Legions of Lenoites had their nightly routine shaken up last night when a regular-sized chin took the stage of The Tonight Show. It was Jimmy Fallon's first night as host of the late-night legacy and to ease the transition from Jay to Jimmy, from old to young, from very white guy to white guy, Fallon spent several minutes introducing himself, promising never to murder us, and I think he maybe asked our daughters to prom? It was a very thorough nervous nice-guy act, basically. Fallon ran through his vital stats (he's 39 years old, he lives in New York City, he has a wife and a kid, he has never been involved in a Satanic ritual) and played up the ridiculous idea that The Tonight Show's viewers had never heard of him. He even felt compelled to introduce us to his parents! Whoa! Moving fast, Jimmy! But that's what this opening was: Fallon's reassurance to Leno's leftovers that he's not a bad person, and that he's just as surprised to be hosting The Tonight Show as we are to see him try.

Fallon also attempted to calm his new audience by telling everyone that his house band, Philly's acoustic hip-hop group The Roots, are NOT rabid animals, and that they're so dope that they can play with Jay-Z OR Tony Bennett, references that hit both ends of the spectrum covered by his now-wider-in-age-range audience. He also introduced his announcer/sidekick Steve Higgins, and in the opening's best bit, cut Steve off as Steve tried to congratulate him. A classic move that never gets old. To the dungeon with you, worthless sidekick! The adults are speaking!

And Fallon deserves some credit, because once that awkward "you're stuck with me for the next 40 years" introduction was through, he came out from behind the curtain again for a planned do-over intro, and all of a sudden he was the energetic, lip-licking Jimmy we remembered from Late Night. He even did a Winter Olympics-themed version of the monologue and the Late Night staple "Superlatives," making fun of Bob Costas's eyes, an ice skater who looked like a lesbian Screech from Saved By the Bell, and a few others who weren't runway-ready. But hey, that's late-night humor for ya! Sorry American bobsledder Steven Holcomb, but Fallon's right, you could ease up on the ranch dressing!

Then Fallon settled in behind his new desk, where he uttered the word "excited" about 15 times before cashing in a bunch of favors owed to him by celebrity friends with a bit where famous faces came out and gave him a $100 bill as payment for losing a bet that said Fallon would never host The Tonight Show. Celebrities casually throwing money around is exactly the type of humor Joe Unemployed loves, and that's what Jimmy Fallon's first show will be known for.


First up was Mr. Focker who grumbled over to the desk and plopped down some of his Last Vegas royalties. Whatever, he'll do another Fockin' movie and then he can lose 10,000 more bets. De Niro has the system figured out, if you ask me. 

Then came Tina Fey (who looks great, btw), who I'm told now haunts the hallways of 30 Rock. How is she not president of NBC already?


Then that drunk football player who almost messed up the coin toss at the Super Bowl gave Jimmy the Benjamin he was going to use to pay for a scarf made out of kittens.


Ugh, this guy! If there is a camera anywhere in New York, Rudy Giuliani is physically compelled to be in front of it. Do any of you non-Americans have a former-politician-turned-goofball-city-cheerleader in your country? Well, we will trade Giuliani for him or her and throw in a New York-style pizza pie and a Big Gulp of Diet Mountain Dew. Just take him, please!


Then a life-sized Jessica Rabbit doll with Mariah Carey's face stitched on it slinked out. It's important to note that the revolving door of celebrities were not allowed to speak, and the rule was never more important than it was in this moment. 

Then Tracy Jordan handed over his money and I think it actually hurt him because it was truly his last $100. Someone give this guy a job STAT.


Then Joan Rivers. You'll get nothing but compliments for Joan Rivers from me. Why didn't she get The Tonight Show? She's white enough! Is it the penis thing? It's got to be the penis thing. One day a woman will host one of the big network late-night talk shows and then finally we will be a real country of tolerance. 

