I enjoyed his style and never felt he thought he was more important than the story. I also got the feeling he got a kick out of interviewing artists. He had a great interview with Miles Davis many years ago.
And he was the voice of "Jazz from Lincoln Center" on public radio.
Maybe Will Ferrell should have rehearsed the beard-shaving bit? Nonetheless, the beard is gone. Conan's face is smooth and once more resembles a baby's bottom. No, seriously, he looks 10 years younger without it.