'The Tonight Show w/Conan O'Brien' on NBC HD! (until 1/22/10 when NBC pulls the plug) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1529 Old 05-20-2009, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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With the big premiere out of the way it's time for the new show to get its own thread. Here's some things to get us started:

The new logo:


The new studio (from TV Week):


First guests on premiere show: Will Ferrell and Pearl Jam.


Super-lengthy profile of Conan from this week's New York Times magazine: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/ma...t.html?_r=1&hp. Free subscription to the Times' website may be required to read the article. Here's a relevant portion about the new "Tonight Show" from an interview conducted last January:

Quote:


O’Brien’s office was a living scrapbook of his show. Leftover props (a Hilary Clinton can opener, a Bill Clinton corkscrew) leaned against caricatures of Conan sent in by fans. There were framed photos on the walls (his wife, Liza Powel O’Brien; their two children; Johnny Carson). Above a shelf full of awards for writing hung a large cork bulletin board. The board, which was once devoted to blue index cards denoting guests and comedy bits scheduled for “Late Night,” had been colonized by a battalion of yellow index cards, on which were written ideas for “The Tonight Show.” The suggestions, most of them for remotes, offered glimpses of a new mentality: “Conan as car valet,” “Conan as Mexican-wrestling star,” “Conan cleans pools,” “Conan goes canoeing on the Los Angeles River.” Most of the ideas utilized the notion of O’Brien as an outsider, alien to the ways of Hollywood. “Conan takes a cheerful spin on the ‘Psycho’ set,” read one card; “Conan tries to be a stunt man,” suggested another. “Conan has 2,318 dollars and tries to get in on the California bailout.”

“None of those ideas are certain yet,” O’Brien explained, as the rest of his writers piled into his office. “It’s Darwinian on the board and Darwinian in our meetings. What I learned about this show when we were struggling is that ideas have to fight for survival.”

It's off and running!
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post #2 of 1529 Old 05-20-2009, 11:37 AM
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Good thread. I was always wondering if there was a native thread for The Tonight Show w/Jay Leno. Thanks for making this thread.
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post #3 of 1529 Old 05-20-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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It's great to have this show back on, I like to listen to it while on the computer, and watch when something funny is going on.
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post #4 of 1529 Old 05-20-2009, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Dude, show hasn't even premiered yet. Are you talking about "The Tonight Show" in general or Conan specifically?
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post #5 of 1529 Old 05-20-2009, 01:57 PM
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WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE's Johny?


Id rather watch the 30 years of his reruns.
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post #6 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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From Fredfa's "Hot Off The Press" thread at the top of the 'HDTV Programming' page:

TV Notes
Go West, O'Brien!
By Felix Gillette, The New York Observer

On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 19, Mike Sweeney, the head writer for Conan OÂ'Brien, was sitting on a park bench in Central Park. He hadnÂ't been back in town since he and the staff of the show moved out west in February to take possession of the Universal City studio where, as of June 1, theyÂ'll be filming The Tonight Show with Mr. OÂ'Brien as host.

HeÂ'd earned this break after spending the morning hustling for his network at the television industryÂ's upfront presentation for advertisers.

ÂSome of our writers got lost in Kansas, said Mr. Sweeney. ÂWeÂ're doing the best we can without them. No ETA. But the others have made it.Â

On June 1, Mr. OÂ'Brien will debut as the new host of NBCÂ's Tonight Show. And since February, the majority of his New York staff has relocated to Los Angeles, where NBC is currently putting the finishing touches on a new Tonight Show theater. ItÂ's housed in Stage One of Universal Studios, the original home of The Jack Benny Show and the home, for a time, of Knight Rider.

Mr. Sweeney said he surprised himself by weaning himself so quickly from the New York Post after arriving in L.A. Instead, he was reading a history of the cityÂ's Griffith Park.

In 1937, a monkey had gotten loose in the park and caused an uproar when it got stuck in one of the observatoryÂ's dioramas. For a comedy writer about to embark on a new mission in a new town, the precedent of runaway monkeys seemed to bode well for the future.

ÂWeÂ're right on a movie lot! he added of his teamÂ's new Universal City digs. ÂWe have our own crew there. ItÂ's all self-contained. You go out and youÂ're on the way to the parking deck and a tourist tram goes driving buy. You feel like you should do something to entertain them. You want them to get their moneyÂ's worth. ItÂ's a lot of pressure.Â

Mr. OÂ'BrienÂ's done this before: His first job after college was in L.A., writing for HBOÂ's Not Necessarily the News. But the Massachusetts native and Harvard alum, who from 1993 to 2009 hosted more than 2,000 episodes of NBCÂ's Late Night from a studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, is fundamentally a creature of the East Coast. Here, we have comedy: cerebral, structural, neurotic. Out there in the Âentertainment factory, itÂ's all razzle-dazzle, bouncy punch lines and soothing potted palms.

In recent months, Mr. OÂ'BrienÂ's developed something of a Los Angeles routine.

ÂIÂ'm incapable of tanning, heÂ's grown fond of pointing out to reporters. And: ÂIÂ'm genetically engineered to live in a bog in Northern Ireland. And: ÂI think that IÂ'm going to be wearing a lot of floppy hats. And: ÂWeÂ're going to have a lot of segments where a dermatologist comes out and checks me. And: ÂIÂ'm going to have a ton of plastic surgery, and youÂ're not going to recognize me. And: ÂMy death from sun rays will be blown way out of proportion in the news.Â

His answers are both literally and figuratively skin-deep. Which is perhaps a telling preoccupation for a man about to undergo a major public moulting. To thrive in his new job, Mr. OÂ'Brien will likely have to shed a couple of layers of his after-midnight edginess and reemerge as a softer, fuzzier figure more easily digestible to a general, 11:30 p.m. audience, and their broader, gummy tastes.

Such a transformationÂin addition to the cross-country relocationÂwould be a trial for any comic. To judge by the breeziness of his answers, Mr. OÂ'Brien is probably hoping that the transplantation will take hold most effectively in the absence of the disrupting force of deep analysis. ÂThe biggest danger to me right now would be overthinking, Mr. OÂ'Brien recently told Parade magazine.

ItÂ's a sentiment that for much of 20th-century American history served as a battle cry for any creative intellectual leaving New York for L.A. Finally, a sunny refuge from the dark, dreary perils of overthinking!

ÂWeÂ're all excited to be out there, said Mr. Sweeney. ÂYou have new stuff to think about."

Annie Hall Rejectionists

In 1977, Woody Allen delivered the seminal sendup of a New York comedian pondering an escape to Hollywood. In Annie Hall, Mr. Allen portrayed L.A. as a effortless wonderland of mindless marketing babble, bad architecture and alfalfa sprouts, where the measure of a man was whether he gave good meetings. L.A. was, in Mr. AllenÂ's estimation, a land for intellectual escapists such as Rob, the expat New York actor (played by Tony Roberts) who happily traded in Shakespeare in the Park for a shot at a ménage-Ã*-trois with 16-year-old twins and the reliability of computer-generated laughter.

ÂThere are a lot of people in Brooklyn who still tout the Annie Hall line, of, you know, ÂNo to L.A. at all costs! said Mr. Sweeney. ÂBut I donÂ't ever want to sound like a cranky New Yorker. I donÂ't feel that way. I like L.A. a lot. I just like cities. If you sent me to Wilmington, Delaware, IÂ'd spend a couple of years digging into the world there. I find L.A. very stimulating, the same way New York was. IÂ'm an Annie Hall rejectionist.Â

One of the supposed pitfalls of L.A. for refugee New Yorkers is that underthinking can become its own kind of peril. One that might be particularly hazardous for Mr. OÂ'Brien, the ultimate brainy Harvard Lampoon-er, fresh to L.A. and gearing up to succeed Jay Leno.

