Tuesday, June 2, 2009

'The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien' & the Pressure of High Expectations

Best line from the premiere of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien last night was the one about how O'Brien said he'd picked a fabulous time to assume the reins of the show: When it's on the third rated network, when he's living in a state that's bankrupt and when GM (now known as Government Motors) is a sponsor.

I always feel badly for the comedians on the first night of a new show because they're clearly not totally comfortable yet and the audience isn't sure what to expect. It's rough terrain to trod and typically leads to unevenness. And there were indeed awkward moments last night, particularly during O'Brien's overly long monologue which seemed laden down with things like pre-taped videos. Excluding the introductory video showing O'Brien running coast to coast -- a la Forrest Gump (link to video here) -- I would've loved to have seen a current affairs-oriented monologue, preferably with contemporary stuff. (The Sotomayor bit seemed dated already.) I wanted more breezy comedy, fewer video and forced moments, but I must admit that seeing O'Brien hijack the tour group was amusing.

What did you think of O'Brien's premiere?

No comments: