18 March 2009 | jimjo1216
Jimmy Makes This Fun
As of this writing, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon is in its third week on NBC. I've seen the show criticized many times, but I enjoy it and I like Fallon in this role. It's not a polished show by any stretch of the imagination; there are still some wrinkles to be ironed out. The opening monologues aren't great and many of the jokes fall flat. But Fallon never seems discouraged. The pre-interview segments can also use some work. It's clear that the show has been trying out different things to see if one would stick. Little contests and comedy bits. It's important to remember that the show just started and that Fallon's never done this kind of thing before, so of course there'll be some kinks to work out.
I think Jimmy Fallon is great on this show. On SNL he'd have to play characters and people would get on his case for laughing during sketches and breaking up "the illusion". But on Late Night, Fallon gets to be himself and he laughs all the time. It works here, as he acknowledges the ridiculousness of everything around him. The show is ridiculous, he has to say ridiculous things, there are a slew of technical difficulties, and he sees that and doesn't try to hide it. Like David Letterman, a lot of Fallon's quips are aimed at the show itself. He's not *great* at interviews with people he doesn't already have a history with, but he's new and he's trying. And there's something refreshing about the inexperienced guy, who feels like he's one of us.
Fallon's show is very fan-friendly and he tries to incorporate the audience in as many ways as he can. Before the show premiered Fallon would interact with fans and give some behind-the-scenes insight on his daily video blog. He let the fans choose the show's logo. On the show he likes to get the audience involved. Sometimes they participate in game show bits. Once they elected a President of the Audience from three candidates. One audience member was selected in an experiment to boost his popularity on the social networking website Twitter. The other day a lucky audience member was selected to come on the show and be interviewed like a regular guest. At the end of every show Fallon runs into the audience and gives everyone high fives.
I love the fan interaction on Fallon's Late Night, but I must say my favorite thing about the show is that Fallon always gets the celebrities to do fun things. It lets you see celebrities in ways you've never seen them, out of their element. Amanda Peet did an impromptu green screen-type skit with Jimmy, Justin Timberlake did his John Mayer impression, Emily Blunt was brought two Auntie Anne's pretzels and then gave one to an audience member, Tracy Morgan did the interview in a blue Snuggie, Gary Sinise played bass with house band The Roots, Michael Stipe from R.E.M. recorded a new voice mail message for Fallon's cell phone, and Bill Paxton and the Kardashian girls joined announcer Steve Higgins at an Irish pub for St. Patrick's Day. I love seeing celebrities interact with each other and I think one of the best things about late night talk shows is that the first guest sometimes stays on the set for the next guest. I love Letterman's show, but he never has that.
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon is a fun show. It could use some work, but in its infancy it shows promise. Jimmy Fallon is a funny guy and a lot of fun to watch and it looks like his guests have a lot of fun too. The audience has fun... It's like one big party.