After all, Mr. Leno himself had once been an edgy, mind-buckling comic like Mr. OÂ'Brien. Then he took over The Tonight Show, and transformed into the corny state-fair comic, the balmy California joker, the antidote to Mr. Letterman and his dark New Yorkiness.

Soft intellectual palatability is baked into the Tonight Show brand. ÂThe fact is that TV is probably not the ideal place to discuss serious issues, Johnny Carson once told The New Yorker. ÂItÂ's much better to read about them. (No doubt, there were many moments during the 2008 presidential campaign when John McCain wished that Mr. Letterman had gotten that memo.)

ItÂ's been some 37 years since Mr. Carson made his own cross-country transplantation, moving The Tonight Show from Rockefeller Center to a studio in BurbankÂa move that, at the time, was seen as the final deathblow to New YorkÂ's long-standing claim as the center of live TV in America. But by almost any measure, the move was an amazing success both for Mr. Carson and for NBC. Which is not to say that some things werenÂ't jettisoned along the way. Ed McMahon lost his wife in the move. And Mr. Carson traded in his outsiderÂ's perch for the spot in the heart of the Hollywood clubhouse.

So how will Mr. OÂ'Brien and his comedy crew overcome the single-mindedness of L.A.?

Comedian Greg Fitzsimmons, who has performed extensively and written for comedy shows in both cities, predicts that ConanÂ's writers will struggle making the transition to L.A.

ÂYour life becomes about your family more in L.A. said Mr. Fitzsimmons. ÂIn New York, someone like [Conan writer] Brian Kiley will still go out and do a set after work at the Comedy Cellar. You canÂ't really do that when youÂ're working in Burbank, and the clubs are in Hollywood, and your house is in the Valley. ItÂ's just not going to happen.

ÂI can tell you from experience itÂ's harder to get spots and its harder to pull them off in L.A, he added. ÂThat part of them wonÂ't be fed. And then the interaction that comes with being in a club wonÂ't be fed. So itÂ's going to be a challenge.

ÂEvery show, every sitcom IÂ've written on in L.A., I get in my car, I put Sirius on and I get in line with all the other shmucks, said Mr. Fitzsimmons. ÂAnd I donÂ't have a thought for 50 minutes until I get there. ThatÂ's how you prepare for work in those two cities.Â

Mr. Sweeney downplayed the differences. ÂIÂ've met people from all walks of life, he said. ÂThereÂ's a lot of history and culture out there if you want to find it.Â

He said that once the show gets started, he thinks the day-to-day schedule will be similar to what the team did in New York. ÂIt will be skewed earlier in the day because of the time difference, and because the show will be on an hour earlier, he said. ÂAnd also people lose time getting their cars washed.Â

http://www.observer.com/2009/media/co-west-obrien#
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post #7 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Dude, show hasn't even premiered yet. Are you talking about "The Tonight Show" in general or Conan specifically?

"The Tonight Show"


w/

Conan O'Brien

My mom works for Sony, and she brought home a copy of "Starhawk BETA"
I quickly slipped it into my trusty PS3, and started playing.


GOOZEX Game/Movie Exchange
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post #8 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 11:08 AM
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I have four tickets to the June 8th taping of the show! I am so excited. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

~Tighr: Not helping the situation since 1983

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post #9 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 11:20 AM
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The new studio looks really nice. It looks like it has the feel of the old Late Night set.
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post #10 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 01:19 PM
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Did anyone see the Maher interview last night on Leno? Did they edit out the "******" comment on the East like they did out here? Perhaps one of the most funny interviews I have ever seen on Leno. Shame NBC feels the need to censor something like that at 12am. They BEEP the F word, but do a silent edit of "******." Chickens. The "channel was stuck on Heehaw" had me rolling on the ground though.
BTW, I am glad to see Leno go and Conan take over. Leno is always looking down at his notes when his guests are responding, always thinking of the next lame question to ask. He rarely seem engaged or interested in what his guest have to say. Bu bye.
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post #11 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, "******" was taken out of the East Coast feed.
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post #12 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Yes, "******" was taken out of the East Coast feed.

