Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show"

Well, one show in, I liked it.

He definitely started off with a whole different energy than Leno, which I appreciate. It seems like he’s looking for something less over-produced, turning every laugh into the audience clapping and the band punching up, and so forth. He just let the jokes work or not.

It’s cooler, low key. Really a very conscious look and feel of the 60’s Tonight Show (I’m too young to have seen it, but the curtain was simple, elegant, early Carson. Fallon’s suit would look at home in 1963. The model of New York behind his desk doesn’t try to look photo-realistic or 21st century).

I’d really like a Tonight Show that feels like the mood after the party. It’s late, it’s a bit quiet, and something organically funny and/or substantive can grow there.

I haven’t seen it yet (got it on the DVR though). My perception so far is that it’s essentially going to be Late Night With Jimmy Fallon an hour earlier (that’s a good thing). Was that your impression?

I’m old enough to remember watching Carson back when he was still on the east coast, and last night’s show brought back good memories.

From what I saw, it was nice. I was a fan of Conan, but I feel like part of his “thing” is trying to be retro. He has more of a forced old-school vibe. Jimmy’s is more organic old school. Well, after one episode, anyway.

“Classic” may be the word I’m looking for. Conan was retro; Jimmy is classic while still being innovative and new-- which was what Carson was.

It might be. Last night was really not that - it was a sincere paean to the Tonight Show, without much room for Fallon’s particular brand of funny. I hope and think that’ll be there.

They made a big deal about spending money on the new set and it was…OK. The first show seemed like a subdued version of his other shows. I’d thought he would put a little more effort into it.

I thought he was good and I watched the entire show, something I rarely did when Jay Leno was host (sorry Jay but you bored me).

Anybody know if they going to shoot it in New York from now on? Instead of Burbank, Ca.


Yes, it is staying in New York although he has said he intends to come to Los Angeles every once in awhile for a week of shows. I am sort of surprised by this, as now he will be competing for guests from Letterman. Not that there aren’t plenty of guests from NYC and not that others can’t fly across the country to appear, but you would think that filming in LA would grant you more immediate access to almost every actor on TV or major films.

I like Jay Leno a lot, but agree it was about time to toss in the towel, even though he was still Number One. He could have hung in another year or two, but he had a great run and I am sure we will see him soon somewhere else. (Rumors of a show on FOX are still flying around…)

Fallon is certainly better, funnier and more suited to do The Tonight Show than Conan ever was. He will bring new life to the show, at some point, and I think he will do well.

His first show was OK - but it is unfair to even bring that up as it was his FIRST show as host in that slot, so cut him some slack and let him grow into it. And although I think he might bring in some younger viewers, I wonder if he might lose some older viewers (not that NBC cares - older viewers don’t count when selling ads for the show).

I wish him well and think he will eventually do just fine.

I just think two major talk shows in NYC, airing at the same time, might eventually resort to bickering about who gets to have Regis Philbin on slow nights.

I enjoyed it. The superlatives were funny and the $100 gag was a little long but I liked the ending. Fallon always seems like he’s having a good time and wants everyone else to have a good time, too. He doesn’t want to come off as too polished; he’d rather be silly. I wouldn’t say he’s cool exactly- his sincerity can be a little much at times (I was thrown by his explanation of his own job). But he doesn’t think he’s cooler than the audience or his guests and in fact he usually geeks out about getting to talk to a famous person. I’m probably not going to watch every night because I already watch The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, but I’m sure I’ll see some highlights. When he settles into the show I guess he’ll get more interesting guests instead of The Biggest Stars Because It’s Our First Show.

Who all was in the $100 gag? I recognized deNiro, Fey, Rogen, Giulani and Colbert. And I think I should have recognized a couple of the other women. I didn’t spot Namath, but Jimmy name checked him.

Was the woman in leather? From the cheers, I was wondering if she was a regular from Late Night (like Letterman’s grinder girls).

Did he do a call-out for Leno’s run? I remember Leno’s first night when he didn’t mention Carson at all, which seemed like a snub at the time.

That was Lady Gaga. I didn’t recognize her either- I just sort of realized it couldn’t be anybody else. The full list was De Niro, Fey, Namath, Giuliani, Mariah Carey, Joan Rivers, Kim Kardashian, Rogen, Mike Tyson, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, Tracy Morgan, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Colbert.

I think he mentioned every previous host of the show.

I like the energy he puts into it but I also want it polished like Carson did it. I think that’s the reason Leno was so popular. He followed the Carson legacy of being nice to his guests and letting them carry the show when they were in the zone. Letterman is such a tool and Conan too goofy.

Fallon has a lot of musical talent but has taken the Carol Burnett route of keeping it on the comedic side.

And Leno twice - “Carson, Leno, Conan and Leno”

Did we watch the same show? Nobody steps on every joke more than Fallon. Well, maybe Conan, but that’s “ironic.”

Pros: I liked having U2 brought on early and the New York skyline shoot will be iconic. Bono was a great guest, too. The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing was good, but it’s already a joke being beaten into the ground after being done better. We all knew there would be tons of cameos, so no surprise there. Handled about as well as it could be.

Cons: The monolog was weak, and followed with one of his minor bits. Two old bits on the first show? Probably a good decision to signal that the show will stay the same, since Conan tried to change into something new and failed. Steve Higgins, who can be hilarious, went almost unused. So were the Roots. (Yeah, music for the hip-hop bit and U2 but that was background.) Fallon pulled out every weakness of his as a host. He won’t have guests as good as Bono every night. Ratings were good but not fantastic.

Can you tell anything about a show from its first night? Not really. It’s a silly instant gratification play - that we all like to play.

I believe Fallon was nervous. Really nervous. Will Smith did his best to calm Fallon down and maybe it helped. Being nervous is perfectly normal. Bigger show, (hopefully) bigger audience, and Fallon doesn’t want to “pull a Conan” and lose half of the “Tonight Show” to Letterman.

The show wasn’t bad. Fallon is a pro and should settle down soon. I expect the show to do well but will he do well enough to appease the local stations and advertisers? They expect “Leno” type numbers and revenue.

I get the sense he’s probably OK as long as he does well with younger viewers. I don’t think it matters as much if he loses part of the older audience to Letterman.

Tom Shales thought it was brilliant.

He’s doomed.

How long do you give it before Leno wants the show back again?