Changing of late-night TV guard
“The Tonight Show” on NBC has been delegated to the up-and-coming (and in my estimation wonderfully talented) Jimmy Fallon, while his “Late Night” spot is now occupied by former “Saturday Night Live” “Weekend Update” anchor Seth Myers.
I’ve always been a fan of David Letterman, since we both have the same birthday and I like his style of dry humor. But this past year I have been enamored of Fallon and his multi-talented “triple threat” of comedy, musicianship and interview style, which seems very different from other talk show hosts.
Fallon seems to be able to get celebrities to do things you wouldn’t expect, such as getting Michelle Obama on the couch in an “EW!” sketch with Will Farrell and Fallon dressed up as girls. He has also gotten serious musicians to make fun of themselves, including Bruce Springsteen, Will Smith and Justin Timberlake doing skits like “histories” of hip hop and rap.
Fallon never takes himself seriously and doesn’t seem to have any “mean” side, as so many comics seem to these days. He seems genuinely honored with the mantle of greats like Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, who went before him on the show.
I’ve always liked Seth Myers on “SNL” doing “Weekend Update,” but really saw him shine as a stand-up comedian when he hosted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last year. He seems a shoe-in to follow-up after Fallon.
It was also nice to see the smooth transition from Leno to Fallon, especially with what seemed like ill feelings when Leno was displaced by Conan O’Brien, who I find irritating rather than funny. Apparently, so did most of the TV audience, since they stayed away in droves.
I’m looking forward to the year ahead with both Fallon and Myers, and glad to have my trusty DVR so I can watch them both recorded instead of having to stay up late and choose between shows like I did back in the dark ages before DVRs.
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website, www.kathrynskorner.com.