Not having basic cable, I scrambled around the internet looking for a live stream, eventually finding one, I'm somewhat ashamed to say, thanks to Twitter.
I missed the excellent cold open (which I watched this morning), but enjoyed Conan's return to the airwaves immensely. Was it a brilliant show? Only at times, but it was certainly was a strong show throughout. The set is a little underwhelming, especially when compared to George Lopez's raucous, sprawling concert-style setup which followed, but I laughed out loud when the giant remote-control moon began moving across the panoramic background view of the Pacific ocean. Andy actually had the best two lines of the night, with his "Mayans are freaking out" line at the prop moon, and especially his comment regarding the Conan Halloween mask ("It smells like tears inside!") All in all, a really good show and enough to make me tune/stream in for more.
In reading a bit of feedback and reporting on the first show, however, I find it odd that, because he referred to the NBC debacle in several of his bits, people are accusing Conan of wallowing in self-pity, and that he should "get over it."
It was his first show. For him not to reference the transition from NBC to TBS would have been disingenuous, as well as ignoring a particularly large elephant in the room. I suspect the NBC references will drop off considerably after the first week, other than it's use as the usual late-night comedy fodder for being a 4th place network.
It is hard to imagine someone dealing with the NBC Tonight Show situation with more class, wit and grace than Conan did. He was never whiney, he was never self-pitying, and he always kept things in perspective; in fact, he actively requested people not to feel bad for him, reminding fans that he was a multi-millionaire former host of the Tonight Show, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Those suggesting otherwise either have a short memory, or never really heard or read any of the relatively few choice words Conan had to say on the whole subject. They are, instead, attributing the media and fan furor over Leno's nonsense to O'Brien himself, when, in reality, he pretty much stayed above the fray, playing music and growing his beard.
Jury's still out on the beard, however.