Conan Returns!: Late Last Night

Conan is back! And he’s, um, a little bitter?

Last night former Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien premiered his new TBS late night show, Conan. (Check out our live blog from the event right here). And overall, despite a lot of other sources calling the premiere average, I thought it was pretty successful. And, it was exactly what I expected. Nothing more, nothing less.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I just think people were expecting a little too much from the tall and lanky funnyman. During his hiatus (which spawned his Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television tour this summer), the buildup for this moment was tremendous. People — some who probably didn’t even watch Conan while he was on NBC — had such high expectations for Conan that they weren’t even possible to meet. Seriously. If Steve Martin, Jon Stewart, and Bill Murray teamed up with Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld, and the reincarnation of John Belushi, they wouldn’t have been able to reach audience’s expectations.

So anyway, despite about a million jokes about cable television, Conan was funny. Hopefully, it gets funnier, but overall, it was a solid performance. But I feel like I have to note one thing. Did anyone else see him as a little bitter? Yeah, he made a few planned cracks at NBC, but underneath that, I got the sense that he’s still really upset that he lost The Tonight Show. But then again, maybe it was just the cynical TV critic in me trying to find something wrong with the show.


The cold opening: Conan can’t get a job.

Oh man, the jokes about NBC will never get old.

And the masturbating bear returned! Yes!

Seth Rogan talked about getting engaged and his disappointment with California not passing Proposition 19.

Glee star Lea Michelle talked about how her dad told her once that she couldn’t sing and addressed that whole GQ incident from a month ago, to which Conan did his Conan thing and made it even more awkward.

And then, to top off the exciting night, we got to see Conan rock out! He joined Jack White as they covered Eddie Cochran’s 1957 hit “Twenty Flight Rock,” also featured on Conan’s Live at Third Man LP, out now on White’s label.

Meanwhile, Conan’s successor who’s older and less funny, Jay Leno, sat down with California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and talked about the Tea Party and political ads.

And then they talked about weed.

Scarlett Johansson and Jimmy Fallon talked about their night of partying in Baltimore a few years ago. (Sidenote: I want to party with Scarlett Johansson.)

And since everyone couldn’t stop talking about Conan, Letterman got in on the action and made a few observations himself.

Jon Stewart responded to the Rally to Restore Sanity pundits by announcing another rally.

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Stephen Colbert pointed out FoxNews’ brilliant source of President Obama’s $200 million per day trip to India — the internets! And he used the board game Battleship as a source, too.

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