I am not a late-night television kind of gal. I occasionally watch reruns of “Friends,” but last night Facebook persuaded me to do otherwise, so I tuned in to Jimmy Fallon’s debut on “The Tonight Show.”
One of the reasons I watch any show, is because even if only in the most minimal way it allows me to be part of it through my own experiences and well, I don’t have experience being an old white guy. Sorry Jay Leno.
I was finally curious about “The Tonight Show” because although I never watched “Late Night” with Jimmy Fallon,” various clips of the show managed to reach me – remember that amazing “Blurred Lines” remake with The Roots? Or how about this magical number:
Without ever having watched “Late Night,” Jimmy had already spoken to me through all of my friends and favorite websites who constantly posted these bits on social media allowing him to become a viral sensation.
So was this giving up the extra hour of sleep worth it? Yes … and no.
I have to be honest, I thought new was going to be: fireworks, colors, 25 bands performing and light shows. Basically, I anticipated feeling like I had downed 3 bottles of soda before bedtime, but instead it was muted, and that was great.
Fallon walked in from behind the blue curtains dressed in a plain grey suit into what looked like an old-school set. There was a desk, a couch, the NY skyline and a stage. “I wanna do the best I can and take care of this show for a while.” he said. “My goal is to make you laugh and put a smile on your face.” No gimmicks, no bullshit, just a humble host.
Immediately I let my guard down, I cozied up and watched the hour-long event. As the night went on, I found myself having a conversation with an old friend, I laughed along, commented out loud and I felt a part of the show, in that way it was worth it!
Fallon demonstrated that he can connect with younger and older generations alike. The suit, the old-school set, bring the show back to NYC and his appreciative demeanor are in a way a shout-out to his predecessors and the 60-year legacy – something past viewers of the show would appreciate. Bringing in The Roots as the main band – one of the most multidimensional and respected hip-hop bands of the moment – the comedy skits, and the fact that he is a relatable guy who talks to you and not down at you, is what attracts people like me looking for a fresh perspective on late night television.
Yes, he does the above well, BUT he needs to add more depth to the show. After the hilarious skit with Will Smith, came a very lame interview where Fallon told the actor over and over how amazing he and his family are, instead of digging more into his next career move. In this way, it wasn’t worth it.
Fallon has the ability to carry the torch of “The Tonight Show” for years to come. He has the “it” factor to make a run as long a Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, but he has some tweaks to make, and that is the exact reason why I will tune in again. Fallon is a host worth watching and I look forward to seeing him exponentially improve on the legendary show for years to come.