n a much-debated "60 Minutes" interview, Conan O'Brien opened up about his treatment by NBC during the "Late Night wars." Bearded, weary, and (some say) all too evidently bitter, the abruptly deposed host of NBC's "The Tonight Show," talked about his very public January feud with both the network and Jay Leno, who reclaimed his old job after O'Brien was forced out. Was Conan's "60 Minutes" performance a strategic error? (Watch Conan's "60 Minutes" interview)
Quit your whining, Conan: O'Brien projected "the wrong image, at the wrong time," says Andrew Wallenstein at THR.com. "Displaying zero of the antic charm" he has become famous for, Conan seemed like an "egocentric Hollywood type" on "60 Minutes." Portraying his sacking from NBC as "some kind of grand injustice," he came across as an "oversensitive prima donna."
"Why Conan should not have done '60 Minutes'"
He was serious and sympathetic: Conan's "low-key performance" was entirely apt, says Linda Holmes at NPR. This was Conan's human side, not his comic persona. He was "masterfully" even-handed, defending NBC's move as a "totally understandable business decision" and only criticizing his "post hoc" trashing by the network and by Leno. If this was a "public relations gambit," it worked.
"Watch as Conan O'Brien does what needs doing on '60 Minutes'"
He was excruciating, but let's move on: I'm a big Conan fan, says Kate Ward at Entertainment Weekly. His exit from "The Tonight Show" was "incredibly graceful" because he comically transcended cynicism and came out the bigger man. But on "60 Minutes" he painted himself as the "perpetual victim" and lost some of that grace. He should "drop the smack-talk" now and focus on his new TBS show, not the past.
"Will too much NBC-Leno talk turn him into a victim?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Here are the people who want to take a one way trip to Mars
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
Subscribe to the Week