Can We Admit That Jimmy Fallon Kind of Sucks?

There isn’t a plane of existence where the name Jay Leno should be mentioned in the same breath as the name Mark Twain. Unfortunately, despite this fact, it was announced on Wednesday that Leno will be receiving the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center this coming October. The honor represents the highest award for comedy in the United States and effectively instills upon Leno a credibility and place in American history that he most certainly doesn’t deserve. True, with one noteworthy break, Leno helmed The Tonight Show for 22 years, but honestly when the hallowed history of Tonight is mentioned, you often hear the names Allen, Parr, and of course Carson, but nobody in his right mind would drop Leno in with that company, regardless of his lengthy stewardship of the legendary property. Well, I take that back — I guess the Kennedy Center people would.

When NBC named Jimmy Fallon as the successor to Leno on The Tonight Show, it was tough to argue that the network hadn’t made a smart choice. Fallon was quirky but unthreatening, mildly clever without being the least bit cerebral, and smart but not smug. He had a broad-based appeal that would play perfectly at 11:35; the older crowd would think he was cute and endearing — or at the very least harmless — while the younger crowd would respond to his social media savvy. More importantly than any of that, he was a bona fide company man, an earnest lapdog who would ecstatically embrace the NBC way of shameless corporate synergy and cross-pollination. Want somebody who’ll interview the entire cast of the latest Universal film while the winner of Top Chef cooks for them and Matt Lauer troubleshoots their Comcast cable issues? Fallon’s your guy. Need somebody thoroughly beholden to the NBC system to the point where his balls and soul are both held in a vault in Lorne Michaels’s office and he’s guaranteed never to give you an ounce of trouble? Bring on Jimmy.

Here’s the only problem: while his ratings have been everything NBC could’ve wished for, Jimmy Fallon kind of sucks. As in, his take on The Tonight Show is in some ways even worse than Leno’s. It’s not that Fallon doesn’t occasionally do some funny bits, it’s that he’s so unfailingly benign and so unwilling to ever make anyone — his guests, the audience, anyone — the least bit uncomfortable that you feel like you need an insulin shot from all the sugar that’s being pumped into your bloodstream during his show. He certainly doesn’t need to be snarky or wry, that’s more the torch Jimmy Kimmel is carrying forward, but Fallon and his writing staff of apparent Thought Catalogers seem so thrilled to simply be there that the occasional edge that could benefit an interview or a show beat is never even considered. Believe it or not, the show suffers because of this.

What’s more, Fallon not only attempts to avoid anything that might cause a break in anyone’s fun, he willfully edits out serious moments if they happen naturally. Recently, an article on Shailene Woodley claimed that during the actress’s appearance on Tonight to promote Divergent, the show cut her answer to a question Fallon had asked about whether she minded being compared to Jennifer Lawrence. Woodley’s answer was no-nonsense and took to task Hollywood’s tendency to pit female stars against each other. Fallon’s people apparently thought it harshed the vibe or something because the exchange never saw the light of day.

Then just a couple of days ago came Chris Christie’s damn-near hallucinatory guest spot on Tonight in which he and Fallon did a sketch called “The Evolution of Dad Dancing” and Fallon thanked him for “standing in the ring and getting hit like that” by the press while sheepishly deflecting the conversation away from the reason the press was “hitting” him: because his administration almost certainly ordered part of the George Washington Bridge closed to punish a political adversary. Fallon is simply genetically incapable of asking a question that might get an answer that isn’t 100% unicorns and rainbows. Even Leno was able to slyly hammer Hugh Grant after the guy had been busted with a hooker.

Fallon’s sketches seem to aim largely at triggering the dopey nostalgia receptors in the brain, with the amusement to be gleaned from watching him and his guests dance, and sing, and rap Gen-X and Millennial favorites apparently being a limitless commodity. He gets the cast of Full House back together; he sings Ebony and Ivory with Terry Crews; and he of course pores over every possible hip-hop classic, either by lip-syncing, bringing out Justin Timberlake to do cheesy white-boy karaoke with the Roots, or editing Brian Williams intros into Baby Got Back. It’s not that it’s not funny or charming on occasion, it’s just that it’s not on occasion. It’s constant. Fallon has one speed and only one speed: cloying and cutesy. He seeks out maximum Facebook viral circulation and hits precisely the insipid notes necessary to achieve that, turning The Tonight Show — one of the most storied properties in media history — into broadcast television’s answer to Upworthy. Fallon is a living, breathing hashtag.

Now certainly Fallon knows that the word broadcast is what matters. He’s aiming for the broadest possible audience and maybe that’s a laudable thing in an age where media saturation has removed the old cultural touchstones we as a nation used to experience together. There will never be another Johnny Carson precisely because there can’t be — our media choices are too expansive and diverse now and it’s split the audience into too many different subsets. But Fallon is trying to use social media to connect all the dots out there and give Americans something they can share in, even if they don’t share it in the traditional way. The problem is that there’s no meat to Fallon and that’s what’s needed to move his shtick beyond being just, well, shtick. Guys like Carson weren’t just funny, they were insightful and empathetic; they knew when to turn on the charm but also when to turn up the class and even subtly go for the throat. They knew that there’s more than one way to be entertaining. Fallon doesn’t seem to grasp that yet — although admittedly there’s time for him.

As long as his ratings hold, The Tonight Show will be Fallon’s for as long as he wants it. Hell, one day he may even be honored by the Kennedy Center. At which point he’ll probably take the stage and do a rap battle with the cast of Friends.

  • http://WWW.Dontbeadick.com/Please Michael Martin

    I watched twice.. once and thought it was terrible, but i tried again because I watched Carson and Leno. Johnny was the king and will always be the King of late night. Fallon.. not so much..

    I never cared for Letterman, But I will be watching Colbert for sure. Stewart 11pm then Colbert 11:30, nothing changes for me, just Colbert is on a different channel. Meh the Conservative Shtick was getting tiresome anyway.

  • Irving Langmuir

    fallon is a goof , idiotic comedian, zero funny or brilliant,,, stupid cunt,, and I can’t stand his stupid face,,,

  • Joseph Kool

    Can’t stand Fallon . A man his age acting like a god damn teenager, but that shit won’t go over forever. As dumb as they are American audiences will tire of seeing a 50 year old man acting like a teenage jackass every night. Same goes for Timberlake. I swear Timberlake and Fallon are homos.

  • Ann

    Hit the nail on the head, and pretty much why I stopped watching him. Also his juvenile sound effect noises and bits back and forth with Higgins is annoying. His benign Obama bashing shows an intent to attract the right, but it’s cloying and not endearing to the left or the right.

  • Cazski

    After watching two Fallon shows I turned to another late night host, Jimmy Kimmel. This article is spot on about how “cutezy” the twerp is. He can’t handle a serious interview. He sucks.

  • Guest

    Fallon seems to have a never ending supply of common games that people
    play at picnics in store for his nightly guests. I just witnessed He and
    Glenn Close both partaking in a pie eating contest tonight 09/12/2014
    Glenn Close, a widely respected award winning actress! Eating pie!
    UNBELIEVABLE. What’s next? A Potato sack race with Nicole Kidman?

  • clark777

    Conan blows this yard off the map. put him on at 11;30 on a normal channel and he will kill it. Conan the best talk show host of all time hands down!!! not even close. he has the comedic timing, talent, and smarts to ask hard question while still being funny. Fallon is garbage.

  • clark777

    fallon is the worst host ever. terrible!!! just click the channel every time i see his dork face.

  • Jeffrey K. Howard

    It was like when Barry Williams went to Sherwood Schwartz and wanted to bring more realism into The Brady Bunch. He said, “No.” The Brady Bunch was an escape where everything was ok in 28 minutes and it was meant to be sappy and simple, non-threatening, just like Jimmy Fallon and his vision of The Tonight Show. I watch it for that reason.

  • ljpljpljp

    Of all the Robin Williams’ tributes, Fallon managed to make his tribute about Jimmy Fallon.

    • expos1981

      “Hey, here’s my impression of Robin Williams!”

      Thank you for pointing that out. Too many people are jerking Fallon off over his so-called tribute. He is terrible.

      • nathandetroit

        HIs “impression” of Robin Williams was awful. He looked like Martin Short’s Ed Grimley character more than he looked like Williams. And of course he made it all about Fallon.

  • Joseph Kool

    Jimmy Fallon is a little faggot lorn Michaels personal cocksucker

  • Neil

    k .. got that Chez, You make a lot of really good points. I do have to say that … per my own opinions involving the ” evolution of the NBC late night talk shows “, … personally I think it deserves these thoughts … > :

    For instance, .. if NBC in their ” apparently problematic decision making processes ” , … had not decided to can Leno … and put their ” seemingly … ” best shot ” forward ” … in his place … ( all supposedly, perhaps, primarily ratings driven ), …

    I don’t see Seth Meyers being Jimmy Falllon’s replacement.

    Which genius came up with that one … ?

