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Late Night with Jimmy Fallon


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#31

AVorlon

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 3:09 AM

I thought it was pretty decent for a first time show. Some of the jokes were pretty good, and like others have said, his band, “Roots” did a good job.

I didn't like the 'Lick for $10' game. Hopefully that isn't a regular thing.


I was wondering if those were real products that the audience members were licking, like the lawnmower. That would be the ultimate in product placement, having real things being wheeled out for people to lick in slow motion for 10 dollars. I was waiting for a Ford Fusion to be driven onto the stage for someone to lick the sticker on the window and declare that it’s tasty and gets good gas mileage, too.

I thought Justin Timberlake was a great guest, and I loved his impressions. Van Morrison, the musical guest, is someone that I haven't seen for years, and while I like his band, I didn't appreciate the slurred vocals, which reminded me a bad Bob Dylan impression.

All in all, I thought that was fairly good start, even though I don’t intend to watch this in the long run instead of Craig.

Edited by AVorlon, Mar 3, 2009 @ 3:13 AM.

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#32

ajcollin

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 3:11 AM

I'll chalk the first episode up to nerves. He needs to slow down and let his guests talk. I thought DeNiro was pretty hilarious. Maybe they should have given him a shot at the desk!

Lick it for $10 was a flop. I think it was kind of like Will it Float without a Letterman-like reputation to back it.
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#33

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 3:13 AM

I didn't like the 'Lick for $10' game.

Neither did I. It was gross, lame, and worst of all, unfunny.
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#34

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 3:56 AM

You know how at the very beginning when Jimmy came out and some man yelled and he said something to the effect of "Security, please escort that man out.....I hate it when my dad drinks." Does anyone remember Jimmy making that exact same joke on an episode of SNL during Weekend Update?????

Other than that, I actually think he did a fairly good job considering it was the first episode. I sure hope they bring back "Slowjamming the News" (or at least similar segments which make good use of The Roots)

Edited by jahzooo, Mar 3, 2009 @ 4:09 AM.

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#35

Still Sammy

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 4:21 AM

Yes, he definitely did make the same joke to a heckler on SNL.

I actually think the SNL influence was a bit too heavy, and it was my biggest problem with the show. Maybe that had a lot to do with Justin Timberlake being a guest, and the two of them having a history from doing SNL together so many times. But that awful Robert De Niro "Space Train" bit was just a shortened SNL sketch. And it was about as funny as any of Jimmy's SNL sketches.

I think the audience games are supposed to be a pretty regular occurrence (though not necessarily the same Lick It for $10 game). It seems kind of lazy for a late night show like this, but maybe it will work.

I'll probably watch through the rest of the week, but I mostly think Jimmy is a hack so I can't fathom being a faithful viewer.
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#36

Senor Audacity

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 4:53 AM

Guys, this was his first show. And I think it's common knowledge that Conan O'Brien absolutely sucked the first year or two on Late Night. For every "If They Mated" they stumbled upon, they then insisted the musical guest play in front of a backdrop of giant falling leaves or something. They were trying to see what works without losing what they believed to be their comedic forte in the process. And Fallon deserves at least as much slack to do the same.

That said, unfunny start. He looked nervous as hell out there, and so far I don't know if cracking political jokes in a monologue is his strong point. DeNiro looked uncomfortable, but he wanted to be there, otherwise why help out Fallon by being his first-ever guest? Get Timberlake and just switch it on autopilot. Glad Van Morrison is still alive. That "Lick It For $10" blew, and the "Target Demographic" bit had very good production values but was slow in developing into a so-so payoff. But again, I will give him a shot.

Roots is great, but why are they stuck as a house band? Don't they have creating to do? And were there more musicians on the walkway above them? What a weird place to put the rest of the band.

In fact, the whole studio seemed small. Very compact, seemingly tinier than Studio 6A, and more long than wide. Studios seem much larger on TV than they actually are, so that studio has to be the size of my room.

Three or four hundred audience members? Didn't Conan have an audience of 200 only?
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#37

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 5:20 AM

I didn't like the 'Lick for $10' game. Hopefully that isn't a regular thing.

For a split second I thought I was watching The Price is Right. And like the aforementioned game show, it was mind-numbingly dull. More importantly, it wasn't funny.

I actually think the SNL influence was a bit too heavy, and it was my biggest problem with the show.

