20 November 2010

JR Late Night TV Show Review: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

JR's TV Buzz Rating: uvwxyz{qrs(7/10)

Name of the TV Show: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
Year: 2009
Date of TV Premiere: March 2, 2009
Format: Talk Show / Variety Show / Reality Show
Executive Producers: Lorne Michaels, Michael Shoemaker
Show Creator: Jimmy Fallon
Head Writer: A.D. Miles
Original Channel: NBC
Metacritic Rating: 49/100
TV.com Show Score: 6.2 - Fair (out of 170 votes)
Location: Studio 6B in 30 Rockefeller Center, New York City
Running Time: 59 minutes (with commercials)
Debut TV Ratings: 2,400,000  Viewers
Show Opening Theme: "Here I Come", The Roots

Saturday Night Live veteran Jimmy Fallon takes the Late Night reins from Conan O' Brien when O' Brien succeeds Jay Leno as new host of The Tonight Show in 2009.



1. JIMMY FALLON (as Himself, Late Night's Host)

2. STEVE HIGGINS (as Himself,  Late Night's Announcer)

3. THE ROOTS (as Themselves, Late Night's House Band)


The show begins with the opening sequence as Steve Higgins announces that night's guests and "the legendary Roots crew". Just before Higgins introduces Fallon, the camera cuts to a shot of The Roots, who then shout three numbers symbolizing the episode number of Late Night (though other numbers and statements have been shouted in place based on current events, historical show moments and telephone area codes). Higgins then introduces Fallon, who begins his nightly monologue. Fallon often gives the cue cards for a joke to audience members if the joke falls particularly flat. Fallon's monologue is usually short, followed by a brief comedy sketch, or alternatively, going over the night's guest and conversing with Higgins or members of The Roots.

After the show's first break, it returns and begins a comedy sketch. Some are weekly: "Pros and Cons" on Tuesdays, "Remix the Clips" on Thursdays, Fridays are also reserved for Fallon to write "Thank You" notes to figures that have given him material for the past week. He also typically has the entire crew of the show write letters home. Occasionally the show features extra skits such as "Wheel of Carpet Samples", "Cell Phone Shootout", "Lick It For Ten", "Let Us Play With Your Look", or "Hot Dog in a Hole".

After the sketch ends and a commercial break follows, the first guest will arrive. That guest will most often stay after the next break, and a second guest will enter after the show's fourth break. Once these interviews have been completed and the show has taken its fifth and final commercial break, the musical guest (or sometimes, a chef or comedian) will perform. Jimmy Fallon will return once the musical guest has finished and bid the viewers farewell. As credits roll, Fallon runs up and down the stairs of the studio giving high fives to the audience before exiting backstage.

1. On August 15 2009, Late Night aired its 100th episode with guests Tracy Morgan & Neal Brennan.
2. On January 22 2010, Late Night began with a cold open (a rare occurrence for the show) with Fallon and The Roots visiting Studio 6A, the former home of Late Night with Conan O' Brien. They sang "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" as a tribute song to O' Brien, whose final episode as host of The Tonight Show had just concluded. When introducing the show, Roots drummer Questlove placed a placard of O' Brien over his face. Jimmy and the band were then interrupted by Dr. Oz, who now tapes his talk show in 6A.
3. On March 2 2010, Late Night celebrated its first year anniversary with guests Robert Pattinson, Judah Friedlander, & Mario Batali.
4. On March 3 2010, Late Night aired its 200th episode with guests Barbara Walters, Regina King, and Erykah Badu.
5. On March 4 2010, Jimmy reunited the cast of California Dreams.
6. On March 9 2010, Jimmy, during a martini race with Chelsea Handler, slipped and fell down on stage, dropping three martini glasses, cutting his hand. After a commercial break, Jimmy was seated at his desk, with a bandage around the cut hand. The next day, The Roots performed the show with bandages on (Questlove shouted "Ow, ow, ow" instead of the episode number 205).
7. On March 16 2010, Jimmy had the Bee Gees, Barry and Robin Gibb, on as guests; they spoke of his Coletania Mythology and sang "Night on Broadway" along with Jimmy acapella.
8. On May 10-14 2010, Late Night held "Rolling Stones Week", celebrating the 2010 re-issue of Exile on Main St.. The final show of the week broadcast the worldwide premiere of The Rolling Stones documentary, Stones in Exile.
9. On May 24-28 2010, Late Night held "Watch Jimmy with Jimmy Week", in which Jimmy watched the show at 12:35am Eastern/11:35pm Central with the audience. While he was watching, he was on Ustream live video streaming on the Internet, talking with fans, and giving them a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at Late Night.
10. On June 21-25 2010, Late Night held "Video Game Week", a week featuring looks at and demos of new video games coming out in the coming months.
11. On September 1 2010, Late Night aired its 300th episode with guests Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, John Cena, & Yo Gabba Gabba.
12. On September 13-17 2010, Late Night held "Broadway Week", a week featuring the stars and shows that are currently working on Broadway. Some of the special guests included Sean Hayes, and Patti LuPone.
13. On October 11-15 2010, Late Night held "Jackass Week", a week featuring the stars of the movie Jackass 3D. Some of the special guests included Johnny Knoxville, Ehren McGheney, Steve O, and Bam Margera.
14. On November 16 2010, Late Night devoted a full episode to Bruce Springsteen and his Darkness on the Edge of Town box set re-release that came out that same day. In addition to being interviewed, Bruce joings Jimmy during his Neil Young impression of Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" as well as performs two songs off his new release. E Street band members Roy Bittan and Steven Van Zandt help during the musical performances and Steven is also present during half of Bruce's interview segment.

