Well last week we lost a great American hero, Conan O'Brian. America's favorite redhead handed in the reigns to what has become a comedic necessity for America's late night (read: college) television viewers. O'Brian leaves behind a specialized sort of comedy tooled for the "lol masturbating bear" crowd and up. The mantel of Late Night has been placed on SNL and weekend update regular, Jimmy Fallon. Fallon's opening show was last night and proved quite interesting. Since I'm still waiting for my service award to show up my TiVo is currently out of service. So if I missed a detail, bite me.
Conan makes a cameo in Jimmy's dressing room preshow and has a brief interchange with the new host. Fallon plays the straight man while Conan is his usual self. Apart from O'Brian's remark "Leno's not going anywhere," the skit is ultimately forgettable.
Monologue and associated skits
Fallon opens the show with a solid monologue that turned out better than I expected. It's a bit early in the game to determine how Fallon's jokes will pan out in the future, but a few of his jokes show promise. One noteworthy element was Fallon "slow jamming" the news with house band "The Roots" backing him up (more on them later). I enjoyed this quite a bit. The bit was on the rough side, but with more practice and fine tuning I think that this will be a show staple.
As with Conan and Leno before him, Fallon opted for the Jokes-Skits-Guests-Music format. The two skits, "Target Demographic" and "Lick if for 10" both were fairly weak, but have room for potential. When the demographic is "Tuba players from West Blockton" I think we will have a winner. "Lick it for 10" had a few laughs but wasn't anything special.
Wow, this wasn't pretty. Fallon spent the majority of this segment stumbling across lines and making everyone uncomfortable. I let Adrian handle the world of celebrities so I'll keep this short. Robert De Niro was uninteresting and unimpressive apart from the "Space Train" bit.
I hope this was intentionally bad because it was laughably so. Otherwise......
Timberlake on the other hand stole the show. I've never cared for anyone or anything associated with 90's pop music, but J's parody of The Beegees and improvised Budweiser jingles were hilarious and nearly made up for Fallon's frequent fumbles.
This was one of the few high points of the show. Jimmy's house band, "The Roots" were a breath of fresh air and better than any other house band I've seen (Carson era on) and considerably better that a good number of musical guests. They kept quiet for the most part, but when they played........man. They're keepers. I can't say the same about Van Morrison. From what I could tell it was a good performance, but he dosen't fall within my preferred musical style so I'm not a liberty to pass judgment.
Fallon had a rocky start but that is to be expected. Just try and tell me you could pull off something like that without a hitch. The main problem that Fallon faces with critics is that he is filling in the 6 foot 4 pompadour sporting hole left by Conan. Jimmy is not Conan and never will be, as soon as he and his critics accept this things will go along swimmingly. Stay tuned and give him some time, Conan started out pretty rough too but look how he turned out.
Overall rating: C+/B-
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