Talking up the good work that Jimmy Fallon and the Late Night crew have been doing is nothing new on this blog. In fact, we’ve been complimenting their efforts as far back as last Fall. But with the show celebrating its one year anniversary last week, and with the program demonstrating as much creativity and spontaneity as any show in late night today (effectively filling the absurdity vacuum left by Conan), we thought it fitting to highlight some recent clips to show how Jimmy continues to impress (and then one more to illustrate how in other respects he continues to disappoint).
Late Night has particularly excelled in slickly produced, exceptionally accurate television parodies, first with the Hills spoof 7th Floor West and then with The Real Housewives of Late Night. The show has continued this hot streak by taking on the height of the pop culture phenomena, Lost, with their new recurring series, Late. Below is the 2nd episode, as the castaways (brought together by an elevator crash and now stranded on a creepy abandoned office floor) struggle to make sense of their new and mysterious surroundings.Vodpod videos no longer available.
Late Night really put itself on the pop culture map in its first year through its attempt to reunite the cast of Saved by the Bell, and you can argue that Fallon’s interview with Mark-Paul Gosselaar in character as Zack Morris was the show’s first Must See moment. Unfortunately (most likely because of Dustin Diamond and his recent tell-all expose), the much-anticipated reunion never materialized. However, Late Night surprised us all last week, and basically made my year, by reuniting the cast of Saved by the Bell‘s younger, less popular but more musically inclined T-NBC sibling, California Dreams. That show is simultaneously obscure and yet a signficant part of my (our?) youth, so it was a brilliant, completely irrelevant coup. And Kelly Packard looks good for a mother of three (Jake? Unfortunately, not so much). But give credit to Fallon for exhibiting genuine enthusiasm and appreciation for this get together. It’s his innocence and excitement that helps to make these winning moments (this has also made me realize that I desperately need California Dreams on DVD. So if any of you are looking to buy me a gift…)Vodpod videos no longer available.
We’ve also talked about how Fallon’s proximity to SNL talent (both in location and friendship) allows his show to have more surprise guests and frequent spontaneous fun. Case in point, this week’s live performance of “Lazy Sunday,” the granddaddy of viral videos, featuring Fallon’s fellow SNL vet Chris Parnell and current not yet ready for primetime player Andy Samberg.Vodpod videos no longer available.
And if you need further proof that Fallon is filling the void left by Conan, take a look at this segment from last night’s episode, in which Jimmy competes against avowed boozehound Chelsea Handler in a martini race and takes an eerily reminiscent spill.Vodpod videos no longer available.
But while Fallon is willing to bleed for his act, and has proven to deliver refreshingly original content on a nightly basis, he has also proven that he’s not a complete host quite yet, still lacking in the interviewing department. His chat with Parnell before the “Lazy Sunday” performance purveyed this, as Fallon got too wrapped up reminiscing about old SNL sketches with his chum to ask Parnell any pertinent questions. While I enjoy hearing Fallon relive the legendary “More Cowbell” sketch, it became a basically one-sided conversation, and I had trouble discerning who was host and who was guest. It read more like a private chat, and it seemed as if Fallon forgot there was an audience there.Vodpod videos no longer available.
But hey, Jimmy, 4 out of 5 ain’t bad at all. Keep up the good work! And stop injuring yourself! One more accident and we might get stuck with Carson Daly at 12:35am (sorry, Carson!).