Tag Archives: television

Conan, Day 2

9 Nov

If the premiere of Conan showed that the comedian was excited to be back on the air, then the second episode demonstrated that O’Brien can still produce good comedy under pressure.

There were still NBC and TBS jokes, but they fewer and were offset with topical, news-based humor. These kind of quick-hit one-liners aren’t Conan’s strong suit, but it good that he’s still planning on making room for them. The new job jokes will probably only hold for a few more days before becoming stale.

The substance of the show was better than day one, drawing Tom Hanks and Soundgarden. I mean, Tom Hanks! Conan even managed to get Hanks to play along with a physical comedy bit which involved Hanks getting wet. The more pronounced presence of physical comedy is a Conan signature and if done well will be a great way for the show to differentiate itself from competitors.

All in all, a strong show. I’ll continue to tune in.

Conan O’Brien arrives at TBS energetic and free

8 Nov

Monday night the world took a small step in the right direction.

I think that’s what many people who tuned in for the premiere of Conan O’Brien’s new show on TBS are feeling. Conan’s a success story. Burned by his corporate overlords, he set out a fashioned a new path and a new show for himself. It’s a good story. And a lot of people, including me, are glad to see Conan back on the air because of that.

But another compelling reason why there was real excitement for Conan’s return was that he was filling the gap that had been left by him after his Tonight Show run ended last spring. Since then, his brand of comedy – quirky, slightly detached but also earnest when it counts – had been missing from the television scene.

ConanThere is the castigating irony of Jon Stewart, the absurd character of Stephen Colbert and even the bland jokester uncle Jay Leno, but the place for the goofy, lovable oddball had been missing.

So Conan’s return was made even more enjoyable by the fact that he seemed at ease at TBS. You could tell he was enjoying the show just as much as the audience was. There was also a sense of freedom about the show that showed in everything from the multiple times Conan got close to the studio audience to a greater role for Andy Richter, who wasn’t as constrained by the producer’s podium as he had been at The Tonight Show.

The Conan as Rebel Outsider image gave the show an extra punch. While he must be careful to not lean too heavily on this image (and to not make too many NBC jokes), if he can continue to cultivate the rebel image in a healthy way, the show should find energy for a long time. This strategy works for Jon Stewart, who although he’s very much at the center of media criticism and political satire, to this day comes off as just one man against a world of corrupt politicians and spineless journalists.

If the kind of enthusiasm and sense that this is the place to be that was evident Monday night can be sustained, I think Conan will have a bright future. I know I’ll be tuning in tomorrow to find out.

Daybreakers

30 Mar

Britain held one of its first televised candidates debate yesterday. While televised political debates are common in the U.S. they are not in the U.K. The Times of London reviewed the debate.

Here’s a clip.

Many weathercasters apparently dispute global warming.

Turner Gill, KU’s new football coach, had his first spring practice on Sunday. The Lawrence Journal-World was impressed.