Category Archives: Good Humor

Tonight is Just a State of Mind – On the First Week of Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’

It was just over four years ago that much digital ink was spilled on this blog over the Game of Thrones-like* maneuvering in the kingdom of late night. We talked about the principled, heroic path that Conan O’Brien chose, or, arguably, forged. We also suggested that, perhaps, Jay Leno wasn’t the malevolent Machiavelli we all assumed him to be. We also stressed that David Letterman, his house untouched, remained the King of Late Night, the walls of his castle fortified and impenetrable, and he was likely watching, with glee, as his competitors warred around him.** Like with many blogs and media outlets at the time, the post-11:30pm drama dominated the conversation on this site. And now, nearly half a decade later, Leno has been dethroned*** once again, but this is first we’ve written about it. Why? Because this time Leno was replaced in a bloodless coup, a gracious transfer of power, with the young, affable Jimmy Fallon ascending to The Tonight Show desk in grand, but still humble and respectful fashion. 

In fact, four episodes into Fallon’s Tonight Show and the only real notable shift from Late Night is that the former program has returned to New York, where it began so many years ago. And that geographical stasis might explain why Fallon’s Tonight does not stray very far at all from his Late Night, save for a new, gorgeous coliseum-like theater, more space for the thirty-four members of The Roots and an opening sequence directed by Spike Lee (whatever that entails). Nearly through his first week as the guy, Fallon has already trotted out Late Night favorites like “The Evolution of_____,” the Ragtime Gals barbershop quartet, the #Hashtag sketch, and charades (a segment that, no doubt, inspired NBC to develop my parent’s new favorite show, Celebrity Game Night). What is actually most interesting and telling to us, even if it is a fluke of the schedule, a footnote due to the Olympic programming, is that Fallon’s Tonight Show actually debuted at midnight, a concept that Conan O’Brien found so sacrilege that it became the keystone of his argument for parting ways with NBC.

But with Fallon, so attuned to the world of DVRs and YouTube, time slots are meaningless, just some listing in TV guide, historical minutiae. His show would not be measured by the number of viewers during a certain hour. It wouldn’t even be measured with +7 ratings or YouTube. It would be measured by laughs, it would be judged by the barometer of fun. What Fallon’s Tonight Show has demonstrated thus far, and supported by his temporarily delayed time slot, is that it’s the “Show” part that matters, not the “Tonight” part. If he can make people laugh, especially an A-list celebrity or legendary music group, or Steve Higgins or his own parents, or you at home or your own parents, then he’s happy. Then he’s doing the show that he wants. Unlike Conan, Fallon cedes the floor to his guests. And, unlike Conan, Fallon is willing to cede his time slot to network partners, just happy to be a part of the team. Which, again, is less of a magnanimous, unselfish gesture and more the necessities of prime-time Olympic programming. Still, it feels fitting that even when nice guy Jimmy Fallon got the call to the big show, he was bumped thirty minute to accommodate replays of Ice Dancing. And, we feel safe in saying, he couldn’t be happier about it. 

*Fascinating that four years ago, when we wrote all those posts, we didn’t know that Game of Thrones was a thing that existed. 
**Get it? It’s a whole Game of Thrones motif. 
***Okay, we’ll stop. 
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Filed under Analysis, Count Bleh, Good Humor, Talkies

Branch Closing – A Farewell to ‘The Office’

We very clearly remember the moment that we fell for The Office, the NBC stalwart that closes up shop at Dunder Mifflin tonight after nine mostly great seasons. It was the fall of 2005, when The Office was starting to find its legs after a rocky and uneven six episode first season, and we in our first autumn post-college, back at our parents’, and for the first time since we were four-years-old not attending school. We were at our best friend and future roommate’s house, hanging out, maybe barbecuing, maybe drinking a few beers, maybe watching the first season of Lost on DVD, which dominated much of our time (and thoughts) during that period. We knew about the The Office, another blatant attempt to import a UK hit stateside, but missed its brief run earlier that year, as was the case with the aforementioned Lost, as the only shows we watched religiously during our final year of college (and last few months before true adulthood) were The Simpsons and Survivor. We did, however, recall reading that it was an imperfect translation of the original, and the Steve Carell-led vehicle – who was then best known as the other Steve from The Daily Show –  was not likely to resurrect NBC Thursday night Must See TV, let alone make it past Season 2. So with the middling reviews in mind, and the fact that we were unfamiliar with the original Ricky Gervais version, we didn’t go out of our way to watch the show. But that night changed everything.

