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What to expect for the premiere of ‘Conan’

The “Tonight Show” was handed over to O’Brien last year, then yanked from him seven months later when Jay Leno’s show at 10 p.m. failed.

1 Leno will not be stopping by

The “Tonight Show” was handed over to O’Brien last year, then yanked from him seven months later when Jay Leno’s show at 10 p.m. failed. At least O’Brien has a sense of humor about the debacle: “[Leno] can come as the musical guest, because that I want to see; no one knows he has an operatic range,” O’Brien joked in an interview with Playboy.

2 There’s room to try new things

O’Brien found a level of comedic freedom during his hiatus from TV, racking up followers on Twitter and selling out his “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television” tour. Airing “Conan” on cable provides similar leeway. “There’s a feeling of ‘let’s experiment, let’s try,’” O’Brien told The Associated Press. “There’s this chance to try something new.”

3 But he’s not reinventing the wheel

“Are you ready for a whole new kind of late-night television?” O’Brien asks in a TBS promo. “Good,” he says after a pause. “Me neither.”

He echoed that “wait-and-see” sentiment on Saturday, via Twitter: “48 hours until a show that will either blow up the paradigm of TV as we know it or nestle comfortably among ‘Yes, Dear’ reruns.”

 
 
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