My favorite part of the show was the opening filmed bit that had Conan going down his checklist for his new gig and realizing he forgot to move to L.A. Then it was run, Conan, run to the tune
of Cheap Trick’s "Surrender" and Conan showing up at many landmarks across America. The bit worked very well and to great comic effect. Of course it ended with Conan arriving at his new soundstage only to discover that he’d forgotten his keys – they were back in his old office in New York.
From there, it went downhill. Instead of a monologue, Conan introduced another filmed bit where he took over the Universal tour tram. This bit went on far too long and did not deliver the laughs. I know Conan has always liked filmed bits and that’s fine, but this is his first night as host of "The Tonight Show" and using another filmed bit seemed like a cop-out. For people who aren’t familiar with Conan, I think more monologue would’ve been a better way to introduce himself. He doesn’t have to do 14minutes like Jay did but he should talk more; he’s a funny guy and he should let newer viewers get to know him and not just his shtick.
Back on the stage, Conan barely bantered with Andy Richter which bummed me out. Also, who had the idea to put Andy at a podium miles away from Conan? He should be on the couch next to Conan! Don’t make the funny travel!
First guest Will Ferrell got a big laugh when he told Conan, "No one thought you could do this. Really. No one" and I’ll admit that I liked when Will was carried out to the couch by Egyptian slaves, or should I say, actors dressed like Egyptian slaves.
Pearl Jam was…Pearl Jam. Pretty much what I expected. No more, no less. I’m heading to a taping of THE TONIGHT SHOW this Thursday so I’ll report back after I see it all with my own two eyes. I’m looking forward to seeing the huge soundstage and set. It looks cavernous on TV so I’m curious to see it in person.