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October 10, 2015

So how was Jimmy Fallon on his first Late Night?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 3rd 2009 12:46PM

It's almost unfair to review the first episode of a new talk show. After all, the show will be different every night, with different guests, different sketches, different musical guests. So to sit here and talk about what was good and bad about the first episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon would be unfair and silly. But let's do it anyway!

There's one thing I loved right away, and it had nothing to do with the host, his guests, the band, the sketches, or the audience. Can you guess what it was? The pic above is a clue.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has...curtains!

It's weird to think about, but no other late night talk show uses curtain like Carson used to (Johnny, not Daly). Dave uses the skyline, Jay uses his desk set as a background, as do Ferguson and Daly. Kimmel comes out from behind a curtain but walks away from it and has a different background. Conan didn't either. Sure, it's a ridiculously minor thing, but it catches your eye and I like the way it looks, very classic and late night.

How was the show from there? Hit and miss. Fallon was incredibly nervous, but then again Fallon always seems nervous: talking fast, shifting around, seemingly ADD-like. So that didn't distract me as much as it might some people, because I expected it. His monologue was...a monologue, and like everyone else's it had unfunny jokes and a couple of really clever ones.

The interviews: Well, he's already a better interviewer than Conan (who appeared in a rather funny opening bit, cleaning out his office and saying very seriously, "Jay's not leaving."). But last night the interviews were too much about him (stories about celebs, impersonations, etc) and not about his guests. Hopefully that will change. The sketches were horrible: one about a movie starring DeNiro and Fallon called Space Train fell flat, and the game where he got members of the audience to lick things for $10 should be dropped immediately. The house band, The Roots, just don't knock me out, though the lead singer has a fantastic voice. But it's a talk show band and they don't make or break shows. "Slow-Jammin' The News" was cute.

So, bottom line: not a terrible beginning by any means, though at the same time, it's not must-see TV either. There's really nothing you can do with the late night talk show format unless your really go outside the box. The success of this show, like a lot of late night shows, will hinge on whether or not you like Fallon.

His guest tonight include Tina Fey, so that should be fun.

How was Jimmy's first show?
I loved it!110 (12.5%)
It was OK, I'll give it another shot582 (66.4%)
I'm never watching it again185 (21.1%)

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Are most adlibs said on SNL five years ago? Because Jimmy Fallon said that on SNL five years ago, during Weekend Update. It was not an adlib.

There are thousands of people more qualified for this job than Jimmy Fallon. Most of his fanbase are lonely women who think he's cute. What the fuck?

Dude has never been funny like Conan or Letterman, and never will be.

March 05 2009 at 4:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched the first two shows and Fallon's A LOT better than Conan was at this stage. He even adlibbed a few jokes that worked ("I hate when my father drinks").

I'm not saying he'll be great in a couple of years or the premiere Late Night choice but I think people are too hard on him and believe he's just going to be Adam Sandler Jr. like he was during SNL. I don't really believe that is who Fallon is, and the more people root for him to fail the more I want to root for him to do fine.

March 04 2009 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
In A World (XBL)

It was.... decent.... but just as I tuned out of Conan after a while, I tuned out of Fallon for the far superior Daily Show/Colbert Report combo hour... I dunno, I guess I just need my comedy to be ABOUT something, not just celebrity gossip / random news-of-the-weird type of commentary you get with Leno, Conan, and now Fallon. I'll give it a chance, but won't skip Jon Stewart's genius for Jimmy.

March 04 2009 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I will give Jimmy Fallon as much time as he needs to get it together.

March 03 2009 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fallon always appearing nervous may be part of his charm, but it will be interesting to see if it starts to become distracting. I could always take him in small doses on SNL, but his, as Bob calls it "ADD behavior" is, for me, a minor annoyance that could ultimately turn in to a major one.

March 03 2009 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Perhaps he'll get better but I can only comment on what I saw. He was quite simply abysmal. The only things in the show that were funny were funny because of other people, Conan, Justin and that Roots guy who did the slow jam. I agree that whoever booked Deniro should be fired. Interviewing him on your first night is like having a pitcher come up from the minors to face Ryan Howard - the Phillie, not the guy from The Office. He was clearly overmatched. He was overly nervous, jittery, unfunny and just plain uncomfortable to watch. I'll watch Tina Fey tonight and then probably delete the Record All command from my DVR.

March 03 2009 at 7:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Craig's comment

The licking thing was totally stupid. I thought for sure for the 3rd person they were going to bring out a goat or something...that would have been funny. I didn't watch the interviews because I really had no interest in the guests. As far as the reviewer saying Conan is a bad interviewer I will say (while I like Conan) he does tend to not seem to be not listening but waiting to just ask his next question.

March 03 2009 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show wasn't that great, but I didn't really expect it to be. I think it'll take him a couple or weeks (or months) to get everything down.

March 03 2009 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He has Red Sox taint on him.

March 03 2009 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Big John

got to give it up for the world famous Roots crew

March 03 2009 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I feel like Jimmy has a headstart on Conan as that start was awkward. I agree that whoever signed up DeNiro should be fired, I don't see most hosts, except probably Letterman, making that look good. I almost think of Timberlake as a comedian, and he did a great job. I'm optimistic, and wish him the best of luck.

March 03 2009 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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