Jimmy Fallon debuts new ‘Tonight Show’ in NYC: how did he do?


I didn’t stay up for Jimmy Fallon’s debut on the Tonight Show. Unless it’s a weekend, I’m pretty much in bed by 10 pm (or 11 if something good is on, like Elementary). But I saw some coverage this morning, and it seems like the “establishment” is very happy with Fallon’s debut but the kidz on Twitter kind of hate it already. Who knows if the kidz only hate Fallon ironically though? Could be. Jimmy started out with a heartfelt opening monologue:

I think this was my favorite bit – Fallon says his “buddy” owes him $100 because they said he’d never be the host of The Tonight Show, and then a steady line of celebrities streams out to give Jimmy $100 bills. Included in the bit: Tina Fey, Joe Namath, Robert DeNiro, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Tracy Morgan, Kim Kardashian, Joan Rivers, Seth Rogen, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Tyson and, of course, Stephen Colbert.

Jimmy’s guests were Will Smith and U2, who also performed on the roof of 30 Rock. The Will Smith interview was sweet, but I liked that Jimmy still did some of his old Late Night bits too. He got Will into some overalls for “The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dance”.

All in all, I think Jimmy is going to do a great job. He’ll be more conservative than people expect, but he’ll also skew younger than the NBC brass expects. I also think Fallon made a great choice in bringing the show back to NYC.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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56 Responses to “Jimmy Fallon debuts new ‘Tonight Show’ in NYC: how did he do?”

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  1. Lizzie says:

    Fallon makes people smile. He’ll do good!

    • Zadie says:

      He does make me smile sometimes, but he makes me laugh so so rarely.
      At this point, the Brits have much better night talk show host than Americans. The only laugh-out-loud guy out there is Craig Ferguson.

      • Renee says:

        And Craig Ferguson is British :)

      • Lily says:

        I have to disagree I laugh during Fallon many times throughout the duration of his shows. He always comes across genuine and you can he love his job and people. I think he’ll do well.

      • kellyinseattle says:

        Did someone say Craig Ferguson? He’s s[ooooooooDreamy. Saw him perform…he was really, really good. Been wanting to have my way with him for several years! As for Jimmy…like him a lot , too.

      • Zadie says:

        I have many friends who love him. Personally, I like my hosts with a bit of “bite”, and that’s so rare these days.

      • Holly says:

        Isn’t Craig Scottish? Jimmy’s been losing bite for a few years since a couple of the writers and producers moved on… I was hoping they would reboot with tTS and try to get the edge back, but I’ll just have to wait and see.

      • diva says:

        I fell asleep so I missed it but I recorded it. I love Jimmy and his show is always fun. I was never a fan of Leno’s he was never funny.

      • Jag says:

        Wikipedia has him as a Scottish-born American. I remember how happy Craig was to get his American citizenship. He’s smart and hilarious, and would be the only late night show that I’d watch, if I still had cable.

    • idk says:

      I like Fallon. Why on earth was Kim Kardashian there? Really come on ! I’m not a fan of how his set looks. It’s really “dark”. It needs a bit of brightening and a modern touch. I really liked the Will Smith interview, he seemed more like his old self and less “scientology-y”…lol if that’s a word.

      • Holly says:

        Totes agree on Kim K: the only true misstep of the night IMO. Having her on the premiere show is like hiking to the top of a mountain and then punching yourself in the face. I thought the set was too light and missed aspects of the old set! Agree about Will seeming less $cieno, but all of the mentions of Jada (and knocking her up in the green room) felt so try hard that it was distracting.

      • Splinter says:

        After her came Seth Rogan, and I LOLed, it must have been a bit akward backstage after “Bound to”..

    • Nikkie says:

      Fallon is a nice guy but so not funny. Now that the show is back in NY he will bring on many of his unfunny friends from SNL.

      • Tazina says:

        I love Craigzee. He’s just on so darn late but I catch him when I can. I like Jimmy Fallon. I just hope he doesn’t go overboard with the slapstick. I’m past that stage. Squirting each other with water guns once in a while might be fun but I can’t take that kind of physical humor on a regular basis.

        A couple of weeks ago Fallon did a skit on his own show about Downton Abbey. It was hilarious.

  2. blue marie says:

    I’ve got it DVR’d but haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Same here, and I only DVR’d it because of U2 being on as they’re my favorite band. I have nothing against Fallon but I find that sometimes he comes off as a bit too try-hard (in an “OMG you’re really here and I’m really talking to you and let me gush at you some more” kind of way.) That said, I do like the fact that he brought the show back to NYC.

      • Zadie says:

        What happened to the people who worked on the show in LA?

      • Tippy says:

        164 Tonight Show staffers were terminated.

        I’m somewhat baffled by the move especially if it was done simply to accommodate Fallon. It also seems that the same guests will likely be appearing on both Fallon & Letterman on consecutive nights.