Kim Kardashian and Seth Rogen showed up after Rivers, but NBC had the nerve to omit them from the promo photos. If I'm Seth Rogen, I have never been more insulted in my life to be held in that company. 


Then The Lohan wandered in from off the street, but it worked out okay for the gag because she actually did owe Fallon 100 bucks.  


And then Ms. New York City herself, Sarah Jessica Parker, trotted in. But don't expect any jokes from me. Haven't we already made fun of SJP enough? No need to beat a dead horse.


After that it was cannibal boxer Mike Tyson's turn, and OH NO LOOK OUT JIMMY he's going for your ear oh no wait he's just saying "thankth!" Mike Tyson is awesome. He was also one of the few people who had the decency to actually give Fallon little gift. It may have been a ransom note, but hey, it's the thought that counts.


Then some burlesque Terminator time-traveling Targaryen lady from the future gave Jimmy a hundred bucks which is only like a nickel to her because she's freakin' Lady Gaga and she saves millions in clothes by wearing only leftover Halloween costumes and dumpster underwear.


Then Steven Colbert brought out a bucket of pennies, poured them on Fallon (and probably gave him some sort of rash because pennies are disgusting), and greeted him with, "Welcome to 11:30, bitch!" Colbert wins again. You know, that reminds me: The Colbert Report is way better than The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and I should've been watching that instead.

And that was it for the star stream. It was almost too much celebrity to handle! I imagine the green room was what 2006's idea of heaven must be like. 


Next up were two bits that must have shocked Leno supporters because Jay would NEVER! Fallon and Will Smith did a version of one of Fallon's most popular bits, "The Evolution of Things That Are Funny to Watch a White Guy Do." This time it was "The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dance," and yes, Fallon twerked, so knock that off your list of things you never want to see. I understand that many people find these Fallon "Evolution of" bits very funny, so I won't say anything more about it for fear of getting into a useless argument. Consider my lips zipped!

Then Fallon broke the most sacred of late-night rules and put the musical guest right in the middle of the show!? WHAT? Irish politicians U2 did one of their indistinguishable new songs (I'm still working my way through "Rattle & Hum") on the roof of a building, a callback to and huge glob of spit on where they used to be when they played the roof of a liquor store for the "Where the Streets Have No Name" video. Humble as always, U2! 

After that, the show sunk into "What do we do now?" mode and was more like a regular talk show and not a celebratory drunk-on-Olympics coronation of late-night's new boy king. It was pretty boring. Do I really care about Will Smith's family vacation photos? Nope. And I also did not care about Smith making fun of Olympic curling. I don't think a man who made After Earth should be making fun of anything, especially the greatest sport known to man! 

Once the Fresh Prince was done with his time, Fallon sat U2 on the couch and kissed Bono's ass. 

And that was pretty much it! Personally, I prefer Letterman's tired and grumpy old man shtick to Fallon's "everything is wonderful" style, but I'd say Fallon did just fine on his first day as America's New Sweetheart for people who can't stay up past midnight. Congratulations, Jimmy, but please don't be offended when I don't watch your show because most late-night talk shows have faded into irrelevancy thanks to the video games, DVRs, Netflix, Comedy Central, Community reruns, Xanax, and the frantic refreshing of OK Cupid profiles all proving to be better alternatives for late-night entertainment. Bye! See you all again when Jayden Smith takes over The Tonight Show!  


Did you watch Fallon's Tonight Show debut? What'd you think? Which late-night show will you be watching at 11:30pm?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/26/2016

Season 1 : Episode 521

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I like Fallon but it's hard not to say that he kisses ass too much. Almost as bad as Leno.

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Love that Tonight is back NYC, where it was founded. Cool to see it going back to it's roots.
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Fantastic self promotion by Colbert and exactly why his show is so great.
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Look out behind you Jimmy, Jay might be standing with a knife!
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Oh, I can't stand Jimmy Fallon and thinks his fame is totally undeserved. That being said... No need beat a dead horse! Ha!