I noticed that too. At first I thought WTF, then I realized it was "******". Bad move, Jay! I hope Bill has something to say about this on Friday on 'Real Time'.

BTW, I am on the East Coast feed.
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post #13 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
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Yes, "******" was taken out of the East Coast feed.

I couldn't tell exactly what the word was that was being censored. NBC is so "ret**ted" for doing that.
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post #14 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 04:10 PM
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They did a similar thing to Mary Lynn Rajskub for a similar 'phrase' back in January...
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post #15 of 1529 Old 05-21-2009, 04:50 PM
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Maher has a... certain controversial history with his views on "retarded" people(easy to look up on Google for those not aware). The Tonight Show probably did him a favor by censoring his use of that particular word. Plus, it wasn't that long ago that the Tonight Show was home to the Obama/Special Olympics mini-controversy

I was never a huge fan of Conan, but for whatever reason I've found myself anxiously awaiting his return to television. I'm betting on Conan pulling off a pretty smooth transition.
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post #16 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65T500 View Post

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE's Johny?


Id rather watch the 30 years of his reruns.

You and me both but you have to admit it will be fun watching Conan crash and burn.
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post #17 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCrawn View Post

BTW, I am glad to see Leno go and Conan take over. Leno is always looking down at his notes when his guests are responding, always thinking of the next lame question to ask. He rarely seem engaged or interested in what his guest have to say.

I'm not a huge fan of Leno myself, but at least when he tells a joke, and the guest laughs, it's usually a genuine laugh.

Can't say the same for O'Brien. I've never seen such faked, forced laughter by so many guests on a talk show in my life.

I at least hope that some of his gags now will have a punchline or a point to them - not like that "Masturbating Bear" cr*p that's written for 12 year-olds. I really don't think that's going to go over too well with the people that watch in that time slot that have been watching Leno and maybe Johnny Carson up till now, and never really cared for Letterman. He says he's "not going to change", but something tells me that he's going to have to to some degree.
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post #18 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

and never really cared for Letterman.

I look at my guide everyday to see if I'm going to stay up and watch Letterman (live in the west). As far as getting the "BIG" names on the show Letterman seems to have the lock on this. Why?

Maybe its because the stars know that he's the "MAN" when it comes to late night exposure. Or it could be the big names hang out in New York over Hollywood, but I love Letterman because he's irreverent.

These are just my opinions.
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post #19 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 10:02 AM
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Quote:


Can't say the same for O'Brien. I've never seen such faked, forced laughter by so many guests on a talk show in my life

i've never really thought the amount of fake laughter on O'Brien was more or less than any other talkshow, but maybe it's because i find him funny. maybe you just don't find him funny when others do. i know when i've watched Craig Ferguson (just last night actually, because Mindy Kaling was on and i'm a big Office fan), the guests laugh hard at his jokes and i don't find him funny at all. so i'm thinking they're just show-biz laughing.
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post #20 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 11:15 AM
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Well here comes Conan,,,we all must lower our IQ's for the event...How many times is a masturbating bear funny, 1, 2, 1000 times?

Johnny was a class act, Leno a middle class act and now Conan, a low class act for junior high kids.
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post #21 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 11:50 AM
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i love masturbating bear
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post #22 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teisco View Post

Well here comes Conan,,,we all must lower our IQ's for the event...How many times is a masturbating bear funny, 1, 2, 1000 times?

Johnny was a class act, Leno a middle class act and now Conan, a low class act for junior high kids.

Carson was great, Leno was awful, and O'Brien is pretty funny.

