Conan O'Brien's late-night revamp was underwhelming -- it's essentially the same show
"Same show, same Coco, same Andy, different set, no band, and all in just 21 minutes, not counting commercials. Now, for the quiz part of this review: What's missing?" asks Verne Gay. "What's missing, obviously, is what was supposed to be here. After a three-month sabbatical during which time Conan — on tour, or off on a mountain, pondering the future of late night — was supposed to come back with a dramatically revised model of this time-honored, threadworn TV format. While not explicitly stating as much as implicitly suggesting as much, fans were promised a New Coco for a New Era. That hasn't happened, at least with the first edition as evidence. Instead, Conan now feels like a lonely, underfunded outpost in the wilds of late night TV, where the other hosts venture out nightly with their artillery aimed squarely at the easiest target in the known universe." As Gay points out, Conan having Tom Hanks as his first guest is a throwback to his old show. "Hanks is always a good guest, but someone who always seems like the first guest on refurbished shows," says Gay. "'Always' is the problematic word here: Among his many talents, Hanks just feels like the peerless, perfect late night show guest. We know because we've seen him in this role before many times. So to add to the above list: Same guest."
- Conan revamp felt like a missed opportunity for true reinvention: It's the same show, only shorter
- The show might look different, but Conan is very much the same late-night host we’ve been watching for over 25 years
- If you believed the hype of a less-structured talk show for modern times, you're going to be disappointed
- Conan seemed reenergized by cutting out the fat of the one-hour late-night format
- Not all talk shows come out fully formed: Perhaps the revamped Conan is still evolving
- Conan O'Brien is spending the week in Australia shooting a new "Conan Without Borders"
- Stephen Colbert recalls Late Night with Conan O'Brien rejecting him as a writer
- Conan O'Brien no longer has to fill time with "perfunctory nipple play" thanks to his new half-hour format
- Conan O'Brien and Nick Kroll teach a sex-ed class