Page last updated at 08:25 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 09:25 UK

O'Brien makes Tonight Show debut

Conan O'Brien
The show had a new backdrop for O'Brien's debut

Conan O'Brien has hosted his first edition of The Tonight Show on US TV since the departure of Jay Leno.

O'Brien, who previously hosted a late night programme on the NBC network from New York, made light of his move to Los Angeles with a comic filmed sequence.

His first guest was film actor Will Ferrell, who offered him tips on living in the new city.

O'Brien's predecessors on the long-running show include Johnny Carson and Leno, who was presenter for 17 years.

'Bankrupt state'

On Leno's final show, O'Brien was one of the guests and Leno asked viewers to "please give Conan as much support as you've given me throughout the years".

O'Brien's opening monologue made jokes about the economic situation in the US and the performance of NBC in the ratings.

"I think I've timed this move perfectly," he quipped. "I'm on a last-place network, I moved to a state that's bankrupt and The Tonight Show is sponsored by General Motors."

The host, who seemed nervous at the start of the show, cracked less jokes in front of the audience and had more pre-filmed items.

But O'Brien had sidekick Andy Richter to laugh heartily at all his jokes from the sidelines.

The show's other guests were rock band Pearl Jam, who performed a track from their forthcoming album.

O'Brien's rival David Letterman on the CBS network made a reference to his new competitor and the departure of Leno.

"I'm still here, I've knocked off another competitor," he said.



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