It has a good ring to it, doesn’t it? The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. The set looks tight (sleek and modern yet vintage and classy; a nice change from Leno’s garish and hideous set), the jokes are top notch and how great was it to see Andy Richter back to doing what he’s done best?
Even if not much has changed, it was finally nice to see The Tonight Show relevant again. Not that I exactly remember when it was relevant with Johnny Carson — seeing as Leno has been the host for most of my life. But, there was something exciting about watching Conan, something that just felt right. Like he was meant to host the show all along.
Even if the critics have been less than kind, the people seem to genuinely like the change. It seems as if most people are either upset he reigned in the late night silliness or others seem baffled that his late night silliness doesn’t translate to the Tonight Show crowd. Whatever. You can’t please them all and it was nice to see Conan not trying to do so; I think he cares about the Tonight Show legacy, especially that of Johnny Carson, and I think he cares about making it matter again.
Not everything worked, joke wise, but he delivered the goods as far as this corner of the universe is concerned.
The New York Times notes that David Letterman made several references to Conan last night. At one point, Letterman’s mother even joked, “Well David, I see you didn’t get The Tonight Show again.”