Tonight is the night, Jimmy Fallon officially takes the reigns from Jay Leno and becomes the new host of The Tonight Show. Jimmy has been hosting ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ which will be taken over by another SNL alum in Seth Meyers.
I think Fallon is a great replacement for Leno. Fallon is a funny guy who has a young enough fanbase to re-energize the Tonight Show. Fallon’s humor is quirky but full of joy and excitement and I think that’s key to a successful run on the Tonight Show. Don’t get me wrong, I love CoCo. I wanted Conan O’Brien to succeed at the Tonight Show, but I think he’s just a little to outside the box. Remember a lot of your Tonight Show viewers just got done with the nightly news and you don’t want them wandering over to a Matlock marathon or something. It’s certainly an older audience and it’s going to be interesting to see Fallon walk the line between hip and comfortable to people with AOL email accounts.
Fallon’s also moving the Tonight Show to New York. I don’t know why but New York just has a more modern and edgy feel than Burbank. I know that it doesn’t really change a talk show hosted in a studio, but it’s a change and I think the Tonight Show needed it. There’s a lot of great comedic talent in New York’s comedy clubs and I’m hoping we see it on the Tonight Show.
If Fallon’s last performance on Late Night was any indication, he will be fine. Fallon left Late Night with the help of the Muppets and managed to make a moment that could have gotten sappy and silly into something really cool.
In my opinion the coup for NBC would have been getting Jon Stewart, who’s cable show competes with the Tonight Show for ratings. His political leanings probably made him an unlikely candidate, and he seems happy being political. Who knows if Stewart would have taken the gig?
Fallon has a star studded guest list tonight with Will Smith, U2, Jerry Seinfeld, and Kristen Wiig. Tune in tonight on NBC to see Fallon take center ring at 12/11c.
Do you think Fallon will succeed at the Tonight Show? Let me know in the comments.