Jimmy Fallon, his first 'Late Night': Let's hear it for an ultra-ordinary guy!

Jimmyfallon_dl
Well, we can hope Jimmy Fallon got the most awkward moment of his first week out of the way last night: Impersonating Robert De Niro while the actor sat next to him, and then asking De Niro for approval: “That was pretty good, right?” Oh dear…

Everyone’s first day on the job is bound to be a bit awkward, and even though Fallon has spent months trying out ideas for Late Night on his website, he still looked nervous, his eyes locked onto the cue cards more frequently than at us. He did an ultra-ordinary monologue — one liners about President Obama and the deficit that sounded like material Jay Leno’s writers had faxed over from L.A. He tried to tweak the material by enlisting his house band, The Roots, to accompany him in a little segment he likes to call “Slow Jammin’ The News,” which consisted of Fallon and the band sing-speaking more topical jokes. There was also an audience-participation segment, “Lick It For Ten,” in which a few folks from the crowd came onstage to lick things like a lawn mower and a goldfish bowl, and Fallon gave them each ten bucks. The host didn’t display much rapport with ordinary citizens. Again, probably just opening-night nerves. As for De Niro:

The interview might have gone better if it hadn’t been scripted to within an inch of its life. Then again, given how monosyllabic De Niro tends to be, maybe not. There was also a very brief bit: Fallon and De Niro in the movie-we-never-knew-they-made-yuk-yuk, Space Train, with De Niro reading off a cue card, being a good sport. Being a good sport is not all that entertaining a pose to maintain.

Thank heaven for Justin Timberlake, Fallon’s next guest. The guy is such a relaxed, confident pro, the atmosphere energized and relaxed simultaneously. Fallon seemed truly thrilled to see his Saturday Night Live sketch-pal, and laughed with genuine, grateful appreciation when Timberlake busted out excellent John Mayer and Michael McDonald impersonations. This, and the closing-credit seconds, when Fallon hopped into the audience to greet two people I assume were his parents because we saw signs that said “Mom” and “Dad” over their heads, were the host’s most winning moments.

Van Morrison came out and rumbled through an Astral Weeks number and Fallon rattled off the week’s upcoming guests, who will include Tina Fey and Cameron Diaz.

Meanwhile, Craig Ferguson was over on CBS as loose as a goose, referring to himself winkily as “the Scottish Conan guy” and getting Paris Hilton to talk about her (as Ferguson called them) “farty dogs.”

Since even Ferguson has implored people not to judge Fallon by his first few shows, I’ll conclude with something positive. I like the way Fallon turns to the Roots and says, “?uestlove, give me a little noise.” Maybe pretty soon, he’ll relax a bit and make some spontaneous, amusing noise himself.

What did you think? Will you keeping watching Fallon?

More on Jimmy Fallon: The New King of ‘Late Night’

The interview might have gone better if it hadn’t been scripted to within an inch of its life. Then again, given how monosyllabic De Niro tends to be, maybe not. There was also a very brief bit: Fallon and De Niro in the movie-we-never-knew-they-made-yuk-yuk, Space Train, with De Niro reading off a cue card, being a good sport. Being a good sport is not all that entertaining a pose to maintain.

Thank heaven for Justin Timberlake, Fallon’s next guest. The guy is such a relaxed, confident pro, the atmosphere energized and relaxed simultaneously. Fallon seemed truly thrilled to see his Saturday Night Live sketch-pal, and laughed with genuine, grateful appreciation when Timberlake busted out excellent John Mayer and Michael McDonald impersonations. This, and the closing-credit seconds, when Fallon hopped into the audience to greet two people I assume were his parents because we saw signs that said "Mom" and "Dad" over their heads, were the host’s most winning moments.

Van Morrison came out and rumbled through an Astral Weeks number and Fallon rattled off the week’s upcoming guests, who will include Tina Fey and Cameron Diaz.

Meanwhile, Craig Ferguson was over on CBS as loose as a goose, referring to himself winkily as "the Scottish Conan guy" and getting Paris Hilton to talk about her (as Ferguson called them) "farty dogs."

Since even Ferguson has implored people not to judge Fallon by his first few shows, I’ll conclude with something positive. I like the way Fallon turns to the Roots and says, "?uestlove, give me a little noise." Maybe pretty soon, he’ll relax a bit and make some spontaneous, amusing noise himself.

