James Fallon is the new host of Late Night, replacing dearly departed Conan O’Brien, and last night was his first show. Now, Jimmy Fallon is one of the more belittled cast members of Saturday Night Live, and the announcement that he would be taking over Conan’s beloved chair was met with groans, boos and intentional overdoses. However, despite my preconceived dislike of Fallon, I promised to brace myself and wipe the slate clean. Give Jimmy his fair shot, hell, Conan sucked a thousand spicy dicks for his first three seasons, and he nearly made this grown man weep when he left. Fallon’s young, relatively hip, and can get away with a bit of off the wall stuff, maybe it won’t be garbage.
The problem with maybes is that they always go one way or the other. And though maybe this show wouldn’t be garbage, it was. Fallon was ludicrously nervous, mumbling and stammering through his interviews and monologues, at one point visibly shaking. I haven’t seen such a sweaty or nervous talk show host since The Chris Farley Show, which was an SNL skit mocking nervous talk show hosts. His three “skit” pieces, “Lick it For Ten”, “Blonde Connecticut Mothers” and “Space Train”, all held a tremendous amount of potential, and all failed miserably. Instead of having interesting things to lick, or two boring things then something gross, he made contestants lick a lawn mover, printer, and goldfish bowl. None are particularly awful things to lick. “Blonde Connecticut Mothers” seemed like a throwaway SNL skit, and “Space Train” paired Jimmy Fallon with Robert Fucking DeNiro, with a reasonably funny concept that immediately fell on its face and lasted only thirty seconds.
His interview with DeNiro was stammering and awkward, DeNiro didn’t seem to want to be there, Jimmy Fallon didn’t seem to know how to make him want to be there.
Justin Timberlake was much better, he and Fallon appear to be old friends, and despite starting with no cultural value as a member of N*Sync, Timberlake is actually kinda funny.
The night ended with a good performance by Van Morrison, but neither Van Morrison, nor the amazing Roots as Fallons backing band managed to rescue the show. I’ll keep giving Fallon a shot, first episode jitters are forgivable, but I was not particularly impressed.
A little Chris Farley Show after the jump
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