A transformation in television history was made last week; it came from the heart of New York City. “The Tonight Show,” which has been a comedy institution since 1954 and is the longest-running program on broadcast television in the United States, was revived by a brand new host, one you may already be familiar with.
The new host of “The Tonight Show” is Mr. Jimmy Fallon, a man of many talents, including impressions, music and an instant chemistry with every guest that comes his way. From his previous years at “Saturday Night Live” to his recent time spent as the host of “Late Night” (also in New York), Fallon has been a huge player at NBC and late night television as a whole. But now he finally gets an even bigger chance to shine and transport a fresh new vibe to the talk show circuit. Joining in on the ride are Fallon’s Hip-Hop/Neo-Soul house band The Roots and announcer Steve Higgins, who have been with him since the start of his “Late Night” show back in March of 2009.
“The Tonight Show,” which was previously hosted by famous comedians Jack Parr, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, has taken place in the city of Los Angeles for the past few decades, but Fallon and NBC have brought it back to New York, which was its original home when the show began its reign as king of late night television. The show was at an all-time high when Johnny Carson took it over because he was not only the king of American television, but a pop cultural icon that no one had seen before. Fallon looks to be filling in those shoes perfectly. With all his years of experience and energy that he brings to the table, Fallon understands what is needed to host a show that can appeal to a wide demographic of people ranging from all different ages (or at least those who can stay up that late).
Fallon and his staff seem to have cracked the code between what bridges TV and the Internet in ways other shows of this format have not. Instead of the same old, same old, “The Tonight Show” is filled with viral videos that get thousands of hits within hours and Twitter and Instagram segments that bring the audience closer to the show. There’s not a week that goes by where a video isn’t being bounced around the web from Jimmy’s “Late Night” show, and now he’s doing the same with the new and improved “Tonight Show.”
Fallon’s first week got off on the right foot with some of the hottest celebrities and bands in the business stopping by to both congratulate him on all the success and to be a part of the show. On the first night, the guests were Will Smith and U2. The next night saw Jerry Seinfeld and Lady Gaga and later in the week the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama dropped by to be a guest, along with Will Ferrell and musicians from Arcade Fire that very same night. The week ended with a visit from Justin Timberlake, when he and Fallon treated viewers to an all-new History of Rap, which is a set of performances made famous by the dynamic duo.
In short, the debut week was a large series of high notes with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The format is similar to the likes of Fallon’s “Late Night” show, but most of the segments are ones that have been popular among fans or have never been seen by those who don’t stay up to watch that show at its 12:35 timeslot. No matter who the guest, you can be sure Jimmy Fallon will be bringing the laughs and entertainment back to “The Tonight Show” like never before. I encourage you to watch “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and be a part of the world of late night television, where the best of pop culture is being showcased every single weeknight on NBC in new and exciting ways.