    (1) If you make such tremedous moves …. you’d better be VERY VERY CAREFUL …. ! !

    ( Can we say …. > : shades of how badly it worked out …. Conan O’Brien wise … last time they tried that … hmmmm … ? ? )

    If NBC execs were bound and determined to … give Jimmy the show / capture Jimmy …. in order to ” do the inevitable … and replace Leno ” ) … they probably found themselves in the ‘ol ” proverbial rock and the hard place ” … ! !

    Problem being … > : JIMMY BEING EXTREMELY ” WELL SLOTTED FOR HIS LONG HELD LATE NIGHT SHOW ” .

    So, … it seemed, just put in another well liked, well loved, established, SNL or similar backgrounded talent to take over ” Late Night ” … ! !

    But is this total formulation working … ?

    I think NOT … ! !

    Although I can agree and sympathize with many of your points Chez, I am easily able to overlook ALL OF THEM , … if one is simply comparing Leno to Jimmy, age-group & many other demographics & audience considerations.

    My fear & feeling is that the whole thing might fail in these two all important slots for NBC … ! !

    We as a culture … depend on this working well … socialogically.

    I’ve always liked Seth, … but much more … a great contributer to SNL …. in his best days with them , … NOT LATE NIGHT … ! !

    ( He’s NOT FUNNY OR SMART ENOUGH )

    He’s NO FALLON , NO MIKE MEYERS , … and CERTAINLY NO GREAT COMIC APPROACHING DANA CARVEY OR ROBIN WILLIAMS ….

    … ( not that Robin would necessarily be well suited for Late Night ) .

    Its not to say it couldn’t work, but I’ll bet oodles, that the real test of Seth would be …. if dumb NBC would PUMP UP THE BUDGET …. beyond peanuts … for Seth, writers, everything …. at the now ” watered down Late Night ” , … with poor Seth , …

    … who knows he might rise to the occasion, … get a personal voice trainer, etc. etc.

    NIGHT AFTER NIGHT … I’m feeling LESS & LESS REDEEMING VALUE … ! ! !

    Neil

  • chris ellis

    “Hey remember this thing we used to do?!”

  • Jim Fath

    His comedy is toothless, pointless comedic blather and always has been. He has gotten by being the cutesy jagoff that breaks in scenes. He has the chops for a decent impression or two and they do take advantage of that but Fallon on his own is just not funny. His greatest asset is constantly seeming unprepared. As if the “Christ Farley Show” (If you remember that SNL sketch) was real and he was is the host. It’s honestly like he won a contest. BUT that’s NBC for you. Pick the mostl likable, safest, most non-threatening guy there is. Everybody talks about the Roots and how amazing they are on the show, which they are. It helps the case when the host is a limp loser gushing over everything.

  • GB5

    I find him unwatchable. He looks (to me) like he’s about to have a nervous breakdown. The show is about as sharp as a bowling ball.

  • dmkava

    This commentary is spot on

  • Balmer Hon8

    Agreed, I’m a Letterman fan myself.

    • jodyhall77

      Letterman is a sleaze an and a jerk. I never liked Leno either. Conan is not as funny as he thinks but I definitely dislike him the least.

  • swift_4

    My memory is from my youth, but I don’t remember Johnny Carson being confrontational. He helped people plug their stuff, and if he was digging, it was the human interest angle.

    Current media has developed this need for conflict, and it’s infected the audience. Everything has to be tense and edgy for them.

    You can’t compare Fallon to Colbert. The Tonight Show is non-confrontational fluff entertainment. Colbert is political and social satire. They are entirely different things.

  • TR6guy

    Fallon, it should be said, is better than the current alternatives. Letterman’s bored, Kimmel gives off a “Who’d want to have a drink with this douche?” vibe. Craig Ferguson does a show closer to Graham Norton’s, without the alcohol. Funnier, more off the wall. And he’s moving on. So Colbert will probably wipe the floor with them all.

    • jodyhall77

      The late night schmuck show have become a choice between who you can’t stand and who you dislike the least.

  • SamboPunch

    He’s always sucked. Ever since he was on SNL ruining skits. I heard cast members had issues with him too.

    • jodyhall77

      I never liked him on SNL either! Always giggling out of character, twerking and jerking nonsensically all over the place…. then I blinked and all of a sudden he’s an SNL legend.

      • jodyhall77

        Same with Will Farrell. He was a total schmuck with the Night at the Roxbury junk then…..Then all of a sudden UE is the king of all SNL stars. I mean I like some of the movies he’s in but something is not right at SNL and NBC.

