Honestly, Jimmy was great. It felt like I was watching just another episode of ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon‘ and that is a good thing. Though I wanted to support Conan O’Brien when he took over the show in 2009, I felt like O’Brien strayed too much from what made him such a joy to watch during his time at ‘Late Night.’ Perhaps he thought ‘The Tonight Show’ needed more straight forward comedy, and less Pimp Robots, and it seems that Jimmy has learned from his mistakes and is sticking to a formula that works.
Fallon got some nice new digs, a new desk and a cool opening directed by Spike Lee. I miss his ‘Late Night’ them though, which was The Roots‘ “Here I Come.” Some people were baffled, or bothered, that Will Smith was his first guest, but it was a comfortable interview that was preceded by Smith joining Fallon for the “Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing.” I’m mad they left out The Butterfly and The Tootsie Roll.
A parade, literally, of stars and friends helped to congratulate Jimmy and give up the money they owe him for thinking he’d never make it this far. Robert De Niro, Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert weren’t much of a surprise, but Mariah Carey, who kept her money in her bosom, and Sarah Jessica Parker, who naturally had hers in her shoe, were interesting guests. As were Lindsay Lohan and Joe Namath, sans fur coat. Kim Kardashian felt utterly unnecessary, but the biggest cameo went to Joan Rivers, who made her first ‘Tonight Show’ appearance in 30 years after being banned by Johnny Carson in the 1980s.
U2 were on hand as musical guest, playing their new song “Invisible” 70 stories above the city. It was a smooth show, and I think it was easier for him to debut during the Olympics when they’re wouldn’t be pressure for him to deliver a perfect show, but it was good. As Will told him during the sit-down, people come to talk to Jimmy because of his heart. He’s genuinely interested in his guests and that feels like a rarity in the late night world. Fallon joked that he was our host “for now,” but I’m sure our Late Night Boo will be around for a long time.