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I've been watching Community all over again.
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Daily Show, Colbert Report and CraigyFerg. Why would you need anything else?
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Fallon.....Dorksville, man. Dork of Pain. Unfit to carry Colberts gym bag.....
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Curling is amazeballs. I just found out that there's a curling club where I live and I am signed up for a learn to curl class next week!!! Korea 2018 here I come!!

Other than that, it's what I expected from Jimmy. I also generally use that time to catch up on my DVR or whatever, but I wouldn't not check out an episode if there's someone I really want to see.
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Good Luck with the Curling!!
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curling is amazing. i have only ever watched it, never played, but have been watching it for years- canada is good for this type of thing :)
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Humm ...
I'm afraid that not everyone agrees with you Tim , but almost everything you said is true ...
Is too much feel good scenes and stuff ...
My late night is Conan of Course , i'm a huge Fan and also The Daily Show and Colbert Report ...
Let's see how it goes for John Oliver in April on HBO , but that show is weekley tough ...
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Why is it that every time I watch a late night show I hear applause and cheering maybe 5 times more often than laughter? Was it always like that? The shows are basically:
1. Look, a (cool) celebrity showed up unexpectedly and did something silly. Cue cheering and applause
2. Look, we filmed a bit. Cue cheering and applause.
3. Filler
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Yeah, these shows are as trendy as newspapers now.
(Is trendy still a trendy word? :)
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Please ignore Tim's directive to give Tracy Morgan (not Jordan, btw) another job in television or movies.

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Perhaps Joan Rivers will get to guest host again...or at the very least be a guest at some point. She has a charming interview show on YouTube. I saw her stand up a few years ago and during her meet and greet later on, she was so incredibly nice.
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Jimmy Fallon is fine, but the bottom line is that both Letterman and Conan were royally screwed by NBC. Letterman should have had the Tonight Show when Carson retired so he had to switch networks. And poor Conan! He was set up for failure from the beginning. I cannot believe they have the audacity to bring The Tonight Show to NYC for Fallon but didn't do it for Conan. Most likely I will continue to watch Letterman or Conan (when I can remember he is on at 11pm).
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They were not only screwed by NBC but by Leno. Leno was the person who pushed Carson to retire in the first place by planting a story in the press. When Carson shocked executives with news of his retirement it was his way of giving the finger to executives that he thought were going to replace him with Leno. Carson wasn't expected to retire for at least a few more years and this would outlast Leno's contract (which would award him Tonight if Johnny stepped down). NBC execs simply had wanted to postpone the decision on his successor but obviously Leno didn't think he could beat out Dave. And as a result everyone from Carson's show bashed Leno's show, from Doc's statements to Ed appearing as a guest on a rival show (Arsenio). Not enough of this ever gets stated in the press. Conan would have went to ABC or FOX in 2004 if Leno had not went to him and promised him the show and assured him that he was fine with it and fully supportive. What's Conan going to do? Turn down the dream job? Yet Leno somehow manages to imply to people that Conan forced him out.

NBC should have moved Tonight to NYC for Conan; I believe this is one of the reasons that Lorne doesn't exec produce his show anymore. They had a falling out over it. Lorne pointed out that NBC wasn't committed to his show (and he knew very well what Leno was capable of) and Conan didn't want to accept the truth. If Tonight wouldn't have moved to NYC, I think Fallon would still be hosting Late Night. The big difference between Conan and Fallon is that Fallon still has Lorne advising him.
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Interesting stuff! I was not aware of the Carson-Leno conflict, or maybe I just do not remember it. I wonder if Leno was responsible for the Carson-Joan Rivers feud as well. Remember, she used to guest host for Johnny quite often.

Fallon is the golden boy, and I imagine he will do fine in appeasing both the younger crowd used to his late night show and the older crowd used to Leno's show. But I would love to see Conan back on one of the major networks again. Maybe he will replace Letterman when Letterman retires.