  • doug

    The point is, it’s not possible to be both cute and cloying, and funny. The disease propagated by Lorne Michaels over the past 6 years, has destroyed comedy. And Fallon is a part of it. It is a politically correct “cutesdy,” devoid of comedy per se. And it is disgustingly sycophantic….Fallon is overjoyed with every possible comment and every possible moment. Gross.

    The Tonight Show is for adults, not smarmy boy-men/frat boys. Fallon does good imitations sometimes, but he is a smarmy boy man/frat boy. Lorne Michaels completely misjudged the demographic by putting Fallon there, or he just didn’t care.

    Both Fallon, and Seth Meyers need to be “put down” commercially. It will happen, hopefully sooner than later, just as leg warmers died with the 80s.

  • gorilla cookies

    Yep, Jimmy Fallon seems a little too-eager for things to “go viral.” Comparing it to Buzzfeed is quite apt. Another comparison is SNL, with its heavy dependence on celeb cameos and generally content-free sketches.

    But one point I’d like to take issue with: while Johnny Carson was the consummate host, and brilliant at what he did and sometimes quite funny, his show was just as hacky, in its way, as Leno’s and Fallon’s. Every episode was tightly structured and he rarely got personal or broke format to do anything interesting. When I was growing up, Letterman, with his anything goes-attitude (in the 1980s, at least), was the hot thing, and Carson was considered just as old-fashioned and irrelevant as Leno used to be.

    Guys like Letterman, Jon Stewart, and Conan had very distinct visions of what to do with their shows and turned them into something special. They are all great, but in the end, it’s Carson-Leno-Fallon types that work better on the Tonight show.

    • Ann

      “Going viral” in Fallon’s case is corporate marketing by NBC. It’s NBC that puts his clips on Youtube now. Clips that went viral used to have a grassroots origin but NBC has basically hijacked it and made it a marketing device. Fallon has become the epitome of marketing hype popularity. Youtube views are easily manipulated many of which are from robots, so in actuality they don’t mean much.

      • anon

        I don’t know anyone who watches his shows. All of the social media and blog placement reeks of NBC marketing. He is painfully unfunny. I think they’re desperately trying to fake the hype in an effort to tamp down Colbert’s new show.

    • Rick Hoberman

      Please don’t Carson in with Leno and Fallon. That’s an insult to Carson.

  • beam

    After 6 years of Obama, you cant really expect people to care about a 4 lane closure on a bridge. Scandal is commonly accepted now.

    • dmkava

      You mean manufactured scandals by Fixed News?

  • Peter James

    He has always sucked.
    This isn’t something we can only now start admitted.
    We’ve always known this since his SNL days when he couldn’t keep a straight personna through a bit without breaking character and laughing and corpsing.

    And he’s now brought over his nervous fake-sounding laugh from there along with his “I-can’t-believe-I’m-actually-interviewing-this-guy” star-struck demeanor that comes of so unprofessional that it’s hard to take him seriously when he’s interviewing guests who should be on equal footing with him (celebrity-wise).

    The worst part of it all is that Seth Meyers who follows him is actually a superior host and would likely have made a better Tonight Show host had he been the one who had left SNL earlier.

    Fallon’s only saving grace is having The Roots as his house-band but even that is not enough to save him from the suckage that his show is.

  • Rockin69

    With that said, shame on Fallon for putting Christie there. It wasn’t even REMOTELY funny.

  • Rockin69

    I think there’s an obvious space for Fallon in the talk shot universe. He appeals to people who don’t really care about serious or edgy interviews, who just wanna see their favorite celebrities doing stupid stunts (“Wow look at what Anne Hathaway is doing, girl is funny!”). Lowest common denominator, there’s big money there, always.

    So yeah, he’s annoying but in a harmless way. Thank God we (still) have Letterman and Colbert and Stewart and Ferguson and even Handler. Seth Meyers, on the other hand, is completely bland. What is his appeal really? I can’t figure it out.

  • Duke Leigh

    I just got tired of Fallon being in every second of the show. He should let the music acts do their stuff and watch from the side.

    I hope Colbert does not compete with his own song and dance act.

  • Later

    This column just led me to unbookmark the Daily Banter. Lifelong dem, progressive and liberal who finds this column to be too insipid for primetime.

    • villemar

      Bless your heart. You can find your Outrage Porn that way —>

    • Peter James

      Shocking to find that someone has an opinion that doesn’t agree with yours in this day and age and on this planet.

      You won’t be missed.

