“The prodigal sidekick has returned,” said Gina Serpe in E! Online. “Andy Richter will be playing McMahon to Conan O'Brien's Carson when O'Brien takes the Tonight Show reins from Jay Leno this summer.” But Richter will play a different role than he did as O'Brien's Late Show second banana—this time he'll be the show’s announcer and will regularly appear in comedy bits. Should be interesting. (Click here to watch the first ever O’Brien and Richter ‘In the Year 2000’ skit)
This is a smart move on Conan’s part, said Rob Salem in the Toronto Star. “Richter did stellar service in the same capacity back when Conan inherited Late Night from Letterman,” so there’s no reason to think he won’t do the same this time around.
“Welcome as it is to see a funny voice like Richter's return to TV," said Eric Deggans in the St. Petersburg, Fla., Times, “it's a puzzling move for O'Brien, who really seemed to come into his own when Richter left the show in 2000 after seven years.” Then again, “its a back-to-the-future move that may make the new Tonight Show stand out.”
Here’s what’s going on here, said Tim Goodman in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Conan doesn't need a co-host or sidekick anymore. He's on safe ground and confident. Reunited in this way still allows Richter to pursue film (and possibly television) roles”—he knows what he’s doing.