FIRST LOOK: The report from Conan’s first TBS test show

Blogging pal Nanette attended the first TBS “Conan” test show on Tuesday along with a friend of hers, fellow blogger Johnakkah.

According to the duo, guests for the first test show included “30 Rock’s” Jack McBrayer, “24’s” Mary Lynn Rajskub and comedian Brendan Walsh.

Here’s an excerpt from Johnakkah’s report:


Out of respect for the show and the writers (who’ve obviously been chomping at the bit during their unexpected break) I’m not going to talk about many specifics of the show. I will, however, say that the difference between tonight’s test show of “Conan” and the taping of “The Tonight Show” that I saw last year was obvious. When Conan left “The Tonight Show” 9 months ago, he did it after a week of self-declared “having fun on television”, something that it didn’t seem like he was having a lot of when I saw the show tape in October. Between segments that night, I remember Conan standing with his arms crossed as a gaggle of suits (some producers and a few guys who had ‘NETWORK’ written all over them) seemed to be dissecting everything and trying to give him notes on how to improve. Tonight, both when the cameras were rolling and when they weren’t, Conan and crew seemed to be having a really great time doing their show. Does it help that a bit of the network TV pressure is off? I’m sure. But this was more about a guy who’s found his voice, knows his audience and is ready to do what he does best every night: have fun on TV.

Just because it was a test show doesn’t mean that things weren’t awesome. Tonight’s guests were Jack McBriar from “30 Rock”, Mary Lynn Rajskub from “24″ and her one woman show “Mary Lynn Spreads Her Legs” and comedian Brendon Walsh. They were all great guests and they really seemed to be enjoying their time even though the episode will never see the light of day. Props, as always, go out to Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable band who know how to get things started and keep energy high between segments.

My favorite part about the whole experience though was seeing so many of the same faces working on the new show. From Jimmy Pardo and Andy Richter to the same stage manager and executive producer, Conan’s loyalty is a rarity in show business that deserves to be commended.


Here’s what Rajskub tweeted after doing the show:


The first real “Conan” episode debuts on Nov. 8 with guests Seth Rogen and Jack White.

ALSO on Conan Patrol today: Richter talks to EW about the new show and here’s an except from Rolling Stone’s front cover story on O’Brien.

By the way, the New York Post wrote today about the question of whether Conan will be able to use intellectual property like the Masturbating Bear . But if you remember what we wrote in July, NBC’s Jeff Gaspin has already said that he won’t fight O’Brien should the host decide to use features that are technically owned by NBC.

(Pic of her ticket and wristband by Nanette.)

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