TV Review: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien

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Conan O’Brien made his debut as host of The Tonight Show Monday. The following are assorted reviews from TV critics around the Internet, compiled by B&C.

“The first night of what will probably be the first night of the rest of Conan O’Brien’s professional life was not a disaster. Not at all. But it was far from a success.”

-Verne Gay, Newsday

“I’m certainly not predicting doom for him…but I do wonder if any Jay fans who were on the fence about giving this freakishly tall replacement a shot may have hopped off the fence after last night to wait for their man to return in primetime in September.”

-Alan Sepinwall, The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)

“Overall, the show wasn’t O’Brien at his funniest, but it was funny enough to get by.”

-Robert Bianco, USA Today

“All in all, a large-scale, impressive debut.”

-Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

“His opening night was…funnier than any greatest hits collection one could mash up of Leno on YouTube.”

-Mark A. Perigard, The Boston Herald

“He lives and dies by being funny and smart. He was both during his Monday night debut.”

-Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News

“Conan O’Brien’s first Tonight Show was a good one-if you like canned video clips rather than topical humor. Otherwise, there wasn’t much to get excited about.”

-David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun

“Moving up to the big time, and relocating to the earlier time slot, seems to have robbed Conan of much of his charm.”

-Tom Shales, Washington Post

“One hour earlier, still pale but in greater danger of sunburn, up a sidekick but down a FedEx Pope-is Conan still Conan? Disappointingly, it’s too early to tell.”

-Paige Wiser, Chicago Sun-Times

“Hit and miss. Not a disaster…but no roaring success, either.”

-Alex Strachan, The Gazette (Montreal)