Early on critics doubted the hiring of Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno as the Tonight Show host, one of the most coveted jobs in all of television. Now, critics are hushed by the new buzz that Fallon is bringing back to late night television.
Getting big named celebrities to appear on the Tonight Show has never been a problem. The show has been tops in ratings for over 50 years in its time slot. From Steve Allen to Jack Paar, the legendary Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno (again) and now Jimmy Fallon, the host list of the Tonight Show is stuff that legend is made of. Jimmy Fallon has brought new life to a genre of television that has gotten stale. Fallon appeals to the younger demographic with his fresh skits, delightful commentary, and hip guests.
Jimmy Fallon and his team of writers have a great way of connecting pop culture with news. Such is the case with the Tonight Show’s recent sketch starring Dr. Phil and “President Obama” with “Vladimir Putin” played by Fallon.
“Talk to me guys,” Dr. Phil said. “Are you guys even communicating?”
“Look, you know, I’m the one that’s always reaching out,” the Obama impostor replied. “I call and he doesn’t pick up. I send a text, and three days later I get a text back that says, ‘Sorry. Just got this.'”
“B**ch! You know I’m spying on you!” he shouted. “I know you read it three days ago!”
The “U.S. president” also complained during the therapy session with Dr. Phil that “Putin” keeps “putting up walls.”
Then “Obama” added: “It’s like I try and I try, but I just can’t through.”
“You mean like Obamacare website?”, Jimmy Fallon’s “Putin” jabbed, much to the delight of the audience — he even managed a high-five with Dr. Phil.
Skits like this allow Jimmy Fallon to bring humor to the show and still incorporate current events. It’s a combination of subjects that has been missing from late night television for a long time and it something that Jimmy Fallon does very well. Fallon’s predecessor, Jay Leno, did few sketches particularly later on in his career. David Letterman does very little sketches as well. Bringing sketch comedy, and Jimmy Fallon, to late night television is a bold move by NBC, but it’s a move that is paying off.
While many feel that Conan O’Brien was the natural successor to Jay Leno, it’s clear that NBC made the right move by waiting for Jimmy Fallon.