Conan O'Brien's Self-Pity Isn't Funny Anymore

Conan O'Brien's new show is all about his old one

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Self-pity seemed to be the theme of Conan O'Brien's new late night talk show when it debuted on TBS. Now, a little more than three weeks after the premiere, the host is sticking with the same shtick. Between skits featuring NBC hitmen and digs at the quality of his new home on cable, O'Brien just can't seem to get over being dumped by The Tonight Show.

Though the comedian's very public break up with NBC roused loyal, vocal support from an expanding fan base, The New Republic's Laura Bennett argues that O'Brien's "rise to pop icon status--and the victim complex he's nurtured along the way--has made him decidedly less funny." Bennett compares O'Brien to Jay Leno and Johnny Carson, other talk show hosts who, she says, casually entertained audiences without stealing the spotlight. "When O'Brien riffs on his diminished paycheck or the lowbrow nature of basic cable, it's uncomfortable to watch him," Bennett writes.

O'Brien recently told Playboy he was trying to take the high road, not wanting to be defined by his Tonight Show fallout. "He would be wise to take his own advice," writes Bennett.

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