Luckily, Jimmy Kimmel is not involved in any of that NBC mess. He's a pretty good host too, I think.
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Jay Leno came after the Carson-Rivers feud. He was hired in 1987 by NBC (not Carson of course, he didn't like him) to replace Garry Shandling who moved to Showtime for his own sitcom. I don't really understand why Carson held such a grudge towards Rivers; what was she supposed to do, turn FOX down? And I don't even think Carson allowed her to ever properly state her case/defend herself. Apparently it all had to do with him giving his blessing to it and she went out of the order of events he wanted (apparently this was b/c of legal stuff).

I will always love Kimmel due to his behavior during the Leno-Conan conflict; hosting his show dressed as Leno and then mocking Leno on his own show and just owning it. Fantastic. An all time great moment.

When Conan moved to cable I thought it was probably very smart because cable seems to be the future and Stewart/Colbert don't get anywhere near the audience others get but they get all of the buzz. And that levels out the ratings difference and takes the pressure off because Comedy Central can't necessarily be expected to get broadcast ratings to begin with. I thought Conan would strike the same cord but it just seems like he's had a big dropoff and TBS is Siberia. Conan doesn't get the buzz he once got.
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Also Fallon has only been hosting a show on NBC for 4 years and they gave him the Tonight Show. Conan was there for 18 years before he got it and then got screwed by NBC. Also Conan is much funnier than Fallon. I can't stand to watch Fallon's awkward interview style or that weird way he reads the monologue off the cue cards that doesn't look or sound natural at all.
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Agree. I like Fallon but let's be honest it doesn't feel right that Conan hosted "Late Night" for twelve years more than Jimmy and brilliantly took late night comedy to new heights that had never been seen before. Yet Jimmy is the one that will end up with the show after only a few years. I wish Fallon the best but this just doesn't seem right that he gets to walk away with the big prize.
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I like Fallon most of the time, and I think he was the "safe" choice for NBC for that timeslot, but I totally agree with what you're saying. I tend to avoid the Tonight Show because of the Leno-Conan debacle (not to mention I was never a big Leno fan). At least Letterman was able to stay on a major network. Conan was royally screwed, and he did not deserve that.
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Yeah, NBC is nuts. :( Coco and Letterman FTW. They're both happier with their new places.
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Tine Fey looks better the older she gets.
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Tina has always looked good, she just tends to downplay her looks. I wish she wouldn't! She's hot, smart, and funny.
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She actually looked Hot in the golden globes. She always looked good but now she looks a lot better
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I'll be watching Rick and Morty, @Midnight, maybe a little Conan and Colbert, but for the most part that's it.
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I totally did not even recognize Kim Kardashian. And I was happier not knowing she was there :P
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It's been reported that this was Joan Rivers' first appearance on The Tonight Show since Johnny Carson banned her when she started a competing talk show on the new Fox network. Also, it was 49 years to the day after her first appearance on the show. Variety posted the story minutes after she was on stage with Fallon.
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wait so it was johnny that banned her? think when she was on nerdist podcast she hates leno and the tonight show cause they never reach out to her
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It was Johnny that banned her. I guess Leno kept the feud going. She was Johnny's permanent guest host until she left for Fox. That's when Jay Leno became the permanent guest host, and eventually, host.
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ah, I never heard of the story before. On the podcast she talked about being that permanent guest and then just the dislike she has for leno.
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Very cool to see her make a return visit. Crazy that Johnny just couldn't get over her move to FOX. He had always had competing hosts on the show before to wish them luck.
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Wow, thanks for the breaking news! Who knew late night comedy is hit-or-miss? Not me!
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Thank you for your snark, Tim. We get it, the show's not for you. But there's a lot of everything that people want. A show like Fallon's, that is overwhelmingly upbeat and positive and will always try to top itself for the fans is a very good thing to have around. It is possible to like the alt comedy scene (CBB and the like) and this stuff as well. It's not either/or.
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I was thinking it would be kind of funny if someone came out with a jar of pennies and then Colbert comes out with the bucket of them. Didn't care for the "bitches" line though. It seemed out place here for some reason. I missed U2 on the roof and found out this morning they performed. I thought it was just the couch unplugged bit, but I was watching Olympic stuff or something.

