-tech generation viewer.

This is not my father’s “Tonight Show.” This Tonight Show belongs to my generation.

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