Source: Wikipedia.org (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Night_with_Jimmy_Fallon#Notable_episodes)


Introduced in the show's second week, this segment features a game with loosely-defined rules and bizarre scoring. Three audience members are chosen to spin a wheel containing various carpet samples. The wheel includes a "mystery sample", which is revealed by the announcer to both the audience and the contestants prior to game play. Each contestant spins the wheel just once and is awarded a seemingly arbitrary point value. Each game contains the speed round with a "carpet sample fun fact": a piece of trivia, and the "lightning round" in which the contestant must "name as many things as possible" in three seconds, and a "carpet sample cartoon break". If a contestant lands on a piece that has already been won, Jimmy turns the wheel back five spaces. The contestant with the most points wins the sample of carpet on which the wheel stopped during their spin. The other two contestants each receive a consolation prize that turns out to be much more valuable than the winning contestant's prize, usually a $300 gift card to the Apple Store (the winning contestant is ultimately awarded the consolation prize as well).

Jimmy plugs in his iPhone to a monitor to show off some new applications he's discovered. One of these apps always deals with a picture of the head of comedian Paul Reiser (such as "ReiserTris", a Tetris-like game with Reiser heads instead of the regular Tetris blocks). Another recurring app is "Axl Rose Relaxation Tapes", with the Guns N' Roses frontman (actually Jimmy) singing over relaxing sounds such as wolves howling or thuderstorms, usually ending with him yelling "Take a nap!"

Every Friday on the show, Jimmy writes thank you notes. He claims that Friday is the day he catches up on "personal stuff" like checking his inbox, returning e-mails, and writing his weekly thank you notes. He explains that he is running behind and asks the audience if they wouldn't mind if he took time out of the show to write them, and asks James Poyser to play come accompanying music (a mellow piano riff). The notes are sarcastic in tone and involve current events, people in the news, or things that annoy Jimmy (e.g. "Thank you, pony tails, for turning the backs of girls' heads into horses' butts."). Usually before the last thank you note, Jimmy says a dramatic monologue, or does some humorous chit chat with Higgins, and recently improvised a song that about one of the notes.

Jimmy picks 3 random audience members to come down. They are shown a table covered in various "prizes", including a large-screen TV plasma TV (or a MacBook, or other similarly desirable popular item), tickets to a cleaning products convention, a used trumpet, lingerie, recorded VHS tapes, donuts for the entire audience, a box of rocks, a coffee mug, a year's worth of back issues of Orthopedics magazine, a pipe carved into Jimmy's likeness, a 15-second rave, and other similar kitschy items. A large screen shows a rapid-fire series of images of the objects available to be won, with each image only visible for 1/6 of a second. When Jimmy gives the cue, the contestants must snap a picture with their cellphone of whatever item is on the screen. The contestant wins whatever item of which they have taken a picture.

A parody of the MTV series The Hills, documenting Jimmy's arrival to Late Night and his initial struggles in the begging of the show, such as whether to wear a red tie or a blue tie on his premier episode.

Every Tuesday on the show, Jimmy weighs the pros and cons of a topic, with the pros being the setups and the cons being the punchlines. (e.g. Pro: With Tiger competing, this year's Masters promises to be the most exciting golf tournament ever. Con: That being said, it's still golf.) Special editions of the skit include "The reissue of the Rolling Stones' album Exile on Main St.", in which Jimmy was joined via satellite by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts, and one in which the topic was "The New NFL Season", where Jimmy was joined by Justin Tuck of the New York Giants.

Suggestions ranging from the mundance ("book Sandra Bullock soon" or "more audience member close-ups") to the silly (such as "have a stuntman dressed as Abraham Lincoln fall down the stairs" or "recreate the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind with a grown man instead of a baby") are supposedly contributed by audience members.

In this segment, Jimmy joins his house band, The Roots, to serenade the audience on a topic of current newsworthy significance in the style of a slow jam.

Jimmy invites three guests on stage, and they must attempt to throw the most hot dogs through holes carved in the mouths of large (about 6 feet tall) celebrity faces. The celebrities are usually related somehow, such as the cast of New Moon, the three parents from the TV show Full House, or hosts on Fox News Channel. (An installment of the game after the House vote on the 2010 health care legislation featured Rep. Henry Waxman; the Congressman's face had a smaller-than -usual mouth hole but added cutouts for his nostrils.) In the case of a tie, contestants participate in a sudden-death toss-off. The winner receives a hot dog toaster, and the losers receive a package of hot dogs.

