Tonight, when Jimmy Fallon takes over The Tonight Show, it may sound woefully out-of-date to suggest that he in any way wants to be, or should be, or is going to be “the new Johnny Carson.” The very phrase reeks of Vegas mothballs. Over the last two decades, starting with the moment when Jay Leno launched his Attack Of The Nice Guy blandified makeover, The Tonight Show has effectively been de-Johnny-fied, and Fallon, who is 24 years younger than Leno (and would be 49 years younger than Carson if Carson were still alive), represents a brand new generation — or maybe I should say a new-brand generation — in the dominance of late night. The amazing freshness of Fallon’s appeal is that he’s looking forward, not back. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Jimmy Fallon (91-100 of 276)
Jay Leno said goodbye to The Tonight Show for the second time in his career on Thursday. Gone for good? So he joked. “I don’t need to be fired three times! I get the hint!” And so he wept, during his most personal — and arguably best — moment of his 22-year run as the custodian of the hallowed late night institution. “It really is time for me to go and hand it off to the next guy.” His last hour was a pretty good one, highlighted by the pure-pop moment of Billy Crystal bringing out a bunch of stars — Jack Black, Jim Parsons, Carol Burnett, Oprah Winfrey — for a snarky-funny ribbing of NBC for wanting Leno gone, or as the comedian put it earlier this week, in his sarcastic, self-serving way, “dead.” But those minutes, with Leno breaking down at his desk, were undeniably powerful. “This is tricky,” he said as he recalled how he lost his mother, father, and brother during the first three years of hosting The Tonight Show, and how the show and his work filled the void of a man suddenly without family, save for his wife of 34 years, Mavis. “This has been the greatest 22 years of life.”
It was a powerful exit for a man who loved his job and loves to work, perhaps too much, and who served his network faithfully if not always well, and vice versa. As affecting as Leno’s last bow might have been, the episodes that preceded the finale this past week represented a convincing argument that NBC needs a new suit sitting behind the desk, and a whole new creative sensibility in general.
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Thursday night, the late night world said goodbye to Jay Leno as his final episode as host of the Tonight Show aired. Some took the opportunity to get one final Leno joke off their chest (guess who that was?), while others pushed their past issues with Leno aside and offered their congratulations. See what Leno’s peers had to say: READ FULL STORY
Lots of folks in the comedy community make a habit of giving Jay Leno a hard time — but Jimmy Fallon isn’t one of them. Even during the Great Tonight Dust-Up of 2010, Fallon refused to jump on the anti-Leno bandwagon, preferring instead not to take sides — and to assure his audience that he was just “happy to have a job.” (Granted, unlike Jimmy Kimmel or David Letterman, Fallon was working for the same network as Leno and Conan O’Brien — so it’s easy to understand why he’d want to take a neutral stance.)
And even now, mere weeks before Fallon is set to inherit Leno’s on-again, off-again late night throne, he’s still erring toward humble and gracious. As a guest on Leno’s fourth-to-last Tonight Show ever Monday, Fallon feted his predecessor as “the nicest guy in the business” — before launching into a “thank-you note” bit that celebrated Jay.
Melissa McCarthy is on a roll. Not only did she star in two of last year’s biggest comedies, but she’s also hosted Saturday Night Live in each of the last three seasons — the only performer to achieve that feat in that span. This past weekend, she didn’t even have a project to plug — a detail that became a funny gag in her opening monologue — but she’s one of those guests who clearly loves the show’s comedy environment. In fact, no one throws him or herself into characters more than McCarthy, who craves physical comedy perhaps more than any female comedian since Molly Shannon.
McCarthy had to share the limelight on Saturday, what with Seth Meyers’ touching farewell, but she delivered some great moments, including the return of aggressive coach-turned-congresswoman Sheila Kelly. It seems certain that she’ll be a major contender for Mr. Saturday Night after finishing second in the past two years, and she enters a race that is wide open. Jimmy Fallon holds a narrow lead, with 26.5 percent, while Drake slipped from first to a close second, with 24.3 percent. Josh Hutcherson saw his support nearly double from last week, and his fans have him right near the top, with 21.4 percent. Jonah Hill had a disappointing debut, with only 17.9 percent, but that was enough to eliminate Kerry Washington.
A quick rundown on our objective: To identify the funniest, most memorable SNL host, the person who best fit in with the cast and put on a performance that you, your mom, and your co-worker were all chuckling about on Sunday afternoon. It’s subjective, of course, but let’s reward the guest hosts who brought something special to the table. My own personal bottom line: Do you want to see this host back on the show next season?
So far, Bruce Willis, Miley Cyrus, Edward Norton, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey (Blerg), John Goodman, Paul Rudd, and Kerry Washington have been eliminated.
Below, I’ve embedded one representative clip for each of the five hosts currently in the race. After the poll closes, the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the surviving four will face off against the next host — still unannounced — on March 1, after the Winter Olympics are finished.
Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote. READ FULL STORY
Jay Leno’s blitz of interviews in advance of his mandatory retirement from The Tonight Show reminds us that a graceful exit is hard to do — especially when people won’t let you.
