Monday, July 30

I Weep For The Future

'Comedian' Jimmy Fallon of Taxi and Fever Pitch fame is on the top of NBC's list to replace Conan O'Brien when he moves to "The Tonight Show" in 2009.

I'm not worried about this news for my own sake - I started developing a healthy, inane sense of humor at about 13 years old, and I have to thank Conan, Letterman, and various Kids in the Halls and Mr. Shows for pushing me in the right direction. But oh, won't somebody please think of the children?

If Jimmy Fallon - a man famous for being cute and unable to make it through an unfunny three-minute sketch without cracking himself up - is the late-night host the next generation turns to for cues as to what is and is not hilarious, what is to become of us all? Did I mention, in addition to the unfunny, a man like Fallon lacks the charm, affability, and vital self-deprecation a talk show host needs? I'm pissed.

But I'm not pissed for myself - I'm thinking of my future children. Consider it, friends - Dane Cook is the next logical step.

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Blogger Brett said...

Never really cared for Fallon either way, but I will totally work for that show. There is so much crazy shit going on right now. Leno doesn't want to leave the Tonight Show, so NBC could buy out Conan in 09, leaving Conan stranded. He could end up on ABC where they would then fire Kimmel, who would most likely then go to Fox. And yeah, Letterman is retiring a year after that, so then it could all go into another tailspin. Oy!

3:06 PM  
Blogger Trashley said...

Certianly a crazy time to be alive in comedy - on network, anyway.

And FUCK Leno. Does he need to buy another motorcycle or something? I'm glad you keep up with all of this, I find it confusing.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous jamiecarroll said...

I completely agree.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I agree that Fallon's not funny enough to have a whole show.

Conan's funnier/wittier than Leno and will satisfy Letterman fans, but the show can't have the edge that Late Night has. They need someone who's going to take advantage of that time slot and Jimmy can't do it. It comes down to who'll be edgier than Conan [that doesn't already have their own show]. Clearly it will have to be someone black. I think Dave Chappelle's free.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Lordy. I wish they would put Craig Ferguson on at an hour I can stay up until. And lock up Jimmy Fallon so that he can't ever be on camera again. Who thinks this guy is funny?

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know any of these shows were changing hosts, that's how much I pay attention to them now. Not that they all suck, but none are good enough to keep me up that late anymore and the Daily Show/Colbert Report occupies my VCR. Although, I do catch the odd show on a Friday or while on vacation.

I resented how Kimmel and Leno got their shows in the first place, (NBC fucked over Dave and ABC crucified Bill Maher at the request of an angry mob) so I never gave either a fair shot. I only watched a couple of Kimmels. They just caused me to cringe and wish he stayed on The Man Show. Leno is ok, but I only see one or two a year. The last one I saw was the time Cameron Diaz was wearing that top. If that turns out to be the last Leno I see, it's not such a bad memory to leave me with.

While they're much funnier, Conan was never quite as good without Andy and Dave was never as funny at 11:30PM. I still remember how bizarre and free-form Dave's old morning show was for those days. This was a comedy show that had some fake guests AND a serious, on stage news update with journalist, Edwin Newman. Andy Kaufman only appeared once, but he could have easily co-hosted this virtual cable access show on a major network. Since most of prime time is now occupied by amateurish “Reality” garbage with an intelligence level that makes a trailer park look like Harvard, Dave’s morning show probably wouldn’t be as refreshing or ironic as it was then.

As for the Late Late Show, the Scottish guy is really funny. Funnier than Kilborn, who should have never have left The Daily Show. But the guy I really miss is the late Tom Snyder. For those unfamiliar with Snyder, imagine Charlie Rose and a 70's lounge act (Tony Clifton, perhaps?) put in a blender. You just fired up the "Colortini", sat back, and watched this guy talk, argue and laugh with his guests for an hour. It was like he and his guest were sitting right in your living room, having drinks and talking about stuff.

The talk show format has lost most of its appeal to me. Much of the blame goes to the guests. A weakened guest pool hast left hosts/writers with a much bigger burden. These days, most celebrities are incapable of producing even 10 minutes of interesting conversation. Some can barely put a sentence together. That’s pretty sad if you think about how much of our lives we dedicate to worshiping these people. And their prevailing attitude makes it worse. To most guests, even the Tonight Show is just one more place to pitch their latest stuff, as opposed to a chance to entertain an audience, which is the supposed purpose of the talk show.

In Carson's prime, people pissed their pants just to be allowed into his Green Room and Johnnie often had guests on with nothing to promote just because they were great guests. Today, some guests might as well walk on stage and say "See my movie.", yawn, and walk offstage.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shit, I called Johnny “Johnnie” and I totally forgot about Jimmy Fallon. (If only I could.)

Considering this guy as a late night talk show host is akin to considering George W. Bush a serious candidate for President. The talent pool is shallow, but it ain't THAT shallow.

Jimmy Fallon became a regular on Saturday Night Live just before I stopped watching it (outside of Ferrell's Bush, Hammond's Clinton or Tina Feylin). I can see why some people like Fallon, but he doesn't really deserve to be on Saturday Night, never mind have a late night talk show.

Guys like Fallon are why I gave up on Saturday Night Live and a lot of other so-called comedy. So much of it is just 2nd or 3rd rate material hiding behind attitude, macho posturing, or outright silliness. They're really just prop-comics with themselves as the prop. I'm not familiar with the aforementioned Dane Cook, but I bet he falls under that category.

Unfortunately, this is an era where marketing is more important than the product itself. Why am I surprised image comics have big followings? George Wallace is an example of an old-school comic who's funny entirely based on his material. Those guys will always be funny. An image comic might be the hottest act going today, but replay the tape in 10 years when his style has fallen out of fashion and he’s doing Open Mic Night in Dubuque. You’ll wonder what you found so funny. (See: Andrew Dice Clay)

It was disgustingly obvious Fallon was intended to be a cuter version of Adam Sandler, who was never actually funny on Saturday Night and, arguably, still isn't. From what little I’ve seen of him, Fallon has added something to his repertoire. His “almost cracking up” routine during unfunny sketches is one of 3 things.
A) He’s stoned out of his mind.
B) He’s laughing at the thought that Saturday Night Live has fallen so far that it lets no-talents like him preform such shitty sketches on national TV.
C) He’s ripping off the actually talented Harvey Korman from the Carol Burnett Show, probably at the suggestion of Lorne Michaels. I doubt a dolt like Fallon has any idea who Harvey Korman was. Either way, it’s more of an insult than a tribute.

A Sandler, Schnieder or a Fallon can be a cute/annoying idiot for a couple of minutes and get laughs with shitty material. It can work in that format, but it rarely works elsewhere. That's why so many ex-SNL folks have failed so badly after leaving the show. Suddenly, they're only as funny as their material. SPOILER ALERT! Fallon's IMDB page has ONE writing credit, an SNL special.

Fallon might be able to clown around with guests, but even though he's supposedly done stand up, I can't imagine him doing a good stand up to save his life. How is he going to do it nightly? Conan still struggles with it some nights. Even today, the stand up is still the foundation for a talk show. Carson did both stand-up and interviewing at a high level for 30 years. Fallon probably can’t do either and he's about to get Late Night?

Yes, it actually looks like Fallon is getting Conan’s show. If people watch it, who's next? Pauly Shore? One of the jackasses from Jackass? I think I'm going to start going to bed even earlier.

I too weep for the future.

11:20 AM  

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