There once was a time, before he teamed up with Queen Latifah and was signed to replace Conan O’Brien, that we loved Jimmy Fallon. That we stayed up for Jimmy Fallon. Maybe it was the teenage-girl in us (it most definitely was the teenage-girl in us), but it seemed like his strummy guitar parodies on SNL‘s Weekend Update and his Adam Sandler impressions were some of the best acts on TV.
But then we grew up. Fallon did a few terrible movies — even though we actually liked Fever Pitch (old habits die hard) — and then, seemingly out of nowhere, he was back in our lives with a contract to take the 12:30 a.m. slot on NBC. But it didn’t seem right. He was still the same man-boy, and the schtick seemed tired — not to mention out-of-place behind a real host’s desk where he might have to comb his hair and put away his guitar.
Almost four months before his show is set to debut, Fallon has just premiered a sort of soft-launch, promising to post daily video blogs from his new studio. Here’s what we thought of it.
On his first installment, Fallon confirmed that his house band would be The Roots (why!?), guided us through his legendary studio (Johnny Carson worked there for 10 years!) and… didn’t make us laugh once. It felt odd watching a dude we always had high hopes for, making something we didn’t think he was really right for.
When the news of Fallon’s appointment didn’t really go over well with anyone, Doree Shafrir at the New York Observer summarized everyone’s reservations on paper: “Mr. Fallon is most comfortable when he’s assuming the character of someone else; he expresses himself through the form and voice of other people. But silly songs and Nic Cage imitations do not a late-night talk show host make.” We think Fallon should stick to character comedy, because we’re not sure that his charm will be at all alluring if it’s constantly on display; making you yearn for the time when he at least wore a wig doing it.
And if Demetri Martin’s Comedy Central show ever comes on the air, we’ll already have one boyish comedian with cute songs to hide our affections for.