Tag Archives: Will Smith

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

Jason Sudeikis About to Become the Sort of Celebrity He’s Currently Creeping Out

In three days Jason Sudeikis will host the 2011 MTV Movie Awards and he’ll officially have achieved a new level of fame, joining the esteemed ranks of such past hosts as Will Smith, Ben Stiller, and Mike Myers (and for some reason Lisa Kudrow).  And with Horrible Bosses coming out this July, in which Sudeikis shares top billing with Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jennifer Aniston (2nd Friends actress in as many sentences!), Sudooks is poised to claim a spot on the A-List.  That’s still a few weeks away, but soon we’ll look back with fondness at moments like this, when Suds was still (barely) small-time enough to believably irritate some of Hollywood’s best, prettiest young actresses.  Although, even now, it’s a big stretch.

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And one more.

And, for good measure, one classic MTV Movie Awards clip.

Via Splitsider

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Filed under Mancrush, TV Killed the Music Video Star, Yasmine Bleeth

‘Saved by the Bell’ THE FINAL SEASON

This is it, folks.  We estimated it would take us about two days to get to this point.  Instead it’s taken 3 weeks.  But, nevertheless, we’ve arrived.  And the end.  Well, the beginning of the end.


6:14pm, Season 5, Disc 1, Episode 1: ” The Fight”

00:10: Well, right out of the gate we have to compliment the DVD menus for this season.  MUCH improved.

01:49: My school never had the “pool on the roof” gag.  I kind of regret that.  Feel like I didn’t have a proper high school experience.

02:32: Fun Fact: Elizabeth Berkley turned 44 during this season.

Read on: More fun facts, THE FIGHT, a big season from Big Pete, the curious case of Tori Scott, drinking, gambling, kissing, Punky Brewster, time travel and graduation day! And MORE!

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Filed under Buffy & Hildegarde, Count Bleh, Crucial Taunt, Fashion Show at Lunch, LOST, Mars Investigations, Masochism, Rip-off, Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell Project, Yasmine Bleeth

‘SNL’ With Host Cee-Lo, Musical Guest Gwyneth Paltrow and a Very Special Episode of ‘Pee Wee’s-Playhouse’

A little late this week so let’s get right to it:

We get it Gwyneth, you can sing!  You already proved it with Country Strong, your appearance on Glee and your CMA performance (and with Huey Lewis in Duets ten years ago).  But you had to show us again in your monologue, as Taylor Swift in this My Super Sweet Bar Mitzvah sketch, and by joining meandering songsmiths Kat and Garth on “Weekend Update.’  Listen, Gwyneth, WE GET IT.  It’s a wonder they didn’t hold off the “Worst of Soul Train sketch another week so Paltrow could play some kind of disco queen.  But they probably thought that would be overkill.

Also, Cee-Lo, we get it.  You’re a big deal right now.  Gwyneth Paltrow covered your hit song, and hugs you and treats you like her best friend.  But we don’t need to see the you also singing during the monologue and in the Bar Mitzvah sketch and also appearing in the “Record Label Meeting” sketch that was just a device to introduce your musical performance.  What’s that we said about overkill?  We mean, c’mon, it’s not like the guy is Paul McCartney.  And, sure, we admit, “F*** You” is one of those songs we heard about ad nauseam before we ever actually heard it (much like “Umbrella”), because the only radio we listen to is sports talk and NPR.  But it is good, at the very least, it’s dangerously infectious.  However, isn’t “F*** You” just like “Hey Ya,” but not as good.  Seven years later we still think the former is a great song, not sure if the latter will fare so well in 2018.  Will it be a classic or a novelty?  Only time will tell if it stands the test of time.  But, until then, we could have done with at least one less Cee-Lo appearance.

Read on: Pee-wee plays with fire, Bill Hader gets political, and a hidden meaning to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sketch

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Filed under Analysis, Good Humor, Impatience, Saturday Night Live

Why Did Hulu Post the Dress Rehearsal Version of Jay Pharoah’s Will Smith???

Is it because he cursed in the middle of his first big spot on the show, much like Jenny Slate did last year???  Did opening night jitters get to him???

Well, no.  I thought he did, but I’ve gone back and listened to it over and over again and it turns out when I thought he said “I took a break and shit” he just said “I took a break this year.”  Whoops.

But still, they did swap out the live version for the dress:

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Curious, no?  Did they just think the purple shirt was funnier?  More Fresh Prince-esque?  I guess we’ll never know (and probably shouldn’t care).

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Filed under Conspiracy Theory, Saturday Night Live