Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Conan O'Brien (1-10 of 30)

'Johnny Carson: King of Late Night' airing tonight: Overrated royalty? A review

Tonight’s edition of PBS American Masters, titled Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, offers a well-edited description of why Johnny Carson is held in such high esteem as late night’s most influential host, even as it carefully avoids any hard questions about Carson’s talent or originality. READ FULL STORY

Larry King: 'I want to be frozen when I die.' Seth MacFarlane: 'You want to live forever?'

Oh, my, what a shocker that Larry King: Dinner with King special was on Sunday night. King hosted a dinner at his house with his wife Shawn and a camera crew, with guests Conan O’Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Tyra Banks, Shaquille O’Neal, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones and Russell Brand. READ FULL STORY

'Conan': His first week is over. How'd he do? Better and better...

Conan began the first week of Conan with jittery self-consciousness and an obsession with the wound that created Team Coco. Second-night guest Tom Hanks put it most succinctly when he joked that the host needed to “blame something on someone other than Jay.” But O’Brien concluded his week on Thursday night with a serene, sauntering entrance and a confident rhythm.

Conan’s beginning to use the TBS set to interact with audience members spontaneously, and engaging in more conversation and comedy bits with his greatest asset, sidekick and national treasure Andy Richter. It’s clearer than ever that READ FULL STORY

Jon Stewart takes on Olbermann, Maddow, and Maher; also announces a new rally

Jon Stewart began Monday night’s Daily Show by congratulating Conan O’Brien on his new show… and feigned shock upon discovering that Conan is now his time-period competition. “Now I’ll never be able to watch me!” he howled.

But Stewart was just winding up. As we kinda knew he would, Stewart wasted no time in taking on READ FULL STORY

'Conan' first-night review: Coco's so-so show

A little over nine months after leaving The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien gave birth to Conan on Monday night, and the baby arrived looking both familiar and a little tired.

Conan commenced with a taped bit about O’Brien’s departure from NBC, complete with READ FULL STORY

Conan O'Brien online 'Show Zero' review: Gee, that was fast...

On Monday night, Conan O’Brien went online with a “Show Zero” — a supposed preview of what his new TBS talk show will be like when it premieres on Nov. 8. O’Brien said that READ FULL STORY

The Emmy Awards: OK, I only predicted half the winners, but it was a terrific show, because...

To anyone who placed bets based on my Emmy Awards choices for “who will win,” I offer a half-apology: of the 12 categories on my ballot yesterday, I was correct in only six. I foresaw the victories of Modern Family, Jane Lynch, Jon Stewart, Edie Falco, Jim Parsons, and Temple Grandin.

But I — and you — have a lot to be happy about anyway:

• How great that Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston won acting awards for my favorite TV series of the year thus far, Breaking Bad.

• How wonderful that quality triumphed over READ FULL STORY

Here's who'll win the Emmys in the variety/musical and best TV-movie categories

colbert-stewart-obrienImage Credit: Martin Crook/Comedy Central/Frank Ockenfels 3/Comedy Central/Mitchell Haaseth/NBCThis week, we’re considering two categories; unlike previous weeks, I’m asserting who I hope will win, since who will win may very well be different.

In the Outstanding Musical, Variety, or Comedy series category, we have:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

The Colbert Report

Saturday Night Live

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien

Real Time with Bill Maher

Who I Hope Will Win Jon Stewart plowed new ground this season, which is to say, he built up rage against so many worthy targets, and found fresh ways of expressing that anger through humor, that his show achieved a whole new level of comic effectiveness. He deserves the win.

Who May Win My colleague Lynette Rice has laid out an excellent argument for why Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show may take an Emmy. Never underestimate Emmy voters’ desire to catch a wave of public sympathy for a man who was wronged. On the other hand, in an industry town like Los Angeles, a lot of voters look upon Conan as a business loser, and that may work against him.

Shoulda been contenders Where the hell is the nomination for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson? And The Late Show with David Letterman?

The nominees for Outstanding Made for Television Movie are:

You Don’t Know Jack

Georgia O’Keefe

Temple Grandin

The Special Relationship

Endgame

Moonshot

Who should win Temple Grandin. Away and by far the best tv-movie, Temple Grandin featured a superlative performance by Claire Danes in the title role of the real-life woman with autism who became a significant inventor, and the film itself avoided any easy sentimentality and biopic cliches.

Who may win You Don’t Know Jack Never underestimate Emmy voters as suckers for a movie star: Al Pacino as Dr. Jack Kevorkian gave a fine performance; it’s just that Temple Grandin was a better production overall.

Shoulda been contenders The TV-movie genre is in such poor health, there should actually have been fewer nominees in this category; the excellence just isn’t there these days.

So what do you think of my picks? Do you think Stewart can win over Conan? Do you think someone else should win?

Follow: @kentucker

Were these the best Emmy nominations for which we could have hoped? Yes. Here's why.

Emmy nominations: Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton — yay! Tony Shalhoub and Toni Collette — I’d have preferred new jack swingers Toni! Tony! Tone!

Yes, it’s that time to grouse about some of the shows that were neglected in  major categories (Fringe, Sons of Anarchy, Justified) and praise the selection of worthies that were recognized (Friday Night Lights, The Good Wife).

The thing is, this was just about the best set of Emmy nominations we could expect, a mix of READ FULL STORY

Conan was asked to be in Super Bowl ad with Leno and Letterman, and Leno bombs at White House Correspondents dinner

1. I didn’t think it was possible to come up with a worse comedic performance than Rich Little’s, at George Bush’s 2007 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, but last night Jay Leno managed to be not merely less funny, but also seemed uncharacteristically irritated. He rushed through one tepid joke after another. When many were met with only mild laughs, Leno resorted to that oldest of comedian complaints — he actually said, “Ooh, this is a tough room.” No, tough was sitting through jokes about Betty White being as old as Abraham Lincoln:

2. Few media outlets and Team Coco seem to have picked up on a choice bit of trivia David Letterman dropped on Friday’s Live with Regis and Kelly. Letterman, prodded by Regis Philbin to rehash “the late night wars” once again, brought up the Super Bowl commercial in which he, Leno, and Oprah Winfrey squabbled on a sofa. Dave, who was amusing while joshing with Regis and Kelly Ripa, dropped the kidding for a moment and gave us a glimpse into how mini-events like this come together.

Letterman said that originally, his idea had been to have Conan join him and Jay on that sofa. But Conan declined. The quotes re. Conan occur about nine minutes into this clip:

I suppose the insults O’Brien had endured by NBC and, by extension, Leno, were too fresh in his mind to permit him to share furniture-space with Leno, but really, where were the man’s comedic instincts? Think of how much more amusing/squirmy/talked-about this spot would have been with Conan in the middle.

3. Conan on 60 Minutes tonight. Having seen the same clips you have, I understand the misgivings my colleague Kate Ward has about Conan coming off as a victim tonight. But two observations in advance: His beard really works in the 60 Minutes context, and wouldn’t it have been more typically Conan if, instead of being interviewed by a 60 Minutes correspondent, he’d asked to take over Andy Rooney’s spot for the final minute (“You know what I hate? I hate it when a guy gives you his show and then tries to take it back… “)?

Follow @kentucker

For more: Conan on ’60 Minutes’: Will too much NBC-Leno talk turn him into a victim

Latest Videos in TV

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP