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Conan O’Brien’s First
TONIGHT SHOW Guest Is …

Published at: May 18, 2009, 2:29 p.m. CST by hercules

I am – Hercules!!

Will Ferrell has been booked as the first guest on the first episode of “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien,” airing June 1. An infinitely better choice than conversational black hole Robert De Niro, who was Jimmy Fallon’s first guest. Pearl Jam will be the musical guest. O’Brien will serve as guest on the last episode of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” airing May 29. Look! Press release!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WILL FERRELL AND MUSICAL GUEST PEARL JAM HEADLINE THE PREMIERE OF “THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O’BRIEN” Universal City, Calif. – May 18, 2009 – Will Ferrell will be the first guest on the couch for the debut of "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" on June 1. Ferrell, who helped usher O'Brien out of New York on the final "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," will help welcome O'Brien to his new home in Los Angeles. In addition Pearl Jam will be the inaugural band on Conan's "The Tonight Show." Pearl Jam will perform songs from their upcoming studio album. Conan O'Brien, the dominant late-night host at 12:35 a.m. (ET) for the past 14 seasons, will succeed Jay Leno as host of the preeminent series on late-night television, NBC's "The Tonight Show," on June 1, 2009. "The Tonight Show" continues to be the most dominant late-night institution in television history. Since it first premiered on September 27, 1954 with Steve Allen, "The Tonight Show" has had just four permanent hosts, including Leno. Allen, host of the then titled "Tonight," eventually left late night to start his own primetime variety series on NBC. Jack Paar premiered on July 29, 1957. On October 1, 1962, Johnny Carson stepped on stage for day one of his tenure as host of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." Leno, who began guest-hosting "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in September 1987, became host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on May 25, 1992. O'Brien joined NBC as a writer on "Saturday Night Live" in 1988 and premiered as host of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on September 13, 1993. "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" will originate from Stage 1 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and will be produced by Universal Media Studios. Jeff Ross is the executive producer.
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Readers Talkback

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  • May 18, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    DON'T JUDGE CONAN UNTIL HE'S A FEW MONTHS IN...

    by digital8

  • May 18, 2009, 2:28 p.m. CST

    OMG

    by Zeegloo

    WOAH!...

  • May 18, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    I hope they don't cut his balls off

    by Unlabled

    Because then he will become unfunny. And no one wants to see that. Push the envelope Conan!

  • May 18, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Why wait a few months to judge?

    by Aloy

    Either he has it or he doesn't and unless he does a radical revamp of his shtick this'll be a snoozer.

  • May 18, 2009, 2:40 p.m. CST

    I haven't watched Conan in ages

    by Retlaw Kciuq

    But that's only because I couldn't bother to watch television for a few years and he was on too late. I'm definitely watching his Tonight Show.

  • May 18, 2009, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Air Date

    by marshmeli

    The press release and PJ's site lists the first episode airing on 6/1 not 5/29...

  • May 18, 2009, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Tonight Show has sucked, since Carson left.

    by jimmy rabbitte

    Jay Leno isn't funny; and Conan is a far better writer than he is a performer.

  • May 18, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Andy Richter's back.

    by CoursinLarry

    And that's all that matters.

  • May 18, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Pearl Jam

    by darthvedder81

    The only real rock and roll band left. Should be a great show.

  • May 18, 2009, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Andy Richter's back

    by SifoDyasJr.

    needs a shave

  • May 18, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    don't judge for a few months?

    by itrainmonkeys

    and yet Fallon was deemed a failure after one night by many? <br><br>If anything Conan should be judged harder because he's been doing the show for 15 years while Jimmy Fallon was (and is) still finding his feet and seeing what works. I'm a huge Conan fan and will tape and will watch when he takes over......but to say not to judge him for a few months is ridiculous. Especially after all the anti-fallon stuff that was said BEFORE he even aired the first episode. <br><br>Ferrell and Pearl Jam are great first guests. I'm excited to see how this show will (or won't) be different.

  • May 18, 2009, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Already bored with Conan...

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    He was a flash in the pan.

  • May 18, 2009, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Pearl Jam

    by landj9697

    ...had exactly 1 1/2 good albums in them. They squandered that early and have relied on their fan's assumption that Vedder is the next Jim Morrison ever since. Seeing as how Morrison was an overrated tool, I can see the confusion.

  • May 18, 2009, 3:42 p.m. CST

    That guy gets around

    by lockesbrokenleg

    I hope his movie doesn't bomb. It doesn't look good.

