Jay Leno may be back beating David Letterman on late-night TV, but ousted "Tonight Show" host Conan O'Brien isn't just moping at home. Although he is contractually forbidden from being on TV until the fall, the red-haired funnyman just announced an ambitious, 32-city live comedy tour. What Conan calls his "half-assed" variety show is already a huge box office success, selling out big venues in hours. But will the comedian's quirky brand of late night comedy work in a live setting? (Watch a report about Conan's announced comedy tour)
Conan is made for the stage: A live variety show is perfect for Conan, says E! TV producer KP Anderson, quoted in The Christian Science Monitor. He's “obsessed with the absurd," a master at "adapting to the unexpected," and adept at handling other talent. You can't say all that about Leno.
"Conan O'Brien tour coming, but will he return to TV?"
He can't live up to the hype: Conan is canny to cash in on all the "warm, fuzzy" post-NBC feeling for him, says Michael Tunison in The New Ledger. But how long will that sensation last when people who didn't watch him "free every night on their TV" realize they just paid "$80 to see Conan O'Brien do an extended monologue live"?
"The Conan backlash draws nigh"
This tour is for Fox, not the fans: No doubt Conan's fans will enjoy this, says Lisa de Moraes in The Washington Post. But this is about business, not pleasure. Given the ongoing negotiations over Conan's TV future, it would've been more honest to call this the "How to Improve My Bargaining Position in Fox Late-Night Show Talks tour."
"Conan O'Brien's Might as Well Do This While I'm Not on TV Tour"
SEE MORE OPINION BRIEFS ON THIS TOPIC:
• Jay Leno's return to "The Tonight Show": Worth the cost?
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