Rumor: Jimmy Fallon to take over The Tonight Show in 2014?

Apparently, there are some "rumblings" (a professional show business term) that NBC is looking at Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show when the latter's contract is up in 2014. Unless, you know, NBC changes their mind and just lets Jay Leno stay on. Again. (via New York Daily News)


  1. I can just picture Conan O’Brian sending Fallon a gift basket and a note that reads, “Enjoy it while it lasts.”

    And Fallon actually doing that, and maybe even making jokes about the fact that his days may be numbered, at least for the first couple of weeks.  I’d do something like the Phantom of the Opera, with someone acting as Leno, hanging from the rafters, saying ominous things.

    Or maybe just a board behind Fallon which reads “Days without Leno: X” with the X being incremented by 1 each night. Nobody ever looks at or talks about the board.

    1. I like the latter idea. Far more subdued by a constant ‘yea we know what happened to the last guy that tried to step in for Leno.’

    1. That would happen, pretty much never. He’s got a sweet deal with FX, where they just hand him the money to make his show, and leave him alone to do it. At Tonight, he’d have a hundred people giving him notes every day. And you have to actually pretend to like the guests, and their movies (or whatever they’re promoting). Can’t see CK doing that. And he’s free to experiment with his direct-to-the-public marketing of his comedy specials. I’m sure NBC would want a piece of anything he does, once under contract.

    1. There’s a really unique, hard-to-find clip of him breaking character on SNL to laugh at his own crappy lines like a baked teenager who discovered that he could make ersatz fart sounds at will using his own armpit.

      The clip occurred halfway though a rather hit-or-miss episode that left viewers alternately emitting a proto-laugh grunt and feeling that the show might not last the full season.

      Among the cognoscenti of SNL viewers, it is referred to as “Every Jimmy Fallon Episode.”

      1. He’s just the corporate yes-man. He’s a derivative hack with no discernible talent–see Taxi for proof. He’s just shameless. I just wonder where he gets his audience! He isn’t interesting to listen to and doesn’t give a good interview.

      2. Google any of the following: History of rap, seventh floor west, the real housewives of late night, the jersey floor, Hubble gotchu, Suckers, Jimmy fallon glee parody, dance your hat and gloves off, fallon sings neil young, slow jam the news. He is a performer not a comedian.

        1. Yup.  I die laughing every time I watch the Reading Rainbow or most of the Neil Young clips (Fresh Prince theme, Sexy and I know it)

        2. Conan has taken a similar turn, of late.  It doesn’t look like he’s running the show, just using banter and “whoa wait a sec, what was THAT” distractions to take focus off the quality of the material he’s been handed.  

          Every night the writers saddle him with the comedic equivalent of a ShamWow or a Ginsu knife, things that appear unprecedented and state of the art, perhaps, to casual alcoholics and freshly excommunicated Amish, but are in fact low-cost reproductions, essentially unchanged from a classic recipe, but with a different look and a different pitchman.
          As a professional, he knows instantly that the product is a discounted store brand, haphazardly slapped together without thought of quality or style.  It is the unflavoured, unremarkable filler that bulks up the meatloaf, fills the gaps to iso-meatloaf dimensions. 

          His job is to sell that televised meatloaf.  His clientele isn’t really demanding haute cuisine, but they want more than Lean Cuisine.  Conan’s only hope is to dress it up, confidently dishing out microwaved pasta as though it were fresh off the tree.  The service is a performance.  A little dance, the occasional funny accent, interacting with the customers one-on-one at times.  Always vigilant, looking for a sign, indication that tomato sauce analog is registering on the taste buds.  Throw to Andy.  Dear God in Heaven, something blunt and off-colour, something vulgar we couldn’t say on the old shows.

          “Shit potatoes.”

          Yes!   Yes…  That’ll do nicely.  

          Run the leftover Romney clips.  Shit potato haze doesn’t last forever.

      1.  Oh god with that baby… just shameless. Oh well, some people want a legacy others want a wad of cash.  Fallon chose his path.

    2. You’re not supposed to be funny when you host the Tonight Show; you’re supposed to be soothing and inoffensive so that viewers can drift off to sleep.

  2. At this point, and considering history, Jimmy Fallon would be an idiot to leave his show for a show as relevant as Hee-Haw.

  3. I think Tre is closest, here.  Late night has been rotting for a long time, despite great moments from Letterman, and some inspired stuff from Craig Ferguson.  I’ve often wondered why Letterman, who is a great interviewer when he has a guest with some brains (not actress of the month), doesn’t push CBS to remake the show a bit, more in line with The Daily Show.  Comedy bits, keep Paul, but focus the show a bit more on topics of the day or interesting books.  I would think he has the clout, and it would be a worthy experiment.  Let’s face it, most of mediocre America is satisfied with Leno.  You won’t peel many of them off.  Go for a new group.

    1. Letterman isn’t interested in doing anything different or making his life any busier.

      Letterman says: “I do a lot less work than I used to do … I just got to a point where I have no patience for meetings so I don’t go to any meetings. I can’t make decisions anymore; I don’t like making decisions. We have a dozen producers. They can have the meetings and they can make the decisions, and I’ll just come down and somebody tell me what to do and we go … I used to be involved in everything big and large. I don’t think that was necessarily good, but at the time I thought it was what was required. When you had your own show, you had to have everything in your view and certainly influence each little choice.”

  4. The only late night interviewer, imho, worthy of taking over the host spot on The Tonight Show is Craig Ferguson.  He’s a true comic.  I have yet to tire of his brand of humor, whether he’s sitting behind a desk or doing stand up.

  5. I lost all interest in the tonight show because of the Daily Show and Colbert Report. They’re actually good interviewers, who pretty consistently interview very interesting people.

    Tonight show’s setup is way too hit and miss to keep up.

  6. This is a nice parallel to the story of Disney buying Star Wars. Neither Jimmy Fallon nor Disney can make those things worse than they already are.

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