  • May 18, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Pearl Jam? Is it 1994 again?

    by F-18

  • May 18, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Actually...

    by F-18

    I like Pearl Jam.

  • May 18, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Seeing Carson daily > seeing Carson Daly

    by Cletus Van Damme

    And what's with Dave literally using the same jokes weeks at a time in his monologue?

  • May 18, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Anxiously Awaiting

    by MarkoOhNo

    Don't know what I'll watch after 12:30 though. Jimmy Fallon is pretty much worthless and I've never considered Craig Ferguson funny at all. Guess I'll have to just flip through the movie channels or something. :P

  • May 18, 2009, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Pearl Jam

    by MarkoOhNo

    I always liked gettin me some Pearl Jam on toast with a little peanut butter.... ummmm But anyway, to answer your question Mr Spork, they just recently rereleased one of their first albums and made it all shiny. Something like that.

  • May 18, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    It's...

    by MarkoOhNo

    Will Ferrel, Pearl Jelly time! Will Ferrel, Pearl Jelly time! Will Ferrel, Pearl Jelly time! :P

  • May 18, 2009, 4:12 p.m. CST

    I'm only watching Fallon to see if they re-united

    by BillboeFett

    the saved by the bell cast. I bet Mark Paul Gosselar and Screech are the holdouts that kill the whole thing. Fuck you Zack, I don't care if you're on the steven bochko thing. And Screech, we all know you're a GIGANTIC asshole from the celebrity fit club shows

  • May 18, 2009, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Didn't Ferrell once do the Conan show

    by skimn

    entirely in the persona of Robert Goulet??

  • May 18, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    1 1/2 good albums?

    by darthvedder81

    "Versus" is awesome but "Ten" is actually one of their weakest (and even after the excellent remix it still sounds extremely dated). "Yield" is their opus and I haven't heard a better rock album in the 11 years since it was released.

  • May 18, 2009, 5:03 p.m. CST

    I guess The White Stripes were busy

    by thelordofhell

    Conan loves him some White Stripes.....I just love me some Meg White.

  • May 18, 2009, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Leno is going to get EATEN at 10

    by Zardozap2005

    Leno already has enough backlash directed at him for eating up the 10pm slot, and generally screwing up the entire network. Can't wait till he bombs ratings-wise like Rosie.

  • May 18, 2009, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Conan needs to bring back the beard

    by ThrowMeTheIdol

    It did the impossible, it made him telegenic. It just fit him. I like the dude as a comedian but his face is just too awkward. Without the beard he just doesn't look like he belongs on camera.<p> But at least he's not Leno - yay.

  • May 18, 2009, 5:34 p.m. CST

    The Tonight Show's sucked since Steve Allen left.

    by Flim Springfield

  • May 18, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST

    landj9697 re: Pearl Jam

    by hobsnobber

    I'm not trolling here, but just curious as to what music you enjoy listening to because comparing Eddie Vedder to Jim Morrison, for any other reason other than pure aesthetics, is not only ignorant, but also grounds for being locked in a Hole poster-plastered room while being subjected to an iTunes playlist labeled "Creed's Greatest Hits" (but at least you would enjoy the silence).<p>I do agree, however, that Morrison is completely overrated.

  • May 18, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Anyone who only likes Pearl Jam's first two album most likely al

    by gunnarcannibal

    Vitalogy and on is when Pearl Jam started really getting interesting I love Alive and Jeremy like everyone else but they have got nothing on Immortality, Corduroy, Brain of J, Do The Evolution, Habit, Hail-Hail, Off He Goes, Nothing's As It Seems, Severed Hand, Save You, You Are, Life Wasted and so on...grow the fuck up...yar! Also Pearl Jam are EASILY one of the greatest live acts on this planet...

  • May 18, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Will he christen the show with a Leprechaun striptease?

    by santoanderson

    I sure hope so...

  • May 18, 2009, 6:04 p.m. CST

    @landj9697

    by jason baum

    i'm also curious what kind of music gods you are listening to. i'll always thank people like you for ruining the FM dial by requesting the same 2 songs off the same 2 albums for decades: thus inspiring the creation of satellite radio.

  • May 18, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST

    A safe choice

    by ballyhoo

    Ferrel is often funnier on talk show appearances than he is in his films.

  • May 18, 2009, 6:55 p.m. CST

    What exactly is Richter doing?

    by Timahh

    is he just announcing names?

