Has Jimmy Fallon reinvented the late-night talk show? Nah. A (male) host still does a monologue, sits at a desk in front of a skyline and banters with his (male) announcer. But the boyish Fallon does seem to get a kick out of his guests, and some of the funny business is inspired.
Here’s our report card on his first week on “Tonight.” (Catch it at its regular post-Olympics time, 10:34 p.m., starting Monday on NBC.)
P.S. Fellow “SNL” alum Seth Meyers begins hosting “Late Night” at 11:36 p.m. Monday. His old “SNL” co-anchor Amy Poehler is a guest. (Can you tell “SNL” guru Lorne Michaels is now producing all of NBC late night?)THE GUESTS Best:
It’ll probably be hard to top Justin Timberlake when he stops by “Tonight” on Friday. Supremely watchable so far: the Thursday combo of first lady Michelle Obama and Will Ferrell. (The“Ew!” sketch
, a sendup of a Teen Nick show, had its moments.)
Obama told Fallon that 15-year-old daughter Malia is about to start driving: “Ladies and gentlemen in D.C., watch out — Malia Obama on the road!”
Ferrell came out in tux, tights and white gloves as a disgruntled figure skater: “No one bothered to tell me when the (Olympic) tryouts were.”
Yet another “SNL”-er, Kristen Wiig,pretending to be One Direction’s Harry Styles
apparently without the help of writers or rehearsal. She did at least have the hairstyle down.THE JOKES
Some of us, he joked, scroll through our cellphone contacts like “a gay French king”: “Who shall I favor? Who shall I delete?”Worst:
Fallon tends to fall down in the monologue. (On his first show, he felt compelled to explain what a monologue is. Uh, got it, Jimmy.) But a Thursday night joke about a what- if-he’s-not-blind Stevie Wonder killed: “I just Skyped to say ”THE BITS AND SKETCHES Best: A spliced-together rendition of “Rapper’s Delight,”
composed of words uttered by Brian Williams and Lester Holt on “NBC Nightly News.”Runners-up:
Guests including Bradley Cooper and Emma Thompson playing charades; Fallon joking with kid inventors, something right out of Johnny Carson’s “Tonight.” (He’s now in the same studio Carson occupied in New York.)THE MUSIC Best:
Take your pick: Lady Gaga? Tim McGraw? Arcade Fire? For aesthetics alone, we’d go withU2’s performance high atop 30 Rock
. Don’t look down!Worst:
Kristen Wiig as Styles again, trying to sing One Direction.
What do you think of the new “Tonight” show? Let us know in the comments.