Did you notice the pencil tapping? He would always tap his pencil on the desk when he was anchoring Weekend Update. It drove me nuts then, and it drives me nuts now. Petty, but something I've always found very distracting. Now if he starts throwing the pencil at the camera....

I recorded tonight's show mostly for the sake of posterity. It was, after all, the first show, but if Jimmy continues to be as stiff as he was tonight, there will be few opportunities to record the show again. (A bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point.) I imagine he will loosen up over time and eventually find some type of groove, but the snippets I saw tonight were painful to watch. The monologue felt incredibly forced. When it's obvious that you're merely reading through your list of jokes, the flow is ruined and it tends to kill the funny. Plus, the interview with DeNiro was excruciating. Really, I had to turn the channel. It was that bad. But the only way to go is up, right? Unless Jimmy is trying to limbo and go as low as he can go...either way, I won't be a regular viewer. but I'll check in from time to time to see if he has improved.

But Van Morrison was awesome as always. For me, it was the best part of the show.

Edited by dbrits, Mar 3, 2009 @ 5:22 AM.

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#38

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 5:51 AM

Thought it was decent for a premiere. I expected him to be nervous, so I wasn't surprised that he was. The lick for $10 was ridiculous and whoever thought DeNiro would be a good first guest should get the boot. I wouldn't expect him to help a new host through an interview and he didn't. The announcer doesn't have an announcer voice and that might be a problem if they use him much. Hopefully they will show some other aspect of him that will make me like him more, like a sketch. As is, I kept thinking, wow, he's no Alan Kalter.

The best part of the show was Justin, IMO he saved the show, and it wasn't just him, it was him and him with Jimmy, he loosened him up, made him less nervous. Now here's a premiere guest, friends or friendly with Jimmy, likable, kept things light, helped keep things moving, interacted well with Jimmy, all things you'd want to get through what is bound to be a nerve filled hour. I think Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake would have been a better 1-2 on the premiere. Loved the Roots, I haven't followed much of the build up Fallon's late night, so I didn't know they were the house band. The Roots have always been a favorite, so its a huge plus and they were great as usual. The Conan piece was very cute as well, but I expect nothing less from Conan.

Edited by JasmineFlower, Mar 3, 2009 @ 5:53 AM.

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#39

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 7:34 AM

It just seemed way too overproduced. I agree that Conan wasn't so great his first couple of years, but at least it had a "under-produced, we're on a $20 budget" feel to it. This one just feels to slick, as if saying "We're professionals who know how to make you laugh!".
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#40

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 9:55 AM

Conan was a complete unknown with little on screen experience. Fallon has had how many years at live tv? Sorry but he should be a little more polished.

But interview skills aren't needed in Late Night as seen by watching Leno.
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#41

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 10:12 AM

Instead of being new and cool and appealing to the younger late-late night viewers, it actually struck me as VERY old-fashioned like old non-classic Carson, starting with that awful set. Having an old-school CURTAIN behind Fallon only served to highlight the C-level monologue (the Microsoft joke was funny, I'll give that.) Forty year old suit and hair (meaning forty years old, not a forty-year old person.) The heckler responses were from a 'how to be a comic 101' book. The Roots are wonderful but totally out of place here and by that I mean they were great. 'Slowjamming' was cute but done better by Jon Stewart. Timberlake should have taken over the show; comfortable, funny, interesting and engaging (I'm not a fan of his music but am always impressed by him otherwise.) DeNiro? Again, out of place; always a tricky interview always and not the best choice for a first episode. 'Lick it' - not funny (maybe if one is high, which I wasn't.)

Fallon = The Chevy Chase show, at least his "Episode One." Unfortunate that NBC couldn't hire Craig Ferguson away from CBS.
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#42

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 10:28 AM

"Guys, this was his first show."

And some of us can't figure out why he ever got a show to begin with. He's epically untalented. I refused to watch last night. However, I will check in just to see Tina Tues. (Hint, Jimmy: Shut up and let her do all the talking.)

But as for predictions of a quick demise to the show - that's too much to ask for. This is, after all, NBC.
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#43

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 11:41 AM

I remember the announcer guy from SNL when JT was host and he sang to him and he wanted him to autograph his chest and JT said "I don't sign dudes breasts".

I so wanted to love this! I know it's his first show but I expected so much more! I figured the "Lick it for $10" would end up with the last one having to lick something disgusting, not that would have made that funnier.