Jimmy plays the popular drinking game beer pong with a celebrity guest - to date, all female - including Serena Williams, Ivanka Trump, and Betty White. They play the paddle-less version ("Beirut"), and the first player to sink two balls wins.

***Current Beer Pong Standings:***
Jimmy Fallon (10-6)
Ivanka Trump (2-0)
Serena Williams (1-0)
Anna Kournikova (1-0)
Charlize Theron (1-0)
Sigourney Weaver (1-0)
Kate Hudson (0-1)
Jessica Alba (0-1)
Lucy Liu (0-1)
Helen Mirren (0-1)
Kelly Ripa (0-1)
Gabourey Sibide (0-1)
Betty White (0-2)
January Jones (0-2)

1. At the top of each show while The Roots are performing the theme song "Here I Come", Questlove and Tariq Trotter usually shout out the episode number during the break in the song.
2. In Episode 10 of Late Night, the music that played during Tracy Morgan's entrance was "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" a song that appeared in two Season Two 30 Rock episodes.
3. In Episode 11 of Late Night, Fred Armisen becomes the first non-star to appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon more than once.
4. Fred Armisen previously appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon twice, first backstage in makeup and then as "Spoiler Alert Guy". On Episode 20 of Late Night, it is his first time appearing as a guest.
5. In Episode 21 of Late Night, announcer Steve Higgins introduced Andre Iguodala as the Philadelphia 76ers' Power Forward. He is actually a Shooting Guard/Small Forward.
6. In Episode 33 of Late Night, the segment where The Roots make up songs about audience members got its official title: Freestylin' With The Roots.
7. In Episode 75 of Late Night, in memory of Michael Jackson's death The Roots played Michael Jackson songs during the commercial breaks.
8. In Episode 75 of Late Night, Cameron Diaz becomes the first "movie star" to make a return appearance on the show.
9. In Episode 82 of Late Night, Alec Baldwin claimed that Gary Shandling was "like 80" when they boxed. Shandling is 59 years old, and obviously was much younger at the time of their late 1980's boxing fight.

1. Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1231460/trivia




TV Show Title and Introduction = 17/20
TV Show Format/Concept = 13/20
Performance of the Cast = 14/20
Public Popularity Hit = 11/20
Use of Comedy/Drama = 13/20


The TV Show title as well as the TV Show's Introduction is eye-catching. As the show starts, the audience already has the idea of what they are going to watch in a while. Considering that this show is already part of history since it was already a part of American television since 1982, Jimmy Fallon is continuing the show's run. The TV Show Title idea was started by the current CBS' Late Show host David Letterman in the year 1982 until the year 1993. By that year, TV's Breakout Talk Show Star and Host of TBS's Conan, Conan O' Brien became the new Late Night host. After 16 years in TV, Conan O' Brien was handed down the Tonight Show while Jimmy Fallon was handed down the Late Night show. Now, Jimmy Fallon has the job to continue to show's high and respected reputation. The new TV Show Introduction is new, giving us a hint about the show's "New York-concept". 

Unlike Conan O' Brien's Late Night show, Jimmy Fallon brought in a much trendy and much techie late night show to the public. Through his funny antics and catchy monologues, Jimmy Fallon caught the attention of a much younger audience comparing of Conan O' Brien's Late Night show hosting. However, if we will compare Jimmy Fallon's late night show with Conan O' Brien and David Letterman, the show is already reaching it's undesired downfall. For me, the show did not improved it still stayed the same. Conan and David were much way better than Jimmy Fallon. I think he must bring in new concepts, not just games and comedy sketches.

The cast is very nice since the writers are even acting in some of the show's Comedy Sketches. But there is still a need for improvement in the show's host because the audience cannot feel anymore the comedy it has in the past. Fallon should take note of the things Conan and Letterman contributed to the show's success. Jimmy Fallon must outride the comedy they had brought to Late Night

With huge criticism from critics, the show is not a breakout hit to the public. In order for the show to regain it's shining light, it must learn from Conan O' Brien and David Letterman.

For me, the show's guest are much funnier than the show's host and prepared comedy. Having a late night talk show is a huge responsibility since it is a show not to let the audience sleep but a show to make them awake. People are hardworking workers so they also have to get the comedy and energy they want at night and that is the late night talk show franchise. 

VI. General Perception
The show for me is a classic great, but as years go by the comedy gets "unbetter" and "unbetter". What the show needs is a better and improved comedy of Conan and Letterman. NBC must also think of its nearest competition (Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson) because one day its comedy might beat Late Night's own. Over-all, the show is still below the wavelengths of Late Night with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O' Brien. That explains why CBS' The Late Show with David Letterman and TBS' Conan beats out the ratings of NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Last Call with Carson Daly.

VII. JR's Suggestions for the Show
More Comedy and Lesser Boredom, More New and Funny Sketches and Lesser Old Sketches, Lesser Studio Audience Participation Games But Higher TV Audience Participation Activities... I think that's just it. 


Data Sources:
3. Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1231460/)

Coming Up,
December 2010, Chuck TV Show Review
January 2011, CSI: Miami TV Show Review
February 2011, Gossip Girl TV Show Review

November 20 2010 (1AM)

No comments:

Post a Comment