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'The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien' Debut Reviews

by Andrew Scott, posted Jun 2nd 2009 12:00PM
Conan O'Brien

Last night, 'The Tonight Show' torch was officially passed from Jay Leno to Conan O'Brien, whose inaugaural episode featured an interview with 'Land of the Lost''s Will Ferrell, the music of Pearl Jam and a hilarious seizing of a Universal Studios tour group bus.

So how did the former 'Late Night' host do in his new 11:35PM slot? Check out reviews from around the web.Last night, 'The Tonight Show' torch was officially passed from Jay Leno to Conan O'Brien, whose inaugaural episode featured an interview with 'Land of the Lost''s Will Ferrell, the music of Pearl Jam and a hilarious seizing of a Universal Studios tour group bus.

Conan OBrien Photos

    In a photo provided by NBC Conan O'Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Monday Dec. 1, 2009 in Universal City, Ca. (AP Photo/Paul Drinkwater/NBC) ** FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY -- DO NOT ARCHIVE -- NOT FOR RESALE **

    AP

    In a photo provided by NBC Conan O'Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Monday Dec. 1, 2009 in Universal City, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Drinkwater/NBC) ** FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY -- DO NOT ARCHIVE -- NOT FOR RESALE **

    AP

    In a photo provided by NBC Conan O'Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Monday Dec. 1, 2009 in Universal City, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Drinkwater/NBC) ** FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY -- DO NOT ARCHIVE -- NOT FOR RESALE **

    AP

    In a photo provided by NBC Conan O'Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Monday Dec. 1, 2009 in Universal City, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Drinkwater/NBC) ** FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY -- DO NOT ARCHIVE -- NOT FOR RESALE **

    AP

    In a photo provided by NBC Conan O'Brien , right, interviews Will Ferrell as O'Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Monday Dec. 1, 2009 in Universal City, Ca. (AP Photo/Paul Drinkwater/NBC) ** FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY -- DO NOT ARCHIVE -- NOT FOR RESALE **

    AP

    In a photo provided by NBC Conan O'Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Monday Dec. 1, 2009 in Universal City, Ca. (AP Photo/Paul Drinkwater/NBC) ** FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY -- DO NOT ARCHIVE -- NOT FOR RESALE **

    AP

    In a photo provided by NBC Conan O'Brien makes his debut as the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Monday Dec. 1, 2009 in Universal City, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Drinkwater/NBC) ** FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY -- DO NOT ARCHIVE -- NOT FOR RESALE **

    AP

    Host Conan O'Brien (R) and actor Will Ferrell are seen during a taping of "The Tonight Show" in Burbank, California June 1, 2009. O'Brien on Monday took over from Jay Leno as the show's host. REUTERS/Paul Drinkwater/NBA Photo/Handout (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

    Reuters

    Host Conan O'Brien is seen during a taping of "The Tonight Show" in Burbank, California June 1, 2009. O'Brien on Monday took over from Jay Leno as the show's host. REUTERS/Paul Drinkwater/NBA Photo/Handout (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

    Reuters

    Host Conan O'Brien is seen during a taping of "The Tonight Show" in Burbank, California June 1, 2009. O'Brien on Monday took over from Jay Leno as the show's host. REUTERS/Paul Drinkwater/NBA Photo/Handout (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

    Reuters



So how did the former 'Late Night' host do in his new 11:35PM slot? Check out reviews from around the web.

-- "All in all, a large-scale, impressive debut. But we all know that success in late-night depends on the long haul -- Conan knows this as well as anyone. So now I want to see how he follows up his glitzy debut." [Entertainment Weekly]

-- "After one show, let's say he's a work in progress" [Hollywood Reporter]

-- "O'Brien got his Tonight off to a decent start, though you still got the sense you were watching an introduction more than a settled production. But that's fine: The goal right now is just to put O'Brien's name on the show. He'll eventually put his stamp on the show as well, but that will take more time than tonight" [USA Today]

Watch the opening


-- "Conan O'Brien's first Tonight Show was a good one -- if you like canned video clips rather than topical humor. Otherwise, there wasn't much to get excited about" [Baltimore Sun]

-- "if Monday night is any indication, O'Brien is not as interested in filling Jay's shoes as in buying a much newer pair" [LA Times]

-- "But unlike most jokes, the ones about how Conan would tank as Tonight Show host weren't rooted in truth. And while it seemed at first that Jay Leno's move to primetime was terrible for Conan, it's starting to look just the opposite." [Newsweek]

- "it was a funny hour overall, and left little doubt that Conan is no wet-behind-the-ears newbie" [TIME]

-- "Conan O'Brien got a full 20 commercial-free minutes to open his first night as host of 'The Tonight Show' last night and it wasn't a pretty -- nor especially funny -- sight" [NY Post]

-- ""The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" is off to a solid start. Whether last place network NBC can keep its fortunes growing is another story" [Boston Herald]

-- "Let's put it this way: Jay Leno was the happiest man in California last night. David Letterman, the happiest in New York" [Newsday]

-- "One hour earlier, still pale but in greater danger of sunburn, up a sidekick but down a FedEx Pope -- is Conan still Conan? Disappointingly, it's too early to tell" [Chicago Sun Times]

-- "Conan made it subtly clear that the new kid in town will be a little naughtier and that for better or worse, 'Tonight' is now his ride" [NY Daily News]

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