I cracked up when Jimmy was bragging to Conan about his great guest line up for this week and he asked who he had for next week and Jimmy said "Jervis from Survivor 1 and Right said Fred". Sad thing is at this rate he's probably not far off!
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#44

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 12:49 PM

Jimmy did well in the ratings last night, although I'd chalk it up to curiosity. Things will even out over the next few weeks:

Late Night Ratings: Jimmy Fallon Premieres Strong

The first night of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon delivered a 2.3 rating/8 share in metered market households, easily winning its timeslot for the night.

The show also delivered stronger premiere ratings than many of its competitors. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson premiered January 3, 2005 with a 1.8 rating/7 share, while Jimmy Kimmel Live launched January 23, 2003, a half hour earlier than Late Night, with a 2/7.


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#45

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 1:12 PM

Man, it was weird when the familiar Conan theme did not start after Leno last night. Fallon does have big shoes to fill, but I agree with the poster who noted that Conan was an unknown when he started on Late Night and that Fallon has too much live television experience to suck this much. He was not funny, too stiff, and the components of the show just did not jive. I fought the urge to turn it off after the monologue. I won't be watching, just waiting for Conan to take over the Tonight Show.
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#46

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 1:14 PM

I did not watch this show, but gave it a chance with the online clips, and it was lame.

Was Conan the greatest when he first started? No, but he came armed with more talent and better bits, and had never performed on television before. Fallon's been performing for years. SNL. Stand-up. He even guest hosted for David Letterman once (and it was bad).

That said, Fallon will grow into it and develop an audience, even if his show's not funny like Conan's or Letterman's. NBC spent a lot of money on him, therefore they will give him all the time and support in the world to succeed.

I wish this show would have been hosted by Amy Sedaris. Or anyone engaging to watch.

Edited by Stardigger, Mar 3, 2009 @ 4:55 PM.

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#47

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 2:03 PM

Instead of being new and cool and appealing to the younger late-late night viewers, it actually struck me as VERY old-fashioned like old non-classic Carson, starting with that awful set. Having an old-school CURTAIN behind Fallon only served to highlight the C-level monologue (the Microsoft joke was funny, I'll give that.) Forty year old suit and hair (meaning forty years old, not a forty-year old person.) The heckler responses were from a 'how to be a comic 101' book. The Roots are wonderful but totally out of place here and by that I mean they were great. 'Slowjamming' was cute but done better by Jon Stewart. Timberlake should have taken over the show; comfortable, funny, interesting and engaging (I'm not a fan of his music but am always impressed by him otherwise.) DeNiro? Again, out of place; always a tricky interview always and not the best choice for a first episode. 'Lick it' - not funny (maybe if one is high, which I wasn't.)

I agree. Maybe they're just trying to make the transition slowly or something, but right now it's just like any other show, which was dissapointing. Fallon just needs to relax and get comfortable.
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#48

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 3:37 PM

I am no fan of Fallon, but people who say he should be used to live TV should remember he never carried an entire SNL. He was in skits with others and shared the WU desk with Fey before doing it on his own. 10 minutes is a lot shorter than 60.

Lorne Michaels once said about not to judge the first season of SNL by the first show, but use (I believe) the 14th one instead.

I want to see the Van Morrison clip. Oh, NBC.com!
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#49

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 3:58 PM

Roots is great, but why are they stuck as a house band? Don't they have creating to do?

The Roots wanted a regular, steady paying job for a while and I don't blame them. They are a great band and while I didn't necessarily think this was a good fit, I'm happy for them.

I found myself tuning out a lot last night so I will check out the online clips. I do agree though that Jimmy's going to need some time to get into a groove.
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#50

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 3:58 PM

For me, the best part about checking out Fallon's show was seeing the pretty good show Carson Daly had right after him.
I would have never caught it otherwise.

I never thought I would say "thank goodness for timberlake"!
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#51

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

I didn't watch Fallon's show last night because I have never been a fan of his and really don't get why people think he's funny. But that was in a sketch comedy show and he may end up being really good as a talk show host. I wouldn't judge anything from the first few months because he's going to need time to ease into his role, figure out what works and what doesn't, and not have guests on the show who are friends of his and are therefore easier to interview. In reality it took Craig Ferguson (our last newbie and my personal favorite) seven months before he finally cracked the shell on his egg, when he was asked to talk about the death of Johnny Carson. That was the night his now-recognized storytelling monologue was born.