    • CincyTed

      Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

    • Duke Leigh

      Hasty lumbego!

  • DetroitSam

    Fallon attempts to avoid anything that might cause a break in anyone’s fun was lost when he invited that excuse for a human being, Sarah Palin, onto his show.

  • AJ Slemmer

    Imagine Fallon running the show with Uri Gellar instead of Johnny Carson:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_20566_the-6-most-humiliating-public-failures-by-celebrity-psychics.html

  • Juan Mario Agudelo

    Thank you for saying it. Yes, he’s funny, his Best fo SNL is one of the best of all, but there’s something missing. Some stink. I like Kimmel because a smart-ass will always outplay the perpetual nice guy when it comes to interviewing people.

  • MattAtDoyle

    Jimmy Fallon doesn’t suck; the Tonight Show vehicle sucks. It has sucked since the day Johnny Carson walked off into the analog sunset. The formula of host behind desk, guest on couch, animal experts, monologs, show-ending musical guests, all this every night has worn real thin. It doesn’t matter who is steering this rusty tugboat, it’s not pulling. Poor David Letterman looks like a beaten horse, slouching and coughing for 90 minutes. At least Arsenio has ditched the desk but otherwise it’s pretty formulaic. Time for network TV to pull a new idea out of it’s dusty idea box.

  • JJ Marks

    Sorry, I got hung up on the fact that Leno is being awarded the Mark Twain prize. Carol Burnett just received it last year – after Tina Fey and Will Ferrell…

    Back to Fallon. He is one giant hashtag #ho, but the yodeling skit with Brad Pitt was a delight to eyes, err, ears.

  • Aaron Litz

    Jay Leno? Christ.

  • Jaimie Muehlhausen

    Craig Ferguson is the true genius amongst the current crop, but he just doesn’t resonate with dumbed down America. There is more off-the-cuff brilliance in one episode of his show than a month of Fallon, Myers and the rest.

    • MidwestMet

      You’re right – nothing on those shows comes across as spontaneous. Every minute of the show is planned out, every question seems to be cleared, and they are trained not to give the slightest offense to their guest. None of them would dare rake John McCain over the coals the way Letterman did in 2008, while McCain was sitting there.

      • villemar

        That’s why I’m leaving my nighttime dial on CBS, sadly watching Letterman & Ferguson go, and I think that’ll be it for weeknight ambient late night television for me.

    • villemar

      Speaking of Ferguson, I first heard what I think many of us were thinking vis-à-vis Fallon (keeping in mind I like Fallon and like that NBC brought him onboard); when one night a few weeks ago, couched in the nightly absurdist banter between Craig and Geoff Peterson; the guy that does Geoff (Josh Robert Thompson) did a DEAD ON impersonation of Fallon that not only nailed his voice but nailed his annoying overenthusiasm for everything (“Wow, that great! That’s really great! That so cool! Wow, that’s so cool!”) I didn’t bother to check to see if it was on YouTube or whatever, because it was so esoteric, but he nailed it. I’ll miss those guys…and speaking of Geoff/Josh Robert Thompson; I will absolutely miss his Morgan Freeman, especially when Morgan Freeman is a guest.

      • GB5

        I think that Josh Robert Thompson is a very clever man. I hope someone realizes how funny he is and gives him a shot somewhere after Craig, if indeed he wants one.

  • AnitaC24

    Hey, there’s a host for everyone on the late night circuit. Personally, I rather get a good night’s sleep!

  • CJF50

    Why does everyone have to be edgy? Fallon is great and I enjoy his show a lot. I also enjoy Kimmel who is edgier. People need to go with their strengths. If every show were trying to appeal to the same audience we’d only need 1 channel.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      So sucking up to his guests, the way Douchebag Fallon does, is considered a strength?

  • skep

    A lot of interesting comedians lose their innovative edge when and if they move to hosting chat shows. Same thing happened to Chris Rock (remember that? no? exactly). The only excellent chat show host, really, is Graham Norton, because he just keeps things fun. American chat shows categorically suck. It’s not the host, it’s the venue, and the challenges of keeping a late-night audience roped in. Most people don’t want anything THAT edgy or attention-grabbing as they watch a late-night show. They want to exact opposite: something to put them to sleep. A shame if Fallon goes in that direction.

    • MidwestMet

      Disagree about Chris Rock’s show on HBO. His weak point was as an interviewer, but his skits and remotes were hysterical – Free Bobby Brown, Tupac Shakur Blvd., Daddy Still has a Flatop. One of my faves – explaining Black Progress

      http://youtu.be/rlHSrf9HSu8

      • skep

        I agree. I was referring to the interview bits.