  • May 18, 2009, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Pearl Jam Fucking Owns

    by Kief_Ledger

    Vs. is my favorite album, but Yield and Vitalogy are right below it. Whoever above said Ten sounds dated is right. Seeing them twice in Chicago in August. Will be two killer shows!!!

  • May 18, 2009, 7:28 p.m. CST

    @MarkoOhNo

    by Malicoire

    "I always liked gettin me some Pearl Jam on toast with a little peanut butter" --MarkoOhNo <p> Um, you're aware that "pearl jam" is semen, right?

  • May 18, 2009, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Pearl Jam fucking RULES.

    by Thrillho77

    Seriously. Their 90's glory days may be over, but they are still the best live act going today and can still bring the fucking house down.

  • May 18, 2009, 7:41 p.m. CST

    darthvedder81

    by Thrillho77

    YES! A fellow man who recognizes "Yield" as the pinnacle of Pearl Jam's talents - it's a near-perfect album. In Hiding gives me goosebumps every time.

  • May 18, 2009, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Conan should interview Fallon

    by chromedome

    get em both in the same place, hope the building collapses and gives the industry a twofer

  • May 18, 2009, 7:59 p.m. CST

    by MrDerp99

    Glad some PJ fans got here to dismiss the stupidity of the first couple "Pearl Jam = 1994" responses. If you really believe Pearl Jam hasn't done anything since '94 you must have stopped listening to rock music after Cobain died, cause PJ's best stuff is all post '94. One of the best live acts around right now and for the last 15 years. They blow the roof off every venue they play every single time. They come out with a different setlist every night and play the hell out of it, no fancy light shows or videos. Just a couple hours of rock at it's best. I'll take that any day over any of bands out there that hinge their tours on production pieces and playing the same safe hit-list setlist every single night. (Thrillho77, I'm with you on Yield as the best of the best. It's perfect, and Jack Irons is the man)

  • May 18, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Is Joel Goddard replacing Pardo on SNL?

    by Shermdawg

    One would assume so.

  • May 18, 2009, 8:15 p.m. CST

    If Conan wants to

    by dirtsandwich

    beat all the other talk show's asses on his opening night he should have Osama Bin Ladin on, footage of Bigfoot talking a dump, and a Led Zeppelin re-union WITH John Bonham.

  • May 18, 2009, 8:16 p.m. CST

    darthvedder81 no offense but...

    by gotilk

    (and Pearl Jam is great).. <br> GET .. OUT... MORE.

  • May 18, 2009, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Night two

    by dirtsandwich

    Conan should have on the show(in the studio) Charles Manson, GM and Chrysler CEOs vs UAW workers in the ring and Mr Methane for his musical guest.

  • May 18, 2009, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Night 3 his quests should be

    by dirtsandwich

    Hu Jintao (China's leader) on how long he thinks before China takes over the US, plus Donald Trump vs Rosie "fat fuck" O Donnell in the ring. She'll win because she'll eat him. Musical guest "Barf Boy".

  • May 18, 2009, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Night 4 his guests should be

    by dirtsandwich

    Ron Jeremy promoting his new movie "One-Eyed Monster", also Vince Neil vs Axl Rose in the ring, music by Venom.

  • May 18, 2009, 10:31 p.m. CST

    The Fedex Pope

    by Anything But Tangerines

    does not want you to watch Angels and Demons

  • May 18, 2009, 11:01 p.m. CST

    The Tonight Show has sucked since Steve Allen left

    by Photoman

    Seriously...

  • May 19, 2009, 12:41 a.m. CST

    MrDerp99

    by F-18

    I was joking about the Pearl Jam 1994 thing. <p> If you can't take a joke, fuck you.

  • May 19, 2009, 1:31 a.m. CST

    Pearl Jam

    by OfficerJunior

    Pearl Jam is one of the few true rock bands left on the planet. They're truely masters of the trade. Very anxious to hear new album stuff. the avocado album was great. The follow up should be fire.

  • May 19, 2009, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Having Conan back

    by OfficerJunior

    is a bonus too. Fallon is unwatchable. Lick it for 10? Sucks it at 11:30. That's central, check local listings

  • May 19, 2009, 1:48 a.m. CST

    The Tonight Show was once 2 1/2 hours long

    by snowpuff

    When Steve Allen did it. Every night. Can you imagine that?

  • May 19, 2009, 2:19 a.m. CST

    gotilk

    by darthvedder81

    "Get out more"? What the fuck does that mean? Show me one mainstream rock album better crafted than "Yield" post-1998. I dare you (and I listen to and like a lot of rock). Everything since then has been rap-rock, Limp Bizkit, Hoobastinkubus bullshit.

