Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fallon Sounds Like Falling You Should Use That For The Title

I have the same opinion on comedians as I do with musicians -- you like what you like. I try not to care if somebody says they don't like The Beatles, and the same goes with Stella. I could argue why someone should like Paul McCartney's lyrics or why the line "my urethra shut down at 4 o'clock today" is very funny, but ultimately art is subjective and there are no right answers. If Jay Leno or Carlos Mencia or that guy with the puppets makes you laugh, that's awful, but if the laughter goal is achieved you can't argue with results.

I'm sure, despite my feelings, that some folks have a taste for Jimmy Fallon, and that his stint as the new NBC Late Night host will have a decent following. But reading portions of "'Late Night' host Fallon just wants to have fun", must give reasonable humans reservations:
NEW YORK – After a bullish staff meeting (which ended with a cheer) and before a wardrobe fitting (strictly suit-and-tie), Jimmy Fallon took time to marvel at how busy he is these days.

"The busiest I've ever been in my life," he tells a visitor to the new "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" offices at NBC.

"It's 'SNL' times three. Times five. Times 10!"

Wow! That sounds pretty busy! Your career has been such a skyrocketing supercharged sky rocket, I'm surprised you have time to think of cheers to end your meetings with. Let's look back on that career:
At age 34, he's puppy-dog enthusiastic, funny and cool in an unassuming way. It's an engaging blend that kept viewers tickled for six seasons on "SNL," where he scored with impressions of Jerry Seinfeld, John Travolta and Justin Timberlake, and created recurring characters like Nick Burns, the know-it-all tech-support guy. He has appeared in films including "Almost Famous," "Taxi" and "Fever Pitch."

My point, Jimmy, is when the three films that made the cut in a brief AP article are a great film where you spoke two lines, an incredible failure, and a regular failure, that's not saying much about your career. The most recent of those films, "Fever Pitch", was released in 2005. It's easy to feel super busy when you haven't had steady work in 3+ years. What the hell have you been doing with yourself?

(And AP guy, you might want to cool your "engaging blend" talk. No one ever stayed up on Saturday night hoping to catch a glimpse of Nick Burns or that college dorm room webcam sketch Fallon penned.)
Then, last spring, Fallon was tapped by "Late Night" executive producer Lorne Michaels (his former "SNL" boss) to return to the halls of 30 Rock, this time as host of his own show.

The idea had been broached long before, when he was exiting "SNL," Fallon says.

"Lorne was like, 'Keep in mind that Conan's gonna need a replacement in 2009.' This was in 2004. I said, 'I don't know.'"

"Hey, it's Lorne. You can let your career go into the shitter, Jimmy. I'll hire you at Late Night 2009 for no good reason!"

For months, "Late Night" has been percolating in cyberspace with video blogs that offer an inside look at how a TV talk show germinates. The Fallon-era "Late Night" is already adhering to a policy of transparency.

And also interactiveness. Item: On his video blog, Fallon introduced to the world the show's new logo — which viewers of that "vlog" had a hand in selecting.

"We're not trying to ignore the fact that people are in front of a computer at work and surf the Web all day long, or that kids check the Internet when they get home from school," Fallon says. "We want to exploit that, and have fun with it. I'm on Facebook and I've been on Twitter just talking to my fans. It's amazing!"

He recalls an experience a few weeks ago attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"Across the street — I'm not kidding — was the Adult Entertainment Expo." So he fired a text message to his followers on Twitter. "I said, 'There's got to be some great jokes about this. Give 'em to me!' And in about a minute I had hundreds. Like: 'I got a coupon to double my RAM, and I don't know which place to use it.'

"How cool is that! Maybe we can incorporate something like that in the show."

How cool is that? I'm going to go with "Not at all cool." There's a reason I don't seek out tweets to tickle my funny bone. I already get my daily dose of comedy from average cell phone users -- they're called my coworkers, and I say with confidence that zero of them deserve their own late night talk show, nor the right to submit jokes to a late night talk show. How about you be a professional, Jimmy, and generate the comedy yourself? I'll bet you've got some killer John Travolta impersonation material that could be very relevant in 2009. How about some of that?

"I'll also talk to scientists and chefs and animal trainers," Fallon pledges with a grin.

This was the first attributed quote that didn't make me angry, and then you had to go and flash that unassuming grin.

But again, full circle, whatevs. I'm getting older and sleepier, and that means I never have to see his show. Godspeed to those who do.

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