    • Duke Leigh

      Chris Rock bad. Graham Norton good.

      Thanks for the laugh.

      • skep

        Don’t be an asshole. Chris Rock is a terrific comedian. But he wasn’t great as a talk show host.

  • That River Gal

    I wish the US could have a show like Graham Norton. Serve everyone drinks, make them all sit on a couch for an hour and have a conversation. That’s actually hilarious.

    • ljpljpljp

      River: They used to that in the last century, sixties and seventies.

    • Jeffrey K. Howard

      yes! he’s awesome!

  • mellowjohn

    only kind of?

  • CL Nicholson

    Well, Steven Colbert he’s not. But, Fallon does have the best damn house band ever in late night TV.

  • bbiemeret

    Jimmy Fallon is the Seth MacFarlane of late-night talk shows. His brand of “nostalgia” humor is great if you’re the right age, and have a good memory. Personally, I eat that shit up. My friends and I do stupid shit like remembering the lyrics to 80’s TV shows we grew up on.

    Plus, bringing the Roots, one of the most talented hip hop bands of all time, into the mainstream was a masterstroke. Their infamous “walk on” songs are sorta legend now. Yeah, they had Christie on, but they played “The Bridge is Over” by BDP when he came out. And who can forget them playing out Michelle Bachmann to Fishbone’s “Lyin’-Ass Bitch”? (Yeah, they really did that)

    • Aaron Litz

      The Lyin’ Ass Bitch thing was awesome, but I think it was more an example of how rad the band is than of anything to do with Fallon himself.

      La, La La La, La La La La La!

  • guest

    enjoy it while you can, fallon boy.
    the dawning of the age of colbert cometh.

    • GB5

      Completely different audience. Like one can think and the other watches Fallon. However, I agree, if given his head, Colbert will make Fallon look anemic.

  • Kanger

    Funny people who hate on Leno only think of his sterilized Tonight Show host duties.

    Have you ever heard his stand up back in the 1980’s?

    It’s like people who hate on Bob Sagat yet know NOTHING of his stand up career.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I’ve seen Bob Sagat’s stand up routine. He sucks just as bad when he goes blue as he does on sanitized shows like Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos. Same with Leno. A bad comic telling dick jokes is still a bad comic.

  • http://www.replyall.me/u/markpelta5/ Mark Pelta

    I’m not with y’all on this. What I’ve seen of late night TV doesn’t even come close to Fallon IMHO. Conan I think has been amazing when he and his crew go outside of his studio (e.g. the Jordan Schlansky series, Civil War re-enactment, carpooling with his staff to work), but the stuff he does on stage I’ve generally not found funny. There’s too much repetition by Kimmel for me…yes, we know, many Americans are stupid, lol. Maybe Letterman and Leno were as good as people say in their prime, but I was born in 1987 and I’ve never found either of them to be funny.

    Fallon I get though. Who doesn’t like some nostalgia, lip sync rap battles, and silly games (c’mon, that arm wrestling match with Jason.Statham was pretty epic)? Largely mindless? Sure. But for mainstream humor, it’s not bad. I couldn’t watch the whole show every day, but I do subscribe to the Youtube channel. I wish as much as the next guy that we had a George Carlin or the Smothers Brothers doing a late night show, but that isn’t how it works.

    Btw, I happen to think Fallon’s announcer Steve Higgins is hilarious and would make up for Fallon’s own weaknesses if he was doing more. Dude deserves more airtime.

  • Daigoro Ogami

    My favorite take on Jay Leno:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o53uIvguIo0

    NSFW

  • ursulas

    Damn, someone is full of piss and vinegar this morning!
    I love Jimmy Fallon. My life is full of serious suckatude most of the time due to being a member of the lower economic middle class in America. I watch Jimmy Fallon to laugh. I don’t expect Rachel Maddow in his seat. I watch Rachel Maddow for Rachel Maddow content.
    The only thing I am still pissed at Jimmy Fallon for is having that right wing political criminal, Chris Christie, up there on that stage. However, I didn’t watch that night’s episode so it didn’t really piss me off and dominate my life.
    Now on to the next real problem in my life.

  • missliberties

    I think you are being too harsh. ! Fallons jobs is to make people laugh. He isn’t supposed to be an advocate for anything one way or another.

    Edited for bad spelling

  • HOTDOGTSUNAMI

    I wish I could stay awake long enough to be relevant in Late night talk show conversations.

    • Julie Anne Torres

      one word, ROKU.

