Jimmy Fallon Dethrones Kimmel as King of the Viral Video

Jimmy Fallon is proving that he has staying power. The new Tonight Show host has been receiving a slew of rave reviews and positive feedback, with the highest praise coming from former Tonight Show host Jay Leno. What is it about Fallon that’s making it work so well? First of all, he’s likable. He’s lighthearted and positive and always laughing. It’s hard not to like that. But when it comes down to it, the thing that’s getting Fallon all the great ratings is that he knows how to make a viral video.

Before Fallon’s Tonight Show, many late night fans would’ve argued that Jimmy Kimmel was the reigning leader of producing viral sensations. Kimmel has made it no secret that he’s a fan of pranks, with most of his viral sensations featuring an unknowing suspect being made a fool of or being ridiculed.

But Fallon has a different style: “Fallon knows that it’s funnier to laugh at himself than at someone else, who has learned how to go big on YouTube without being a jerk,” says The Huffington Post. Jimmy’s viral clips include lip sync battles, games with celebrities, and parody songs. And these aren’t even one time, one hit viral flukes: they’re all regular segments on his show. On any night, a viewer can tune in and find Jimmy making gold.

The most popular clip so far from Jimmy’s 3-month-old Tonight Show is undoubtedly a lip sync battle between Jimmy Fallon and actress Emma Stone:

The clip has already been viewed more than 21 million times, and it’s not a “gotcha” moment, or a meticulously planned prank a la Jimmy Kimmel; it’s just famous people acting ridiculous. “No one is the butt of the joke. No one is tricked,” says The Huffington Post, and that’s what makes viral magic.

Kimmel used to do that, too: remember his “I f**ked Ben Affleck” parody? He was laughing at himself, and recruited a dozen celebrities to also laugh and be in on the joke. That’s the ticket, but somewhere along the way, Kimmel lost that. And Fallon is there to pick the title of “viral king” back up, and wear the crown proudly.

Image via New York Post