What did you think? Will you keeping watching Fallon?

More on Jimmy Fallon: The New King of ‘Late Night’

Tags:

Comments (203 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 14
  • Craig

    Jitters or not, the show was just plain awful. Not one joke, skit or idea was remotely funny. Give Timberlake his own talk show. Poor DeNiro.

  • Brian C.

    Yikes

  • brandy

    i feel bad for him and am still rooting for him, even though tonight’s show was a bit awkward.
    give him some time to find his footing and then decide what you think.

  • Mar

    Fallon and the writers may have some potential, but they will have to realize it FAST, before people will give up on him. I didn’t expect the show to be great, so I wasn’t disappointed or surprised. If Fallon can develop the type of rapport he had with JT and maintain it throughout the whole show, it will be much more enjoyable.
    I’ll keep watching, because I like Fallon, and I want to see him do well. But not everyone will allow for the same time buffer.

  • rob

    On SNL, Jimmy never stopped laughing at his jokes, much like tonight, why should we expect this to get better? Draft JT to do a variety/talk show and post-Conan Late Night would be worth watching.

  • Corey

    Give it time I guess, but needs a bit of edge, especially with the big stars. Think Shirley MacLaine-ish interviews that made David Letterman legendary. Guesses hated coming on his show yet the fan couldn’t get enough of him burning people. Know Jimmy Fallon isn’t David Letterman, but the Late Night show was always a bit more edgy then the Tonight Show as it should be.

  • dave

    The show turned out pretty much how I expected, but cut the guy a break. It was obvious that he was nervous and you could tell he felt a bit awkward. He’ll get the hang of it. Critics ripped into Conan when he first started, and look how how great his show turned out to be. Give him some time. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night’s show with Tina Fey.

  • sirfuller

    It was like a very awkward SNL sketch that went on for an hour.

  • Kevin

    First night or not, the show was poor. Timberlake as always was funny, comfortable, and the best part of the show. The house band is awesome. Jimmy’s interviewing skills need some help. His monologue was flat. The Space Train skit was horrible.
    That being said, I am giving Jimmy a chance. He is a funny guy and as soon as he has a couple weeks under his belt, things will be much better.
    Best of Luck Jimmy.

  • Brady Westwater

    Let the Death Watch begin….

  • Meli

    I’ll say while I didn’t watch Fallon’s show I remember the first night Craig Ferguson did the Late Late Show as the permanent host and the critics ripped him to pieces too. Fallon will have to figure out what to do to make the show his own (which means he’ll actually have to grow a pair and stand up to Lorne Michaels to do it). I wouldn’t pronounce him DOA just yet, but if he tries to do what he’s not comfortable doing or Lorne keeps making him do what doesn’t work, NBC may have to start looking for a new host pretty soon.

  • lili

    Have you any of you people seen the first Leno? Letterman? Conan?
    They all sucked in the beginning.

  • Paco From NJ

    Wasn’t the “Worst Thing Ever”…Justin Timberlake pulled Jimmy’s butt out of the fire and was a breath of fresh air. Give him his own weekly segment… I’ll give Jimmy the benefit of the doubt for his first show, and it is clearly a work in progress…A little early though to invoke the “Chevy Chase Death March” though. Let’s give the kid a break til he finds his rhythm. His house band The Roots kick some serious musical ass. Will be interesting to watch the show’s evolution, as NBC has committed big time $$ towards the show, building the big new set and all, plus a s**tload of advertising and promotion…Christ, we have to wait til June for a new Conan Show? Screw that– I’m headed down to a place I like to relax, a little place I call “Joe’s”…

  • DanOregon

    It was easier rooting for Conan because you realized this was “his shot” and you wanted him to succeed, especially with that low-frills set and Richter and Max Weinberg. With Fallon, a guy who seems to have been given every chance, get another one, and yet still seem unprepared (even after several years on a live show) – it’s just baffling. I hope he gets better, but Kimmell’s first half hour is better and Ferguson’s show is more interesting.

  • Josh

    I honestly thought he was great! He made me laugh out loud at points at how quick witted he was. Yes he needs to stop laughing at himself all the time…. but that actually kind of makes it funny.

Page: 1 2 3 14
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos in TV

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP