Jimmy Fallon Makes Late Night Debut

It’s impossible to judge Jimmy Fallon after his first time hosting NBC’s “Late Night.” It would be like judging an NFL team after one play.

By the end of the summer, Fallon will have hosted “Late Night” well over one hundred times. Hopefully by then the seat time and the sheer repetition will have eliminated the jitters and nervousness that plagued his rather successful debut.

Fallon's premiere drew a 2.3 in the metered-market household ratings.  Fallon had the highest-rated late-night debut of any talk show since 2002.

Fallon's premiere drew a 2.3 in the metered-market household ratings. Fallon had the highest-rated late-night debut of any talk show since 2002.

Beyond just getting comfortable with his craft, Fallon has a few other things to do before he’s firmly entrenched as a viable late night talk show host.

For starters, his monologue need to improve. His first one was bland, unfunny and tedious. It was made worse by blatantly reading the cue cards. For more see below.

When he’s doing a bit, like the very funny “Slow Jamming the News” he was fine. However when he was forced to be Jimmy, like during the awful Z-Morning Zoo stunt “Lick it For Ten,” he was quite obnoxious—often mumbling, stumbling and talking just to avoid dead air.


His interview with Robert De Niro (who’s in the Land of Punt) was so scripted it was hard to tell if Fallon can actually interview a celebrity.

Most of the show was about him and there was several references to his days on Saturday Night Live. Justin Timberlake and Fallon rehashed their “Barry Gibb Talk Show” sketch.

You knew this was coming as Fallon has to remind everyone why he’s famous. Fallon will be falling back on his days at SNL and the connections he made there in the first few weeks of his show, at least until he’s comfortable and gets some show legs.


After that it will be interesting to see how he handles a Tuesday show in the middle of “nothing-going-on” with John Cena and musical guest Sara Bareilles.

Another challenge facing Fallon is overcoming the stench of being the worst SNL cast member of all-time. For some, he’s ruined goods and they will never come around to his brand of comedy.

Since he’s not anywhere near as cool or as funny as Carson, Fallon needs an edge. People don’t want to fall asleep to the happy-go-lucky pretty boy who can do mediocre impressions. They want to fall asleep to someone who’s more messed up then they are.

However, whether it’s show one, show one-hundred or a year from now, it’s doubtful Jimmy Fallon will ever be worth staying up late.


Fallon’s monologue:

    “As you know New York City was hit with a huge snowstorm. And I woke up this morning and said ‘please let it be a snow day.’ Not even a delay. Nothing.”

    “I’ve been getting so much encouragement. Last night, Rush Limbaugh called me up and said he wants me to fail. That’s so nice of him. He didn’t even have to.”

    “The good news, President Obama announced that he plans to bring the troops home from Iraq in 18 months. The troops actually responded and said, ‘Thank you, but the economy’s better over here.’ “

    “In California, a 16-year-old boy had sex with his 24-year-old teacher. Traumatizing. Doctors are saying it will take years of therapy just to wipe the smile off his face.”

    “Despite the recession, Microsoft is planning to open new stores to compete with Apple. Microsoft says they’ll be just like Apple stores except the staff will freeze when you ask them a question.”

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