  • May 19, 2009, 2:38 a.m. CST

    No Code

    by MorganLeafy

    was good too. Ten was NOT their best album

  • May 19, 2009, 2:41 a.m. CST

    I'll check it out

    by kafka07

    Conan's the only non-cable late night personality that I will bother watching.

  • May 19, 2009, 4:25 a.m. CST

    Conan is annoying. This is the end of the Tonight Show.

    by MRE

    It's not a friggin birthright that the Tonight Show will always survive and you can put any host on it will do well. I predict flop. I watched his show the first seven years and I really grew to hate him on my TV screen.

  • May 19, 2009, 5:24 a.m. CST

    Face it

    by The McPoyle Clan

    Most of late night TV is stale and formulaic. If there isn't a guest you have a particular interest in appearing, you just play the channel roulette in the hope that something inspired will occur, but those moments are rare.

  • May 19, 2009, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Better than Yield...darthvedder81

    by Midnightxpress

    Post 98 that's a toughie...Rated R definately. Maybe the second Mastodon album. Certainly I've enjoyed alot of underground Metal more, but in the mainstream few albums are as consistanly good as Yield. And I don't really care for Ten as an album at all.

  • May 19, 2009, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Lettermen is going to CREAM him....

    by j2talk

    Conan is a waste of space....Bring on Craig Ferguson.....

  • May 19, 2009, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Would have been more impressed with 'Cheesus'

    by Dr Gregory House

  • May 19, 2009, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Why do people think having De Niro as a guest...

    by BigTuna

    is a big deal? The guy can't talk without a script. He's boring beyond belief. Terrible idea by Jimmy to have him as his first guest. At least Ferrel is "Fun".

  • May 19, 2009, 7:31 a.m. CST

    The problem with Conan is he won't appeal to "Middle America"

    by BigTuna

    Like Leno does. Leno's humour is so "Safe" and non-offending in every way. Letterman to some degree faces this same problem. Not everyone will "Get" him. That's why Letterman and Conan were huge amongst the college crowds.

  • May 19, 2009, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Pearl Jam

    by listen___do_you_smell_something

    I've been arguing for years that Yield is one of there best albums!! I'm very glad to find others who share the same thoughts!

  • May 19, 2009, 8:46 a.m. CST

    All Conan needs to do is bring the Masturbating Bear

    by white_vader

    ...and the rest will be easy. Even mainstream audiences can't resist Masturbating Bear.

  • May 19, 2009, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Haven't watched Conan since Pimp-Bot 5000

    by jarjarmessiah

    But Richter is coming back, so I'll give it a chance. I also loved the Hasidic Ninjas.

  • May 19, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST

    I am sick of people saying....

    by Chadley BeBay

    "Give him some time, no one is funny for their first few years..." or whatever. If the host is funny and the writers are funny, there is NO FUCKING reason why the first episode, the second, and so on would be funny. Its only when the writers and the host have no idea how to be funny, or which style of humor they want to go for, that it is when it sucks. Jimmy Fallon had countless weeks to prepare, but because he sucks and the writers suck, the show sucks. If we wanted to wait a few years for him to get funny, ok... but I do not think this is something that should be expected. Its bullshit.

  • May 19, 2009, 9:32 a.m. CST

    the star of SLOWLY ROTATING BLACK MAN

    by SlickyVonBoner

    should make an appearance. That new show is getting all the buzz.

  • May 19, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST

    @darthvedder

    by Kief_Ledger

    There are a few good modern bands out there. My Morning Jacket for one.

  • May 19, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Andy Richter's Front!

    by Alkeoholic77

    And he's back!

  • May 19, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Pearl Jam

    by STLost

    Can't wait to see them play on Conan. Also, since they are playing new music from the new album, does that mean this album is coming out sooner than expected? I heard Fall '09. <p> Anyway, I agree with the other PJ fans: they are a great live band, and one of the few true rock and roll bands left today. They also pioneered the distribution of their concert bootlegs via stores and online.