More: But that was just the beginning…

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Filed under Across the pond, Back to the Past, Brilliance, Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam, Freak Out Control, Good Humor, Is That Still On?, LOST, Must Flee TV, Must See TV

Quick Check: Is Jimmy Fallon Still Killing It?

Just one of our routine check-ins to see if Jimmy Fallon and Late Night are still killing, just in case you were concerned they were getting cocky or complacent after being named The Tonight Show successors. Let’s take a look.

Nope. Still killing it. Good job, guys. Everyone on the floor as well. 

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Filed under Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam, Good Humor, Mancrush, Talkies

Humpday

If you’re having a bad week here’s just a little reminder that the the worst is over. Just hang on a couple more days and TGIF!

 

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Filed under 10 Seconds or Less, Good Humor, Just because., TGIF, We'll Get It In Post

Jumped the Snark Shorty – Chris Hardwick Singled Out For Late Night

Chris HardwickBriefly, we want to remind you of a few weeks back when we discussed the possible successor to Jimmy Fallon as host of Late Night. The rumor at the time – and still presumed favorite – is that Seth Meyers will take over in Studio 6B. However, we voiced our opposition to that plan, with no disrespect to the vastly talented and incredibly charming Meyers. Instead, we felt it best if the show went a different direction. Specifically, West, to Los Angeles, where it could mine some of that coast’s best and underutilized talent. Well, yesterday Comedy Central basically announced plans to do just that, with the news surfacing that they’ve tapped Chris Hardwick to host a late night talk show following The Colbert Report, the net’s first real foray into traditional late night programming. With Hardwick, the Nerdist impresario, you have that young, cutting edge, hip LA talent that we talked about, the Nerdist podcast network including comedians like Kurt Braunholer, Pete Holmes and TJ Miller. Possibly even more important than gaining access to the Nerdist family, the show will be executive produced by Reno 911 creators and The State alums Tom Lennon and Ben Garant, with additional involvement from the folks at Funny or Die. So, essentially, this show links up most of Los Angeles’ best, funniest, talent all in one place. What a deep pool of talent to pool from. Too bad NBC couldn’t think of this first.

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Filed under Flashback!, Good Humor, Shorties, Talkies

Allergy Season: Did Ron Swanson Perjure Himself?

On last week’s Parks and Recreation Ron Swanson swallowed his pride and disdain for modern medicine and agreed to visit a doctor after contracting a from his girlfriend’s little daughters. However, when Ann Perkins (who is still a nurse when it suits the story) asks Ron some basic health questions we couldn’t help but be surprised at one of his answers, as it seemed to contradict something he said to his Swanson Scouts in Season 4.

Very curious. Especially since we know that Ron hates lying almost more than anything (the only exception being skim milk, which is milk that is lying).

Perhaps this calls for another deposition.

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Filed under Good Humor, Makes You Think, Must See TV

Reginald VelJohnson in Uniform Moment of the Week: April Fools’ Edition

Sure, we could have posted this April Fools Family Matters Kickstarter spoof on April 1, but that would have been so predictable and obvious, so totally against the spirit of that day of punking. Yes, ten days later on April 11 feels much more appropriate to bring you our first Reginald VelJohnson in Uniform in quite some time

Inspired by the recent record-breaking success of the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter, those pranksters over at Funny or Die unleashed a series of spoof campaigns for big screen versions of several classic television shows, including Darkwing Duck, Wings and Dinosaurs. Also amongst this impressive roster of past series looking for a second life is the legendary sitcom, the  TGIF anchor, Family Matters. And who better to be the face of this venture than Carl Winslow himself, Reginald VelJ. 

In the proposed film the Winslow family is kidnapped by a mysterious villain who may or may not be someone they know, perhaps someone very close to them, perhaps even someone who lives right next door. With his family in captivity, Carl goes into Liam Neeson Taken mode, his deep baritone striking fear into any would be evildoers. 

Funny or Die Family Matters Movie

[full video here]

RVJ still looks pretty good in uniform, doesn’t he? 

So do your part to bring Carl Winslow (and Reginald VelJohnson in uniform) to the big screen! Donate today! (or ten days ago)

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Filed under Better Late Than Never, Good Humor, Lady Holiday, Reginald VelJohnson, TGIF, Virulent