Late Night With Jimmy Fallon – A First Episode Review

Jimmy Fallon started his hosting gig of the Late Night last night, and it started off with a guest appearance by Conan O’Brien cleaning out his dressing room.  It made me laugh and it was a good start.  Favorite joke:

Fallon: So, uh, you getting Jay’s old dressing room?

Conan: Leno’s not leaving.

He rolled with the audience pretty well during his monologue, which consisted of SNL Weekend Update-like soundbite jokes.  (The Roots also participated in Slow Jamming the News.  Their performance made me think they’re showing up strictly for a steady paycheck.  I’ll chalk their awkwardness up to inexperience on live late night talk shows.  It’s been awhile since Max Weinberg started on Conan O’Brien – perhaps he was just as awkward.  Wait.  He always looked awkward and played it to great effect.)

Target Demographic: Blonde Mothers, a taped bit, was pretty funny.  I just can’t recall any “highlights.”  Boosh!

Lick It For Ten was a dumb game show where three audience members licked a lawnmower, an all-in-on printer, and a fishbowl (complete with goldfish!) for ten bucks.  I guess Conan had his share of lame concepts, but he learned to play off the lameness for extra humor.  Fallon’s still in SNL mode, but maybe he’ll get there.

(Rihanna in a commercial for Cover Girl?  Too soon to joke?)

His first guest was Robert Deniro and he made some early jokes at Deniro’s expense, with Deniro’s involvement, of course.  Deniro’s not the most glib of interviewees, but Fallon did way more talking than interviewing.  They even ripped off an old joke from SNL gag where they impersonated each other.  But I’ll forgive him, and time will tell how he’ll do with other guests.

Space Train, a short sketch if I ever saw one, was funny.  It was a clip from an “unreleased movie” starring the pair.  Fallon’s character was afraid to fly into space, and Deniro was the space train’s conductor.  This paragraph is longer than the bit.

His second guest was Justin Timberlake.  Much better.  Too much revelling in the old SNL days, and not enough interview again.  But I can’t wait for The Phone – JT’s new MTV show where people get phone calls and their lives are turned upside down for 24 hrs. to win $50,000.  A car blows up in the preview – SOLD!

(FYI: JT also does a mean John Mayer and Michael McDonald impression, even if he’s singing about Bud Light Lime.)

Last guest – Van Morrison.  Good if you think Van Morrison is good.  Is he the Brown Eyed Girl guy?  Looked it up.  Yes he is.

Early predictions for the show:

  • Fallon will probably get better as time goes on.
  • His sketches will probably get more tongue-in-cheek, than tongue-on-lawnmower.
  • The Roots will leave the show six months from now.

One Response to “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon – A First Episode Review”

  1. I was at the taping of this episode (last standby ticket!), and was surprised how stiff The Roots came off on TV, considering how frenetic they were on stage. The jam before the taping started was insane.

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