The big question for me is going to be...when Fallon finally figures out what he wants to do and how he wants to be, and what he therefore wants the show to be, will Lorne Michaels let him do it? Jimmy Fallon is not Conan O'Brien. Conan is a gifted writer who was working on 'The Simpsons' before he went to work on SNL and could have easily walked away and gone back to being a successful comedy writer if he'd been straightjacketed, and I think Michaels knew that. If Lorne still sees Jimmy Fallon as a geeky kid and can't get past that relationship they had on SNL, and won't let Fallon stand up to him and say, 'I will do this/I want to stop doing that/that's never worked for me', and he simply says, 'This is my show, you are my employee, this is the way it is', or if Fallon doesn't actually have a pair and won't stand up to Michaels when something doesn't work, then I think he's doomed.
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#52

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 5:33 PM

Instead of being new and cool and appealing to the younger late-late night viewers, it actually struck me as VERY old-fashioned like old non-classic Carson, starting with that awful set.

That was the feeling I got as well. The way the monologue was set up made me think about all the tapes of other talk shows Fallon likely watched.

I feel asleep before the skit with DeNiro but I could tell that was going to be a disaster.

If this show lasts more than a season, I don't see The Roots staying. This kind of experience will make them wish they were touring. They were the best part of what I saw.

Here's my question: what is NBC expecting? We know they cut Conan some slack in the early years but if they think Fallon is like a Chevy Chase (and have that type of money involved), they will pull the plug faster.
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#53

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 5:44 PM

Unfortunately I did see Chevy's show, and nobody compares to him--not Joan Rivers, not Alan Thicke, not Whoopi Goldberg, not Dennis Miller, nobody. It was obvious in five minutes Chevy was someone who had absolutely no business hosting a talk show. Granted this is a very strange kind of talent to have and it's not something you can tell that someone will be good at until they actually try to do it. But I think if Fallon had been as bad as Chevy during those webisode warmups he was doing, NBC would've pulled the plug quickly and come up with some reason why Fallon wouldn't be able to do the show after they'd announced him. As stupid as their executives are, they're not completely suicidal and want to be known as the dufi who finally shut down NBC.
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#54

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 7:13 PM

This morning on MSNBC, they had a media critic on to "review" Jimmy Fallon's debut show. I put "review" in quotation marks because, this being just another arm of NBC, and in fact broadcasting from the very same building as Fallon's show, we all know this is would really be just a thinly veiled promo for his show, right?

Well, that was no doubt the intention. But somewhere along the way this "Media critic" must have gotten the impression that she needed to retain some thin veil of credibility for some reason, because even though she tried her best to spin it in the best way possible, she could not give it any more than the meekest lukewarm review. In actual fact, she spent the vast majority of her piece absolutely trashing it. She pointed out that most of Fallon's schtick that didn't absolutely suck, and some that did, is stuff we'd already seen him do on SNL, from his impression of DeNiro done right to DeNiro's face, to most of his joking around with Timberlake (recalling their "Barry Gibb Talk Show" sketches). At the end, she did kind of half-heartedly say "but overalll, it was a good show, such & such sketch was funny, etc. etc", but she *really* rushed through that part, you could just see it wasn't really her honest opinion.

Considering the general reaction to the show that I've seen so far, I'd say it's a toss up as to who had a more disastrous Major Media Event in the past week, Jimmy Fallon or Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

As for me, I missed the very beginning of the show but I caught bits of it. I meant to watch the whole thing but I litterally couldn't, he was so painfully bad I had to keep turning away, futzing around on the computer, and coming back. I was really surprised how wet-behind the ears & amateurish he seemed in front of the camera, like it was his first time in a TV studio. He was *much* more awkward & uncomfortable than Conan's early shows were, and Conan really *was* an absolute novice in front of the camera. But Conan was also genuinely funny, with some good ideas right from the begining, there was clearly potential there to be mined (His very first show had "actual items", a bit so good it would take him over ten years to completely run it into the ground, and he can usually do that to a bit inside of three months. Plus, does anyone out there remember Conan's pretaped bit opening his very first show? *That* was a good cold opening.) On the other hand I have to disagree with this:

The big question for me is going to be...when Fallon finally figures out what he wants to do and how he wants to be, and what he therefore wants the show to be, will Lorne Michaels let him do it? Jimmy Fallon is not Conan O'Brien. Conan is a gifted writer who was working on 'The Simpsons' before he went to work on SNL and could have easily walked away and gone back to being a successful comedy writer if he'd been straightjacketed, and I think Michaels knew that.


