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TV Review: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien

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)