Friday, September 5, 2014

Late Night: The Late Tonight Show Night

I've been watching/DVRing the Tonight Show and Late Night since Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers took over in February.  I enjoy them both - for different reasons.

Jimmy Fallon is the perennial super fan  - of everyone.  He is a hip-er, more eloquent version of Chris Farleys SNL 'Remember the one time' character from the SNL The Chris Farley Show. (I mean this as a good thing).  He likes and is good to everyone.   Plus, he has the Roots - the most fun and funny late night band - ever.  He is emotional and personal and an all around fun guy.  He does great stuff on his show.  From Thank You Notes, to Lip Sync Battles, to Celebrity Pictionary and Charades to Face Balls (no one on earth could throw a big inflated ball into Julia Roberts face and get away with it except likable Jimmy Fallon), he is fun.

 I enjoyed his opening on the first night, as he explained that he was there to bring some smiles before you go to bed.  It was a good introduction and a humble and sweet way to begin his reign on the show.  He brings a much more youthful energy than has ever been on The Tonight Show (I do like Conan O'Brien, but he brought a weird, quirky energy, not necessarily a young one).    I loved the gag of all the celebrities who 'bet' him $100 he would never host the Tonight Show - and having everyone from Robert De Niro to Lindsay Lohan trot out with $100.  In the wake of Joan Rivers recent death, it was nice to be reminded what a big deal it was that Jimmy Fallon invited her to be in that gag - as she had been banned from the show for 20 + years.  Jimmy Fallon doesn't hold grudges.  Jimmy Fallon is nice to EVERYONE.  He is the late night good guy.  I tend to be less interested in his interviews, as they are super fan has been said that he very well may be worst interviewer the Tonight Show has ever seen, but the best physical comedian.  I think its true.  I think he's best NOT at the desk.  This Wheel of Musical Impressions with Adam Levine was brilliant (though ironically, at the desk - but a  game!).  Jimmy Fallon is the very smart, fun,  good guy of Late Night TV.

Seth Meyers was the head writer at SNL for a long time and it shows.  He is smart and snarky and sarcastic and enjoys the absurd and ironic.  And he is funny.  As time has gone on he's become less and less 'Weekend Update'-y and more enjoyable.  I skip the SNL-esque gags that have his staff coming out as different characters, or have SNL-born game shows for audience members like "Fake or Florida".   Fred Armisen was a curious choice for band leader. Initially, I thought his quirkiness was distracting and a bit annoying.  But, I have come to be entertained by Seth's amusement in interacting with him.  Fred is also gone a lot, because this band leader thing is not his primary gig, and it has helped keep the bits with him fresh to have him go and come back so frequently.  The thing about Seth Meyers is he can tell a story - he can really tell a funny story.    I'm always sucked in to all of his details.

My favorite parts of Late Night are the interviews.   In fact, in the first few months of watching both shows, I thought Seths interviews were so short, I almost wanted to time them, they seemed to go so quickly. But, I realized, they were just better, more captivating and I didn't want them to end, so they seemed shorter.   Seth Meyers knows how to engage his guests and the audience conversation.   To quote Jeff Jensen, from Entertainment Weekly, "A talk show host good at talking?  Fancy that."  Seth Meyers is best behind the desk, and while he will never be as fun as Jimmy Fallon, I do find him as funny and more engaging.  Seth Meyers is the Late Night Talk Show Talk King.  Here he is one of my favorite Late Night interviews - with the always amazing Star-Lord, Chris Pratt.

So, what I'm saying is that Fallon and Meyers together make the perfect late night TV.  Interviews with Seth, Games with Jimmy.  I like to watch them together the following morning.  Here's to The Late Tonight Show Night!

1 comment:

  1. Holy cow. I have not been watching these shows...but I religiously watch Jimmy Fallon bits/clips on YouTube. But how did I miss the Impression songs with Adam Levine? That was....inspired.

    I love his bits. He really owns that segment. And now I'm in a YouTube Spiral (TM) of watching Seth Meyers interviews. Wonderful.