Anyone expecting or wanting some sour chin music from the iconic comedian during his much-hyped appearance on Sunday’s 60 Minutes was probably disappointed. But it was tart enough, thanks to Steve Kroft’s decision to cast Leno’s story as a cultural flashpoint for a seismic generational shift, with aging baby boomers ceding/losing power to their kids and grandkids. CBS never accused NBC of ageism, but it used some choice factoids and soundbites from Leno to suggest that the network wasn’t doing right by its good and faithful servant, still the No. 1 player in late night. Following an intro in which Kroft cited research showing Leno to be the fifth most popular personality on TV and pitched his twilight-of-the-boomers premise, the piece proper began with Leno — jokingly — telling the story that he says he tells any newbie in the business, that the reason why showbiz pays so well is because “eventually, you are going to get screwed. That’s the way it works… That’s the way these things are.” No effort was made to define “it” or put “these things” in context (or ask NBC for comment) or what fairness looks like or should look like in an ad-supported business in which not all demographic groups are monetized equally. Leno might be the fifth most popular personality on television, but these days, that distinction comes with a trail of tiny little asterisks. READ FULL STORY
Martin Scorsese’s one and only muse, Jonah Hill, hosted Saturday Night Live for the third time over the weekend, and not only did he bring along his Wolf of Wall Street sidekick, Leonardo DiCaprio — an SNL virgin — but he also reunited with his Superbad pal Michael Cera. Hill, who may have forgotten to mention that he’s now a two-time Oscar nominee (for Wolf and Moneyball), also resurrected his Catskills-comic-inspired 6-year-old Adam Grossman and… and…
Okay, let’s cut to the chase. The show was solid. Some real funny bits. But Jonah and Leo doing their Titanic relaxation exercise was the show-stopper, a moment that crowned Hill as king of the comedy world — at least for a moment. If Hill had dropped the mic right then, I think he’d already done enough to advance in our Saturday Night Live best host poll.
But if Hill is here to stay, who’s on the outside looking in? It’s certainly not Drake, who debuted in first place with a solid 54 percent. And it’s certainly not Jimmy Fallon, who slipped to second but can be counted on to hang around with 24 percent. Josh Hutcherson refuses to go quietly, scoring double-digits again, and Kerry Washington edged Paul Rudd to survive another elimination.
A quick rundown on our simple objective: To identify the best, funniest, most memorable SNL host, the most memorable guest who fit in with the cast and put on a performance that you, your mom, and your co-worker were all chuckling about on Sunday afternoon. It’s subjective, of course, but let’s reward the guest hosts who brought something special to the table. My own personal bottom line: Do you want to see this host back on the show next season?
So far, Bruce Willis, Miley Cyrus, Edward Norton, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey (Blerg), John Goodman, and Rudd have been eliminated.
Below, I’ve embedded one representative clip for each of the five hosts currently in the race. After the poll closes, the host with the least support will be eliminated, and the surviving four will face off against Melissa McCarthy on Feb. 1.
Watch the clips, refresh your memories, and vote. READ FULL STORY
Listen up, future Hollywood stars: Jay Leno has some advice for hopeful comedians.
“I always tell new people in show business, ‘Look, show business pays you a lot of money because eventually you’re going to get screwed. And when you get screwed, you will have this pile of money off to the side….That’s the way it works,'” Leno told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes Sunday night.
To Leno’s mind, “getting screwed” is what is — once again — happening to him. In the 15-minute interview, Leno was simultaneously defensive — like when he explained for the umpteenth time he had nothing to do with Conan O’Brien’s 2010 Tonight Show departure — and resigned to the next chapter, like when he explained that, at 64, he simply doesn’t have his finger on some of the “social” aspects successor Jimmy Fallon does. “I see him do a dance number with Justin Timberlake and I think, ‘Well, I can’t do that.’” (He also copped to not knowing the latest Justin Bieber single — which more than a few people would actually count as a positive.)
Looking back on his 22-year legacy (Leno’s final show is Feb. 6), Leno acknowledged he wasn’t always a critics’ favorite, but pointed out his consistent number one ratings as proof he must be doing something right. “You’re trying to appeal to the whole spectrum,” Leno said about writing monologue jokes. “For every smart, insightful joke, there’s a goofy joke ….that’s the trick. You try to have something for everybody.”
Watch a partial clip from the interview below: READ FULL STORY
Sure, Justin Bieber may have endangered lives when he was drunk driving and drag racing in Miami. But he gave late night some great material last night, so for that, we can thank him. Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O’Brien all took the opportunity to rag on America’s favorite/least favorite 19-year-old, and here’s what they had to say: READ FULL STORY
Kicking off Saturday Night Live‘s 2014 season was Drake, the one-time Canadian teen soap star who now spends his days singing and rapping with the best in the business. And as longtime SNL fans know, musical hosts can be tricky. Luckily for the show, Drake seemed to have picked up some comedic talent in all his years in Hollywood. In her recap, Hillary Busis was even tempted to give Drake the award for Cast MVP by the end of the night, noting how “he played a main role in every single sketch tonight … and was so charming that I’m already counting down the days until he comes back for a second round.”
But the question remains: Was Drake funny enough to go up against the best hosts this season’s had to offer? Or perhaps the better question is: Was Drake funny enough to go up against Jimmy Fallon? The late-night host dominated our last poll with 60 percent of the vote, followed by Josh Hutcherson, who continues to garner support with 32 percent of the vote. The bottom three all earned less than 5 percent of the vote, with Kerry Washington in third, and Paul Rudd in fourth, thereby knocking John Goodman out of the competition (by only .31 percent).
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