|Kudos to Jimmy Fallon
Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: March 17, 2014
by Ted Greenberg
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Five years ago, NBC tried handing over its prized late night franchise, The Tonight Show, to Conan O’Brien. Within six months, the network had wrestled the show from O’Brien and back into the hands of long-time host Jay Leno. That debacle spawned a great documentary — Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop — as well as Conan’s new show on TBS (and a lot of acrimony).
Half a decade later, there has been another host shake-up at The Tonight Show with different results. Jimmy Fallon took over hosting duties a month ago. While his inaugural show fell a bit flat, every episode since has gained momentum– both in ratings and online clips. And his sweet, I’m game for anything demeanor seems to work in his favor for this show, which now tapes in New York after a 40 year stint in Los Angeles. Essentially Fallon has honored the tradition of the show while bringing a modern appeal to it — asking celebrities to do wild bits (photobombing with Jon Hamm) and utilizing YouTube to post clips. Leno was not particularly internet-friendly.
What does having The Tonight Show in New York signal for comedians and other talent? Hopefully more New York-based comics will be featured on a regular basis.
Kudos to Jimmy Fallon for making it work. And work well.
Tags: jimmy fallon, the tonight show