as a g.e. shareholder, i have to assume that a change from stupid jay leno to awesome conan o'brien can only help the struggling megaconglomerate. it still astounds me that jay leno has fans and that includes my parents for some reason...i suppose it's a generational thing, but i dunno, 25 years from now i am pretty sure i will not enjoy dumbed-down, lazyily written, safe, predictable "humor" delivered by a hacky comic (who apparently was still making monica lewinsky and oj simpson jokes last week). this fucker couldn't just retire gracefully. he knew america craved more leno. 17 years of blandness was obviously not enough and he will now be doing a 10 pm show that i guess matches his audience's sleeping habits better, except that it would honestly work much better for me if conan aired at 10. i have ranted on leno's awfulness in a prior blog post, and there has been plenty of anti-leno stuff written recently (here's a good one from videogum), so i won't go on and on about it anymore. fuck you jay leno. ok now i'm done.
now let's take a critical look at conan obrien's 2 day tenure on the tonight show. i somehow stayed up for the first episode, but had to dvr last night's. overall, i was kind of dissappointed with the first show. conan has set the standard high and i also know that with it being the first night, he had to keep it relatively safe and ease his absurdly assy brand of humor in slowly. it was nice to see him on a great looking set, especially when compared to leno's over the top, tacky, garish set. it was awesome to see andy richter back, although a little weird that he is now standing off to the side instead of sitting next to conan. max weinberg is back witht he same band, althought hearing "max weinberg and the tonight show band" will take some getting used to.
the show opened with conan, 20 minutes from taping his first show, realizing he still needed to move from new york to california. the montage of him running through amish country, across wrigley field, not being able to resist a quick visit to a doll museum, etc. was more a nice way to start off the show than anything that funny. during his monolgue, you could sense his nervousness and his jokes were ok, not great. the next segment had conan taking over one of those universal studios tours. while some of his quips fell flat, there were some decent stuff, like getting everyone to chant "circle! circle! circle!" as the tour trolleys simply rode around in a circle. this chant carried over into the live audience which was pretty funny.
will ferrell was the only sit down guest and he was also oddly restrained. he did manage to call liza minelli( his tony award competition) a communist. he sang conan a heartfelt goodbye song (gigantic ass), but where was the leprechaun dance?
as i ate breakfast this morning i watched the beginning of last night's show. i liked what i saw. i still don't really care much for the monolgue (conan's nor the idea of them for these shows in general). the sketch where he goes on a shopping spree on rodeo road (not drive) in south central was pretty assy and hilarious. his purchase of the bitch belt was nice. also a seemingly stupid sketch where he brings all of the most "interesting" tweets from celebrities was super assy. as they were the most mundane tweets possibly, but delivered by some extreme sounding and super assy announcer. i don't know if it has the lasting power of most of his classics, but i enjoyed it.
either way, things are looking up and i hope to see a gradual upping of the assiness and reintroductions of classic characters and bits like the masturbating bear, vomiting kermit, frankenstein, pierre bernard and of course triumph. and if you don't like staying up late, or you have a life at night, and you don't dvr stuff, you can catch his show on hulu.
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