  • DJ Mauri

    That evolution of dad dancing was nauseating for trying to rehabilitate the image of Christie. Jimmy Fallon sucks, Jay Leno sucked, but it doesn’t matter because who the hell watches late shows anymore? They were relevant until the 80’s, but now they seem like a relic of the 60’s.

  • MidwestMet

    I don’t like or dislike Fallon – his personality is so unremarkable that he does not leave an impression. He does have some good music acts – I’ve saved Eminem’s performance of “Won’t Back Down” with The Roots to my favorites on YouTube. As far as Leno goes, what many stand-ups could not figure out is that why a guy who was considered by many among the top stand-ups in the business became so ordinary once he started hosting The Tonight Show.

    I cannot remember where I read it, but someone wrote that both Jimmy Fallon and Seth Myers did not make the transition from stand-up to TV to host. They both started out directly in front of the camera, or at least writing for it in Myers case. As such, they could not develop their own style of comedy, and draw an audience that liked it the way Letterman, Louie CK, or Chris Rock did. They had to write stuff that plays in NY, the MidWest, West Coast, South, etc – right off the bat. Which is why their personas seem so plain. When Seth Myers did have a chance to let loose at the WH Correspondents Dinner, he was great.

    While Letterman’s retirement is getting more press, don’t forget that Craig Ferguson is leaving The Late, Late Show after 10 years. No band, no human sidekick (just a gay robot), but one of the best free-style monologues in the business. Since this post started off with mentioning Mark Twain, here was Ferguson’s take one the release of Mark Twain’s autobiography.

    http://youtu.be/F8VX_QDZYMA

  • don

    JImmy Fallon is Bob Saggat’s and Scott Baio’s talent love-child raised by Howie Mandel channeling Saggat’s America’s Funniest Home Videos material.

    • Daigoro Ogami

      Bob Saget’s stand-up routine is actually pretty racy, but people seem to only remember him from Full House and AFHV.

      Not his biggest fan, just sayin’.

    • Kanger

      You do realize Bob Sagat’s stand up routines are insanely funny and raunchy?

      • D_C_Wilson

        Raunchy? Yes. Insanely funny? No.

  • Art__VanDalay

    He totally sucks. But of course, so do most people’s tastes, so….

  • D_C_Wilson

    The best thing that can be said about Fallon is that he doesn’t suck nearly as much as Leno does. Leno’s idea of being “edgy” was to have a bunch of dancers dressed up like Judge Ito from the O. J. Simpson trial. The Tonight Show has been dying a slow death ever since Leno took it over and it’s really been dead since Leno pretty much sabotaged any chance Conan O’Brien might have had to be a decent replacement.

    • Peter James

      Cut the crap with blaming Leno for Conan’s demise.

      Conan’s ratings had already cratered long before Leno debuted his 10pm show.
      (About 3 months before to be exact.).

      He sucked all on his own, and Leno is just a convenient scapegoat for people like you to use who don’t want to admit that much like you’re incapable of admitting that even if Leno’s brand of humor may not have been to your liking, he WAS good at what he did (the best, in fact, seeing as he was number 1 for 22 straight years), so much so that he was even getting more viewers at his tougher 10pm timeslot than either Letterman or Conan were.

      And for the record, the Tonight show got the most viewers in the history of its entire production in precisely the period and 2 decades that Jay was host.
      So how you come to the conclusion that it has been dying a slow death ever since he took it over – when in fact that actually flies in the face of the reality of what actually happened, speaks more to your skewed sense of perception and objectivity.

      • D_C_Wilson

        “Cut the crap with blaming Leno for Conan’s demise.”

        No.

        Leno did everything he could to sabotage the transition to Conan even before his failed 10 pm show debuted.

        And yes, he does suck. The “He gets ratings” is the same argument the Foxbots use whenever that channel gets accused of lying.

        • Peter James

          >>>>”And yes, he does suck. The “He gets ratings” is the same argument the Foxbots use whenever that channel gets accused of lying.”

          So then, what does that make Conan that he couldn’t get the ratings BEFORE Leno’s 10pm show debuted, he couldn’t get the ratings during Leno’s 10pm show’s run, and worst of all, HE STILL CAN’T GET THE RATINGS NOW in a completely different network that’s Leno-free?

          After all, ratings are essentially meaningless, right?
          So it should be easy enough for someone marginally talented to get some decent numbers, no?

          So I ask you again, what does it make Conan that he couldn’t?

