14 May 2009

On Jimmy Fallon

Every time I watch Jimmy Fallon's show I like it. I don't think I really find Fallon all that funny, but he's sort of likable. So then the show is almost like watching this everyman who's got this TV show to play with. Some of the bits fall flat, and he can really, really tank an interview on occasion, but once you let go of the idea that this show has to be something in the vein of Letterman or O'Brien, it's actually fairly entertaining to observe it night to night. There's a lot to absolutely love and a lot that's almost just fascinating to watch.

The one thing you're getting, in every episode, is the Roots, and they've totally killed it in every one I've seen. The show's smart enough to really use them a lot. They have this bit they do where an audience member is interviewed for certain specific information and then, paired with this information, Fallon throws a genre at them and they improv wrapping it all together. I just watched them do "something like a Prince song" about a girl named Julia. That's just fun to watch.

When he connects with an audience member, and they do fun, stupid stuff, it's goofy enough to be worth watching, but then I have a bizarre, unconditional love for late night television. It's possible for me to hate it (Kilborn got old real quick), but if you're in the neighborhood, I'm going to watch (hello, Carson Daly). When he is thrown off in a given interview, however, he turns into a scared 15 year old kid. He starts stammering and muttering under his breath, tells long, uninteresting stories, laughs too much at everything the guest says. This seems to happen a lot with guests that have very different senses of humor. His five minutes with Mike Epps felt like the Bataan Death March. He's almost like Rupert Pupkin sometimes.

A lot of the comedy bits are pretty funny because they feature, among others, AD Miles and Morgan Murphy, who are funny people (Miles was in fucking Wet Hot American Summer, which is IN the Hall of Fame). Where they're involved, it's usually funny. Things occasionally get a little strained when it's centered around the announcer guy, who's only interesting to me in really small doses. He's made me laugh, though.

Their music selection thus far has been really good, too. I like the idea of the kids sitting in the rafters up there. It feels like a show for younger people, which I think is pretty cool.

But really- the Roots, the Roots, the Roots. You're at least getting that every night. If you find him really annoying though- that's going to be a problem. I don't.

Here's Public Enemy playing "Bring the Noise" backed by the Roots, on Flavor Flav's 50th birthday. AWESOME SHIT.

I'd also like to add as a postscript that Tom Green does, in fact, still live, and he's the new King of the Talk Show. He would have murdered even if you didn't spot him the tremendous Roots advantage. One day, hopefully. Check him out if you don't believe me.

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