In the end, it's still another guy behind yet another desk, speaking to another celebrity to b.s. for five minutes who then sell another of their projects, followed by another music performer getting 4 minutes of fame, and ending with another "good night!". Wash, rinse, repeat.

Actually, it's the same Jimmy Fallon an hour, or so, earlier with a bigger budget and paycheck. Nothing more.
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"And then Ms. New York City herself, Sarah Jessica Parker, trotted in. But don't expect any jokes from me. Haven't we already made fun of SJP enough? No need to beat a dead horse."

I see what you did there. And I like it.
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The show was just as bad as ever in my opinion. I assume this is supposed to be a comedy program, but all of the jokes were painful misses or just offensive crap. The only highlight was the string of celebrities during the $100 bet joke, but the only celebrity to actually do anything funny was Colbert. I'll stick to the Colbert show thank you very much. I hope Seth Myers tries something new with his show, network late night TV really needs help. Except for Craig Ferguson, he's the man!
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Yeah Jimmy Fallon isn't funny to me too. Coco and others are. Jay Leno was funnier than Jimmy Fallon!
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This article is all the exposure to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon I'll ever need. Soon I'll forget it ever existed and feel better for it.
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Team Coco
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TEAM COCO!!!
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COCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Tim,

It sounds like you are on of the only people who actually thought Leno was funny. You talk about taking the tonight show in a progressive direction one day by having a woman host; yet, you bash every attempt that Fallon makes to stray from the norm. From reading your article, it seems like you have a personal issue with Fallon and you're clearly butthurt.
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Da*n
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So here I sit, reading a negative review of a show, and I think to myself, "Hmm, who is it that wrote this? Lily, Price or Tim?" So I scroll back up and lo and behold, it's Tim!

It amuses me that whenever there's a negative review of a show, it's one of those three. Gotta love consistency!
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"Fallon sat U2 on the couch and kissed Bono's ass."

i honestly thought it was just me who noticed this! Well, with Tim anyway! I love Price tho! (I love TIM too, I just wish every article had more than one writers opinion.) it'd be nice to have more than just one person reviewing a show I've been dying to watch, just to see "posted by Tim S." And go, "ugh, im 95% sure this is going to be a negative review" & it sucks.
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But Price's reviews are almost always positive? Why pick out him? His "Teen Wolf" reviews are always incredibly positive, and I assume that his "Vampire Diaries" ones would be similar?
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It wasn't a negative review, what does that say about you?
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It wasn't a positive one, that's for sure. While not as negative as most of his reviews, it leaned more negative than positive. So yeah, it was a negative review.
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He liked some parts of the show, disliked others, overall he called Fallon satisfactory. That makes it positive overall but also well balanced. Would you prefer a biased pro-Fallon fanboy rant?
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I thought he did great. I especially liked the calvacade of stars. I'm glad you identified them, because I wasn't sure about some. I'll still probably watch Letterman most of the time, but if Fallon has a guest I like, I'm there. I only lasted until U2 came to the couch. Hope nothing happened after that.
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Fallon really seemed under pressure this being his first night and seemed hard-pressed on what to do with the time. For late night, he does the same thing, but not as much with the gun-to-the-temple mentality this show felt like. He was doing his best to keep the audience entertained, but I got a "trying too hard" vibe from the show, and based on the ratings (which equaled O'Brien's even though it was after the Olympics), I don't see it lasting years and years.
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Then came Tina Fey (who looks great, btw), who I'm told now haunts the hallways of 30 Rock. How is she not president of NBC already?

Because Kenneth is.
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Kenneth will have to die first, which is never going to happen.
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