      • FLORC says:

        I heard lots of talk that the staff was fired and the set destroyed because they wanted to send astrict message to Leno he’s never getting the show back.

        And the show was originally out of NY. Why was it moved out in the 1st place? Was it a tax break deal California was running at the time?

      • Holly says:

        I thought the show was moved out to CA both to accommodate Carson and because, at that time, CA was the hub of where the actors were living and working. Things have changed quite a bit since then in that a lot of the great actors live in NYC just to be local to theater and other opportunities. Also, since Hollywood decided to gather as many tax breaks and such to produce any movie, very few film in Hollywood anymore, but that wasn’t the case at all when Carson was hosting.

      • Tippy says:

        I wouldn’t be shocked if NBC destroyed the Leno set but the wisdom of doing so seems shortsighted and petty. Why antagonize someone who has contributed so much to one of NBC successes?

        Jay Leno is considered to be a work-a-holic and was performing his stand-up routine in Florida nightclubs less than a week after his final Tonight Show and is perfectly capable of coming back to haunt NBC.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Tippy, I don’t know if the set destruction was short sighted or petty. They would have to store and keep those pieces, and if they thought they were no longer going to be used, why go through the trouble?

        Also, NBC lost a TON of money with the Conan fiasco. They paid Conan millions to do nothing. I am sure that Jimmy Fallon’s agreement was strict enough to deter that from happening to him with serious consequences to NBC should it happen. That makes the odds really itty bitty that the set would ever be used again.

      • Tippy says:

        Tiffany, destroying Leno’s set just adds insult to injury. There are hundreds of museums that would have loved to display it. If they destroyed the set it was obviously out of spite for Leno.

        Considering the Conan fiasco I’d be more inclined to believe that Fallon’s contract has minimum performance thresholds and escape clauses written in NBC’s favor.

        NBC will give Fallon whatever he needs to succeed, but if his ratings tank they”ll not hesitate to pull the trigger on another change.

  3. kimbers says:

    Didnt watch maybe i’ll YouTube it

    • Tazina says:

      That was petty of NBC. Leno doesn’t want to come back anyway. He’s back doing stand-up. As he said, “I don’t want to get fired a third time!” He’s done. He’s happy for Fallon and said nice things about him. Leno took the show out on a high note with great ratings, the number one spot actually. Can’t they appreciate his years of service instead of acting like petulant children?

  4. Original Tessa says:

    The history of hip hop dance was epic. I forget sometimes how much I love Will Smith. He’s one of the few people that can bring me to tears because I’m laughing so hard. And I love how Jimmy plays off of the celebrities. He’s just earnest and out there to have fun and make people laugh, and it works.

  5. DIANE says:

    I actually made it a point to watch the Tonight Show last night, after decades of not. You could see that he was nervous, but Jimmy did just fine. The $100 bet bit was clever, loved the Will Smith dance segment. Jimmy’s a likeable, funny guy with great writers. Can’t wait until Justin Timberlake shows up and they do the BeeGees.

  6. JaDeRu says:

    I meant to watch even though I rarely do late night talk shows. Dangit.
    Jimmy is so adoragoofy. I always loved when he started giggling in the middle of skits on SNL.

  7. Dutch says:

    Jimmy will do fine. Leno is locked in a warehouse somewhere which will give Jimmy a chance to grow into the role. The $100 skit was good. It gives you the answer of “Who was on the final Tonight Show with Leno and the first with Fallon” trivia question.

    Also shocked, the Cracken didn’t grab the pile of C-notes on the desk and run.

    • Holly says:

      Bwah to the Cracken comment: she did look worse for the wear though, and she probably had a team of people working on her for her big appearance :(

      That trivia question gives me the chills!

    • JennaR says:

      I thought the exact same thing about the Cracken!

  8. yolie says:

    I feel like the media has really shoved him down our throats and forced Jimmy Fallon into a “star.” Remember that disaster of a movie he made and then went into hiding for awhile? How did he ever manage all this?? I don’t find him funny at all. But yea the media shoving people down our throats that don’t deserve it? Shocking..

    • Original Tessa says:

      No one shoved him down our throats. He was on Late Night for years trudging through before he found an audience. Being a late night host was a big step down from the movie star he almost was. I think he found where he belongs and he is successful because he’s good at it. He gets the most out of celebrities and his skits are light and clever. It’s not serious. It’s just old fashioned light humor.

    • Skins says:

      I’m with you. I just don’t find this guy that funny, certainly not funny enough to carry this show. I think after the novelty wears off the show will be in trouble. Also think he will have trouble getting A-Listers being based in NYC.

      • Dutch says:

        Being based in NYC has never been a problem for Letterman. All the morning/afternoon shows of consequence are based in New York, so if an A-lister has something to promote, they are going to make the rounds in New York

    • Leek says:

      I agree with you. I don’t find him to be funny at all. Giggling through a skit isn’t comedy. I think Jimmy Kimmel has a very clever operation going on his show. That’s my new late night go-to. There’s something about Jimmy Fallon that makes me think he might be a closeted d-bag.

  9. Rhiley says:

    No cracks about LL’s hundred dollar bill? A good snort is there somewhere, right?

  10. Garrett says:

    I think he will do fine. As for Lindsay, she better ask for that $100 back. She will need it.

  11. Tippy says:

    The brass at NBC are not the brightest bunch.

    They’re willing to accept short term ratings losses in order to skew younger and hopefully get out ahead of the viewer demographics curve. As such the Twitter reaction to Fallon’s Tonight Show debut has be a major concern.

    • Dawn says:

      I agree that the brass are NOT that good especially when they deal with off shoots of NBC such as E! the not so entertaining network. I think though that Jimmy will be fine as long as he sticks to what he is best at. I tend not to watch people when reality people show up on the scene and I tend to not go back to the show. I so hope Jimmy can keep the Kraps and West off his show because those are the type of people I don’t want to see or hear.

  12. Nerd Alert says:

    Well, he can’t be worse than Jay Leno. His jokes were always so safe and…just the worst.

  13. Noel says:

    Am I the only one who felt like Kim Kardashian was shoehorned in? Everyone else was so New York/talented and then there was Kim…a California reality “celebrity.”

    At least Lohan at some point had discernible talent.

    I was also hoping for Conan to walk out with a $100.

    • Hootysgram says:

      That would have really been funny if Conan walked out….LOL
      I thought Jimmy did great…The line of celebs parading out with hundred dollar bills was great too…until former Mayor Guilliani (sp?) came out ( who was omitted from the line up in the article above) and some of the audience boo’ed him. That was tasteless on their part. Love The Roots…and his side kick..so I’m hoping Jimmy does well…and proves all the nay-sayers wrong.

    • deehunny says:

      Conan would never. He firmly believes that NBC set him up to fail to get Leno back. Leno was in the primetime slot before Conan and Conan believes that is why he failed. In his contract, they only had to pay him a fraction of the severance pay if he went on and flopped instead of never going on the Tonight Show at all. I’m sure Conan is grinding his teeth somewhere. Also, if you have ever seen Conan’s documentary, it is very clear that he thinks he is God’s gift to art (music, comedy, etc.) No humility at all.

      Off topic– Tina Fey looks terrific

  14. ashley says:

    I love jimmy!!! He makes me lol! My niece who’s four,loves him also. When we watch his show through dvr,she’s like “that’s my husband” i have to say no! You’re only four,she loves jimmy! I wish him all the best.

  15. Dizzle says:

    The only thing that annoys me is that Kim K. HAD to be in the $100 bill sketch. She was just in Jay Leno’s goodbye sketch. She is is insufferable at this point. I don’t know why this annoyed me so much. Maybe the snow is getting to me.

    • Nina W says:

      It’s annoying because she doesn’t deserve the attention or the footnote in history. She has no talent and she is boring, why is she on TV?

  16. TheOneandOnlyOnly says:

    Yes, quite enjoyed it; U2 demonstrates (I’ve seen them several times live and they are great) that they still have it and are much better than most of what passes for music these days. Yes, seeing a lardassian annoys me to, Overall, thumbs up.

  17. Lioneo says:

    Eww why were Lindsay Lohan and Kim K. there? Kim K. especially. She is not talented or has any real work to promote. Its embarrassing how Leno had her on the goodbye show, but now she is on Fallons debut too? Disgusting. I thought her popularity is in decline.

    • jane16 says:

      Ditto. It is always gross to see Kim K on anything. I don’t know what the point of that was supposed to be. The bit was hilarious until she came on. (How are these two skanks supposed to be considered “friends” of Fallons?) Then Colbert saved it in the end.

      Re: the show, I loved the set, thought it was beautiful. And like seeing the band play on the roof in the sunset, very cool.

  18. Daphne says:

    I dvr’d it too. I like Jimmy especially his skit with the stars and who knew classroom instruments could make top ten hits sound just as good.
    Not sure if you if Jimmy made special commercials for his upcoming show for your area but the one for the DC Metro area was hilarious. He thanked Washington DC for its old monuments, the Jefferson, the Lincoln, and John McCain.

  19. Skins says:

    Didn’t he do the same skit he did with Will Smith with Justin Timberlake a couple months ago?

  20. CityGirl says:

    Jimmy Fallon is just a different kind of late night – he is a really likable guy who is aware of the opportunities given to him and is often as much a fan as the rest of us. He seems very genuine to me. Plus he brings a musicality to late night that’s never really been that prevalent in all the late night talk shows – And he’s got The Roots!!!! Playing for his show every night!!!!!!
    I think he’s great! Course I have a little crush too……

  21. Tippy says:

    The subtle name change from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon would seem to indicate a shift from a desk/couch interview centric format to a skit/musical variety hour with Fallon as the focal point every night.