If I wasn’t on the Jimmy Fallon bandwagon already, well, allow me to say that I am full steam ahead right now.
He’s been hosting the Tonight Show for one month and one week, and his antics have become so extraordinary that it’s almost becoming must-watch television at this point.
Whether it’s playing “Double Turtleneck Ping Pong” with Shailene Woodley and Artie Lange, convincing Kevin Bacon to enter the studio via an ’80s dance number in tribute to the 30-year-anniversary of Footloose, or performing an epic duet with Billy Joel of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” using an iPad app (posted below because it’s mandatory viewing), Fallon has gone to amazing lengths to entertain his audiences.
His tendency to create viral videos is off the charts, and I’m not sure if it’s purely him or his writing team who deserves most of the credit, but he has already entertained me in 35 days more than Jay Leno did in 20 years.
In the past, most people have identified with late show hosts according to the demographic they appeal to.
For instance, David Letterman directs most of his humor towards an older, mature audience. Conan O’ Brien, meanwhile, has always had a more youthful fan base.
But what I think Fallon has done is transcend age. By using mediums that are up-to-date with today’s technology, he’s appealing to the now. It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you want to know what’s cool, and what’s “in,” then watch Fallon.
And I really think that is something no other late night host has ever done before.
Conan O’ Brien was on the verge. He utilized YouTube to an extent, and had #TeamCoco going for him, but Fallon has taken it a step further. From my short time watching, he’s been finding the exact right gimmicks to use on each one of his guests, and he’s also realized one fundamental truth: people like watching celebrities do things.
Combining random celebrities for a game of beer pong, charades or Pyramid is nothing short of genius. It’s a simple formula:
People like games.
People like watching celebrities interact with one another.
People like watching celebrities play games with each other. Athletic and skill games, that is.
But the point is that I am sold on Jimmy Fallon. And though my late show watching has declined drastically over the last several years, for now at least, I am making a point to tune into NBC every weeknight at 11:35 p.m.
NBC may have screwed up royally with the Leno/Conan debacle in 2010, but at least they ended up with the right guy in the end.
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