The world is full of opinions.
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post #23 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 12:12 PM
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It's all a matter of personal taste.

In general, Leno can tell a joke better and has a better monologue. Letterman is more irrerevent and does a better job with his guests. Both are consummate professionals at their jobs and the long term ratings success of each proves that. Yes, Leno's ratings are better, but remember that before Letterman went to CBS, no one in the history of TV had ever been successful in a time slot against the Tonight Show. And that includes a long list of those who tried, including Joey Bishop / Regis Philbin, Joan Rivers, Arsenio Hall, Chevy Chase, Merv Griffin, Pat Sajak, Geraldo Rivera, Les Crane, Dick Cavett, Bill Maher, Alan Thicke, Whoopi Goldberg, David Brenner, and too many more to list here.

Conan full well knows he'll have to change somewhat to be successful in filling Leno's shoes. But the the same time, each generational change on the Tonight Show (Allen/Parr to Carson, Carson to Leno / Letterman) has resulted in a change in viewership; older viewers go to bed earlier (which this time Leno will capitalize on), 12:35 viewers will gravitate to 11:35, and younger viewers will pick up on Fallon. So, just as Letterman pulled his viewers into the 11:35 time slot, so will Conan. Not sure where this leaves Ferguson, at least until Letterman retires, which I think may happen sooner than later if Conan is successful at 11:35.

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post #24 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 12:13 PM
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people keep bringing up masterbating bear as an example of Conan's low brow humour, when the truth is that bit hardly ever comes on, and when it does it's only for a few seconds. like Leno's any better? Jay walking is something i've never understood. although it might appeal to people who like reality tv, because it's just as fake. the only thing watchable on Leno is the newspaper clippings. Letterman is much better with guests, but his comedy bits have been embarrassing for years.
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post #25 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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Leno wasn't as funny or creative as Johnny Carson. Maybe Conan can bring back Carnac the Magnificent. Does Conan have a sidekick the way Carson had Ed McMahon?
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post #26 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
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Leno wasn't as funny or creative as Johnny Carson. Maybe Conan can bring back Carnac the Magnificent. Does Conan have a sidekick the way Carson had Ed McMahon?

Conan used to have Andy Richter in the early years of his 'Late Night' show, and depending on who you ask, the show was a lot better when he had Andy.
The program information on DirecTV lists Andy Richter on all of the episodes for the first week, and I've read that he will be the announcer on the new show, so I hope he does more than just raise his mug every night.

-Jr.
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post #27 of 1529 Old 05-23-2009, 11:49 PM
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Conan used to have Andy Richter in the early years of his 'Late Night' show, and depending on who you ask, the show was a lot better when he had Andy.

I certainly thought so.
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post #28 of 1529 Old 05-24-2009, 12:19 AM
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From redeye Chicago:

Andy Richter and Conan O'Brien—together again.

Richter, who was O’Brien’s sidekick for seven years on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” will be the announcer when his buddy takes over as host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien” on June 1, the network has announced.

It’s been almost nine years since they worked together on a daily basis. They should have never stopped working together, which was obvious during O'Brien's final "Late Night", when Richter helped O’Brien say goodbye by showing clips of some of their favorite old skits.

Thankfully Richter also will participate in comedy bits on "The Tonight Show."

“Andy is one of the funniest people I know and we've maintained a close friendship since he left "Late Night," O'Brien said in a press statement. “We have a proven chemistry that will be an incredible asset to ‘The Tonight Show.’ I'm looking forward to working with Andy on a daily basis again, particularly since he owes me $300.”

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post #29 of 1529 Old 05-24-2009, 03:53 AM
 
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You people must be old geezers not to like conan.
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post #30 of 1529 Old 05-24-2009, 04:48 AM
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Having Andy Richter involved in the Tonight Show easily doubles (if not more) my interest. I'm not anti-Conan, but the 2 of them together is potential gold.

-Jr.
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