Conan O’Brien Revives Edgy “Late Night” Vibe at First Live Show

April 13th, 2010 by Scott Sepich Leave a reply »

Photo: Buckner/Getty
Though he may not legally be able to be funny on television — at least not until his new TBS show premieres in November — Conan O’Brien kicked off his 32-city North American live comedy tour on Monday night with old friends, unexpected guests and a giant inflatable bat. And he was extremely funny.

“This is the first time anyone has ever paid to see me perform,” O’Brien informed the delirious sold-out crowd at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon, before getting in his first dig at NBC:
“But people have paid to make me go away.”

With no couch or desk in sight, Conan lorded over the proceedings from the front of the stage, flanked by longtime sidekick Andy Richter and backed by the very band that spent 17 years with him on TV — without leader Max Weinberg.

The show started with the former Tonight Show Band — now the Legally Prohibited Band — ripping through Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” with trombone player Richie “La Bamba” Rosenberg taking the lead on vocals.

For the next 90 minutes, Conan mixed live segments of comedy and music with pre-recorded material shown on a screen behind the stage that served to transition from one piece to the next.

The vibe was much more Late Night than Tonight Show, with Conan strolling on stage looking like a paler, redheaded Barry Gibb, complete with full beard, no tie, and the top two buttons undone on his shirt. The content of the show occasionally strayed to places he’s never gone on TV, with a smattering of profanities tossed in to give the show an edgier feel.

After a lengthy standing ovation greeted him, he admitted to missing the nightly adoration from a live audience. “You have no idea how shallow I am,” he cracked.

Conan never mentioned his former employer by name, but did take a few ...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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