Tag Archives: Spike Lee

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

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ – It’s All About…

…timing.

Survivor Caramoan - CochranIn any season of Survivor capitalizing on the moment to strike is of paramount importance, and this has been especially relevant on Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit. Ages from now, when Survivor is long gone and young scholars pore over old texts written about a forgotten television program hosted by former President of Earth Jeff Probst, they will read the story of Caramoan, and it will be the story of Stealth ‘R’ Us, and of those who tried to fight back against the ruling alliance. For that has been the theme of the season, not so much if, but when, a group of insurgents will break apart the dominating force. As a result of poor timing, Corinne failed in her attempt at a coup, and, likewise, Malcolm overplayed his hand and tried to strike too quickly. He was successful in deposing Former Federal Agent Fillip, but, perhaps, FFAF wasn’t the head of the snake after all. He was the outspoken face of Stealth ‘R’ Us, but, in the end, he might have just been a figurehead, the Mandarin, a red herring dangled out as bait. And with Fillip gone, and the corporation starting to fray, it’s only a matter of time before someone makes a move. Could be someone outside the controlling alliance, or could be someone from within. It doesn’t really matter who it is. What matters is when.

But even though there’s a storm coming, and they’re now down to just two amigos, Reynold and Eddie are in good spirits. They won’t let the loss of Malcolm stop them from a good high five fist bump.

HighFistBump

More: Tribal Councils on Tribal Councils on Tribal Councils…

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Filed under Analysis, Be careful what you wish for, Comic Book Guy, Commodore 64, Count Bleh, Mancrush, Nicktoons, Tribal Council

We Guess God IS a Celtics Fan*

If Jesus is plotting against the Knicks, then they really have no shot.

*Actually, the headline is a reference to the character that Ray Allen played in He Got Game, the Spike Lee joint from THIRTEEN YEARS AGO.  Timely reference, Metro!  What’s next? A vague allusion to Celtic Pride?

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Filed under Huh?, Judd Apatow, Matt Christopher Books

Parting Shot: Courtside

“I LOVED ‘Jungle Fever.'”

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Filed under Participation Award, Parting Shot, The Bieb

Great Month for Spike Lee and ‘Do the Right Thing’ Tributes

First, Children’s Hospital, which enjoyed an absolutely genius smart-silly-stupid-absurd first season on Adult Swim, ended the episode “Hot Enough For You” with these completely random, wholly enjoyable Do the Right Thing-inspired closing credits.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

That was awesome.  But then our friends, the gals over at Broad City, went ahead and blew that out of the water with this unbelievably brilliant Spike Lee homage that served as their season finale:

Beyond words. Mini-masterpiece.

Well, since all good things (and celebrity deaths) come in threes, we have to imagine there’s a third Spike Lee-esque joint coming down the pike.  Who will it be?  Sesame Street, we’re looking in your direction (oh, looks like these guys already sorta did it).

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Filed under Best Show You're Not Watching, Brilliance, Good Humor, Local Flavor, Other people's stuff