I think that badly misreads Conan's actual status & clout in those early days. The plain fact is (and this didn't come out until years later), Conan actually *was* canceled in that first year. His numbers sucked, his early reviews sucked, and the suits didn't think they saw any real potential for improvement there. The decision was made. They were going to officially let him go by such & such a date, and spend the time until then lining up a replacement for him. They didn't want to make any official announcement or let Conan know until they had a better idea of what they were going to do with the time slot, so they held off telling him. Then they couldn't find anything to replace him. So they kind of "moved back" his kill date to give them more time, but in the meantime his ratings started to tick up as college age kids home for the summer started to tune in and decided they kind of liked it, then people started to notice that now & again he was actually kind of funny, and once they got used to Andy Ricther's decidedly non-Ed McMahn take on the sidekick's role they started to like him too. So NBC kind of put his cancellation "on hold" (while they kept half an eye out for something that might replace him) and took a wait & see attitude, at one point making the decision on a monthly basis whether to keep him on the air or not for another month. For the first couple of years of his show, Conan was literally just one hot, up-&-coming-young-comic-looking-for-a-TV-project away from being axed.
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#55

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 8:07 PM

OK - so I didn't watch the actual show, but I will say this. It may be a letterman rip-off, but about the only time I laughed out loud during the rehearsal show was at Lick it for $10. It was just... the one surreal, truly entertaining moment of the entire piece.


That said, I have no idea if it translated. But I will admit to liking it.
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#56

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 8:32 PM

this was his first show

But it wasn't. He's been doing talk shows online in preparation for weeks, if not months already.

Jimmy is married to Drew Barrymore's production partner, and it seems he's really relying on her connections for guest bookings. Drew, Cameron Diaz etc. At least Tina Fey is on tonight. I won't be tuning in unless there's a guest I really want to see.
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#57

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 9:24 PM

Tina is guesting tonight? So okay, I'll say it: Why didn't NBC hire Fey to take over Conan's job? She'd be perfect. She's so good at the quick comebacks, and she'd make a fine interviewer.

Yep. I'll watch for Tina Fey tonight.
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#58

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 10:24 PM

Tina is writing/producing/starring in a two-time Emmy winning comedy, raising a family, and becoming an increasingly bigger star. I doubt she'd want this job.

I'm going to give this show at least until Conan starts The Tonight Show. I mean these are the types of things I play while I'm folding laundry and such so it's not like I can't ignore boring parts.

Also, I am a Ted (HIMYM) and feel the need to correct a few previous comments. Jimmy's online shows for the past few months have not been talk shows. They've been a variety of other things but nothing like this. He did do three or four practice shows last week from which we only saw Jack McBrayer's response to Jindal. Also, he never did Weekend Update on his on. He did it with Tina the entire time. And Conan was an SNL writer before he wrote for The Simpsons. He quit SNL and only later got The Simpsons gig which he then left for Late Night.
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#59

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 10:36 PM

Well, if nothing else, Jimmy Fallon's show will last longer than that action/reality MTV thing Timberlake was promoting. Seriously, what the hell was that? You know it's bad when MTV has had it in the can for months without airing it and Fallon's audience thinks it's a comedy.

I hope everyone's wrong about Fallon's show being doomed. He's one of the few people who can parlay "nervous geek" into comedy, IMO. I think it'll get better.
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#60

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Posted Mar 3, 2009 @ 11:16 PM

Also, I am a Ted (HIMYM) and feel the need to correct a few previous comments. Jimmy's online shows for the past few months have not been talk shows. They've been a variety of other things but nothing like this. He did do three or four practice shows last week from which we only saw Jack McBrayer's response to Jindal

He may not have put them online (I haven't watched any of his stuff online, I've never found him funny to begin with), but I'd bet a lot he's been doing actual shows for a good while. And even if he's been doing them in pieces, how in the hell does something as abysmally awful as 'lick it for 10' get on the air? It's not like this is the middle of a long run of shows that writers have been churning out for ages and they tossed something at the wall to fill time.

They had weeks and weeks to plan bits and to pick the very best ones. And that's what they put on the air.

I agree he's got enough experience he shouldn't have been so godawful and we shouldn't have been able to see actual flop sweat cascading off him a la Albert Brooks in Broadcast News, even if he never carried a show before. I'm kind of tempted to turn in to watch him bomb though. It was sortof spectacularly bad.
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