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Jimmy Fallon's first taste of Late Night tastes like feet - VIDEO

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 10th 2008 8:28AM
A lot of comedy geeks called "shenanigans" on NBC when they announced Jimmy Fallon would get Conan O'Brien's Late Night slot when he moves to Los Angeles next year. I wasn't a big fan of the Fallon when he was on SNL and his movie career lacked a certain something (like entertainment value), but late night comedy is a different monster. Even O'Brien had problems establishing himself and I was willing to give Fallon the benefit of the doubt.

Then NBC announced that Jay Leno would get his own primetime spot when he leaves The Tonight Show, an announcement that couldn't have shocked me more if NBC delivered it with a 20-watt tazer.

Then I watched the first episode of Jimmy Fallon's web premiere and I understood why.

NBC is hedging their bets with Fallon by putting Leno in the pre-late night time slot. That way if Fallon's first foray into the medium goes belly up, they will still have some solid gold talent to keep their late night programming from getting a gallon of seawater in its lungs as well. That became clearly obvious with Fallon's first webisode.

To call it unfunny would be an understatement of John Goodman sized proportions. Granted, he's clearly not trying to be. He's merely telling his future audience what they are doing and how they are getting their show off the ground. But you would think that for a show that requires a semblance of improvisation and off-the-cuff comedy that he would at least try to make a few jokes that would remind everyone this is, at its very heart, a "comedy" show.

He introduces us to the studio he'll be working out of, Studio 6B, the same studio shared by Milton Berle, Jack Paar and the first 10 years of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. (Anger...rising...) He caps the whole thing off by introducing his house band, the hip-hop ensemble The Roots, who takes us out with a rendition of what's sure to sound like his theme song or what could very be his swan song.

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I'm willing to give fallon a look, but Craig Ferguson is the freshest thing on late night, I will never give him up for Fallon or anyone else. I like Leno's headlines, Conan can be funny, but he kinda creeps me out, Dave has his moments, never saw Kimmel and Daly doesn't exist.
Ferguson is gonna rock the time slot!!!

January 06 2009 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Craig Ferguson's first week was horrible so let's not judge Fallon by what we have until now.

I mean you guys here on TV Squad cry foul every time a show is cancelled "too soon" and you virtually kick Fallon in the nuts before he even aired his first show on TV.

To say that's unfair is a bit of an understatement.

December 11 2008 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to StillBash's comment
Joey Geraci

Your supposed to improve after your first horrible week. Craig didn't learn that part.

December 11 2008 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Thaddeus Collins

By the way, this isn't Jimmy's theme song. I think it is part of "The Seed (2.0)" a song by The Roots featuring Cody Chesnutt.

December 10 2008 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim Dorr

No, it's not funny. But it's also not supposed to be. You can tell they didn't spend a lot of time on it, so there's no time to be writing jokes. There are two reasons for this: 1) They're busy building a new show. There's a lot of preparation to be done. 2) They don't know how successful this video is going to be. If it's not going to do anything for the show, then they aren't going to waste time on developing it when they could be better spending time on producing the show.

So, this was to test the waters a bit. Check yesterday's video and you'll see a longer video with a tad more production value to it. They saw the positive response to Monday's video, so they're finding the value in something that an exec or EP would normally determine to be a distraction. I'm willing to bet the videos will get slightly more elaborately produced before the premiere date.

December 10 2008 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Even if it's not supposed to be funny, can you imagine Carson, Letterman, Conan, Ferguson, Stewart, or Colbert doing something like that completely straight?

December 10 2008 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jimmy is uncomfortable on camera, and I am uncomfortable watching him.

December 10 2008 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This, like most things in life, can be summarized in a quote from the Simpsons:

"What are you boys laughing at? And if you say Jimmy Fallon, I'll know you're lying!" - Homer

December 10 2008 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The rap against Fallon has always been that he never focuses, spends every minute going for the cheap giggle. So now he spends a few minutes talking sensibly and showing a little sincere enthusiasm for his new job, and we have to knock him for that too?

I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a fan, but I've never understood the hate for the guy. On SNL you could see him having *fun*, and it was often infectious. I loved the way he and Tina Fey handled Update.

This new show gives him a more appropriate platform than continuing to bang his head against the wall of feature films.

Now, where are they moving Chuck and Sue?

December 10 2008 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim's comment

WNBC moved to a new studio in 30 Rock a few weeks ago, part of their controversial change to how NBCU produced newscasts for affiliates.

December 10 2008 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, seriously Mr. Gallagher, lay off the guy. It's an intro, it's SO clearly not meant to be a comedy bit of any kind, more just a "Hey, here I am" kinda clip. Give the guy a chance. Can't you at least look at how AMAZINGLY BAD CARSON DALY is, and remember that there are some people out there who are actually upset that Carson isn't inheriting Late Night. Ok, Maybe those people are just Carson Daly and his mother.

But Jimmy actually does have experience doing comedy and sketches in front of a live audience and a sense of comic timing. He may not winning any awards for best comedian any time soon, but he sure as heck has a great chance of being infinitely better than Last Call. So quit hating on Jimmy so much before we've even seen him in a show that's literally still under construction

December 10 2008 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah this is just a generic set up for his blog entries. I'm not ready to write him off just yet, if only because Conan was so awful at his start. And yes I'm aware he has entertainment experience, but this is his second chance for a reason.
The whole post just seems spiteful about what is an introductory message.

December 10 2008 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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