          Dismiss Jay’s achievement in being a ratings champion for 22 straight years (and NO, it’s not comparable to FOX – on a typcial Night Ja got more viewers than FOx got on any of their top rated shows across ALL demographics and across all localities. Fox can’t make that claim in any degree) all you want, but realize what it says about your boy Conan’s inability to muster even the bare minimum in that regard.

          • D_C_Wilson

            Like I said, I don’t give a rat’s ass about ratings. Ratings are not a measure of quality. If that were the case, American Idol would be the greatest TV SHOW EVER.

          • Peter James

            It’s good to know that you don’t give a rat’s ass about ratings, any more than anyone gives a rat’s ass about your OPINION.

            Which is what it all boils down to.
            Your SUBJECTIVE opinion – which naturally differs from that of the next person and any number of many other people.

            Hence the reason why I used ratings – which is an objective measure of the number of people who watched him, were entertained by him and found him funny.

            By the way, your Fox News analogy also falls flat on the basis that Fox News is ostensibly a NEWS channel (or so they claim to be) from whence people expect OBJECTIVE and unbiased news and reporting.

            The Tonight shows is an ENTERTAINMENT show from whence people expect comedy and entertainment and as we all know tastes in comedy, humor and entertainment vary and since there’s no objective measure other than the number of people who find you funny, the only way to measure how sucessful one is as a comedian or entertainer is by the number of people who subscribe to your comedy or craft.
            Unlike say, NEWS, where you’re measured by a different standard by which, how accurate and truthful your reporting is.
            And which is why no one takes Fox News seriously and why your attempt to disqualify the “ratings” argument by comparing it to Fox (whose viewers ostensibly and inevitably use the wrong yardstick b y bringing up ratings) fails.

            So it’s good to know you don’t give a rat’s ass about ratings – much, like I said, no one else gives a rat’s ass that you don’t.
            Certainly not Jay, for whom your opinion didn’t hurt one bit.

          • D_C_Wilson

            For someone who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about my opinion, you’re dedicating a lot of paragraphs to convincing me my opinion is wrong.

          • Peter James

            I didn’t say I don’t give a rat’s ass about your opinion.

            I said other people (or rather, any one else) don’t give a rat’s ass about your opinion any more than you give a rat’s ass about Leno or his ratings.

            Although it’s interesting to note that for someone who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Leno’s ratings, you sure found an interesting way to needlessly interject him into an article that had absolutely ZERO to do with him.

            I’m not trying to convince you your opinion is wrong (it just is).
            I’m merely pointing out the FACT that it (your opinion) doesn’t matter.

            Admittedly any more than mine does.
            But then again, I’m not the one with an over-inflated sense of significance of mine.

          • D_C_Wilson

            You’re the one who keeps wanting to talk about ratings, not me.

          • Neil

            You I respect. Thanks for your intelligent commentary blowing holes in dweebs opinions … !

          • Rick Hoberman

            So, “Two And A Half Men” was the best sit-com on TV in the 2000s?

          • Rick Hoberman

            Two things: Leno never came close to the ratings Carson got during his tenure except for a couple of special nights (Cheers and Seinfeld finales and Leno’s “2” last episodes) Carson averaged 15 to 20 million viewers, Leno averaged about 6 million viewers. Jay was not the ratings champion for 22 years. Letterman beat him for 2 years.

        • Nishi Hundan

          You’re a pussy. Are you sucking Conan’s dick? Both of you are whiny bitches who need a scapegoat to explain why you’re both fucking losers.

          • mganai

            Name calling. Instant fail.

        • Joseph Kool

          Conan didn’t help the situation by sucking as bad as he did. What happened to Conan? He completely lost his ability to make people laugh.

      • Neil

        Right that Peter …!

        The Conan thing is ‘ol hat … This is about evaluating Jimmy and Seth … following him. Read my main comment.

      • mganai

        Leno’s milquetoast at best, and an idea thief at worst (a few of his Letterman bits). And no, his show was not on top until Hugh Grant appeared amid the Divine Brown scandal.

  • cablejunkie

    actually,they all suk,but carson was my guy.and not carson daley.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Kinda sucks, Chez? Jimmy Fallon all out sucks. I’m hoping Stephen Colbert starts kicking Fallon’s overrated ass once he replaces David Letterman next spring.

    • http://theplc.tv sethbdeadwood

      Colbert will be the new Carson

      • Neil

        swutisay … seth total deadwood or watered down NBC BUDGET workin’ with a Late Night neophyte .. ! ! .. Read my other comment regarding Seth.

        Crabby B RIGHT ON .. !

    • Joseph Kool

      Another jackass