  • May 19, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Artists that used to be good (that suck now)

    by landj9697

    I love watching people get all fired up about someone else calling their favorite artist crappy. Look, I called darthvedder81 out on the Pearl Jam thing because: 1) his handle is darthvedder81 and 2) he made the asinine statement that Pearl Jam is the only real rock and roll band left. Obviously, my statement is a personal opinion, but he (and some others here) want to act like Eddie and crew are dainty damsels who have had their reputations sullied by my disparaging post. Truth is, Pearl Jam is just one of many bands/artists that were once great that now ride their previous success through wave after wave of less than exciting releases. Some fans can actually realize that this is happening, while others will stay on that sinking ship all the way to the bottom. I think a lot of it comes down to the artists (usually the lead singer) becoming incredibly self important and thinking that someone actually gives a damn what they do outside of music. For more examples of this phenomenon, check out Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and the king of this problem, Bono (U2). The only one of these bands that I ever really had tremendous respect for was R.E.M., but I did not despise the others. However, since several people seem so interested in it, here are a few artists that I once loved that have put out recent albums that range from violently mediocre to pure shit: Bjork Jane's Addiction The Cure Linkin Park B-52's Living Colour Once great artists that have been very hit and miss: Depeche Mode Tori Amos New Order Pet Shop Boys And artists that I feel have consistently turned out good material over a 10 plus year period (the occasional stinker is allowed): Nine Inch Nails Erasure Blue October So if it makes you feel better, go ahead and extrapolate on how big of a fag you think Trent Reznor is. I won't care, and I'm pretty sure he won't either (if you call Andy Bell of Erasure a fag, he'll just give you a kiss and invite you out to dinner).

  • May 19, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Talkback blocked on Hercvault? Por que?

    by SoylentMean

    Anybody else think that's kinda odd?

  • May 19, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Can't wait, Conan is cash money.

    by DrPain

    And him and Any back together! Bye Leno!!!!!

  • May 19, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Any=Andy, right DrPain?

    by SoylentMean

    At least I hope so.

  • May 19, 2009, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Conan is a New York dude

    by the_frog

    I don't see him as a good fit in the intellectually-deprived area known as LA. He should have stuck to his guns and kept the show East.

  • May 19, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Dream job =

    by Quin the Eskimo

    writer on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brian

  • May 19, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Pearl Jam

    by WillKeane

    landj9697, I do have to respectably disagree with you on Pearl Jam. As I agree that some of there albums are stronger than others, I do not believe that they live off their past. Pearl Jam/Pearl Jam (avocado album) is a strong album and was the latest album. They are a great live band (Have been to 12 shows thru the years). Also, I am not one of those people that just listen to one band. The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse, Snow Patrol, Kings of Leon and so on are also making great rock music now. So, let's all stop attacking each other about whether we love/hate Pearl Jam. "It's only Rock-n-Roll, and I like it!" -Mick Jagger

  • May 19, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Isis..

    by Harold-Sherbort

    ..are a great modern band too. Autolux as well! I'd love to see Isis on Conan..or any show for that matter.

  • May 19, 2009, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Pearl Jam

    by MontyPigeon

    They are one of the greatest live bands around. They surprised me by how good they actually were. It was quite an eye opener.

  • May 19, 2009, 7:25 p.m. CST

    bring back talk show john!!

    by Texbear2000

    anybody? anybody? nevermind.

  • May 19, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

    The Superman who rubs his nipples at the ladies in the bed

    by white_vader

    bring him back. So wrong it's right. <p> I can't wait to see what fun Conan could have with Jaywalking (guess it'll just hafta be 'streetwalking' now)...

  • May 19, 2009, 8:17 p.m. CST

    More about live Pearl Jam...

    by Thrillho77

    Even if you don't like them, which I can understand as personal tastes are very different, you have to respect the way they do their live stuff. At least 2 and a half hours of show every time, with a unique set-list every single night (with only a small handful of big favorites repeating on consecutive nights). And in their 40's, they're still diving off of speakers, bringing the energy, and playing their asses off.

  • May 20, 2009, 2:11 a.m. CST

    white_vader

    by tlyel37

    Leno's keeping Jaywalking. And all his other regular bits too, so I'm assuming "Headlines", "Things on eBay", and all that shit. Conan's still gonna use his bits like "If They Mated", "In the Year 2000", all those gems. Conan rocks. Fallon's at least likable, and it's fun to watch him fumble and say "Dude" a lot. I'll enjoy Conan/Fallon a lot more than Leno/Conan. And we all need to destroy whatever force is keeping Carson Daly on the air.

  • May 20, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST

    it could suck......

    by Omar_Little

    it could suck really bad, and still be better than Leno

  • May 21, 2009, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Bring back Joan Rivers, Arsenio,...

    by ClarenceBeaks

    Chevy, and Pat Sajak.