Conan O’Brien burst back into the late-night spotlight on Monday night with the season premiere of his new basic cable show, aptly titled, “Conan.” His first guests were Seth Rogen and Lea Michele, and though he neglected to shake up his format and spiked the hour with jokes about his banishment from network television, Coco didn’t disappoint.
His cold open was the highlight of the show, a parody of his journey from NBC to TBS that left him working odd jobs and interviewing with Don Draper of “Mad Men,” circa 1965. As he is about to jump off a bridge, his “guardian angel” Larry King begs him not to go through with it, and plants the idea for a basic cable talk show.
With a set that coincidentally looked similar to his old “Tonight Show” backdrop, but featured a new, 3-D remote-controlled moon, O’Brien delivered a flawless monologue, welcoming the audience to his “second annual first show.” He spoke frankly about his breakup with NBC, adding just the right amount of bitterness – enough to make a joke but not enough to turn the show sour.
Bringing in an element from his live summer tour, O’Brien and Jack White closed the show with a cover of “Twenty Flight Rock.” O’Brien proved he really can do it all.
O’Brien was the picture of diplomacy, showing he could move on without dwelling too much on the past. The show kept a steady pace and O’Brien stayed in control. He set the precedent for what is sure to be a successful late-night show built on his own terms.
Check out Conan’s opening skit
Media credit: Teamcoco.com