Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” debut

Jimmy Fallon (the new host of the “Tonight” show) introduced himself to viewers on Monday like a freshly licensed doctor taking over a retiring gerontologist’s practice.
Mister Fallon didn’t smirk or make sarcastic asides. He gently and earnestly explained that he is 39, lives in New York City, and has a wife and a new baby. He pointed out his parents in the studio audience and also how the monologue works. He choked up a little when talking about the “Tonight” show legacy. “I just want to do the best I can” – he said. “And take care of the show for a while.”

Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" debut

Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show”.

To thunderous applause and with a Cheshire cat grin, Jimmy Fallon walked on to the stage at the NBC Studio in New York Monday night – the new host in the old home of the “Tonight Show.”
“I am Jimmy Fallon and I will be your host – for now” – he said, a pointed reference to the exit-enter-exit history of the last host, Jay Leno.
His first joke out of the way, he spent the next few minutes introducing himself to the audience – his childhood, his family, his career. He was pretty subdued through it all.
But then when the formalities were out of the way, he re-entered the show through the gigantic blue curtains – the ever-hip Roots playing him in — and started his show proper: the usual monologue and his usual over-eager but gracious self.
The laughs came easy.
And even before the new show’s first guests appeared – Will Smith and U2 – a parade of celebrities walked up and dumped money on Fallon’s desk.

First Lady Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Kristen Wiig, Bradley Cooper and Justin Timberlake are among his scheduled visitors.
Mrs. Obama, of course, starred in the “Late Night” bit on the evolution of mom dancing, as funny for who was performing it as for the dances themselves. Presidential historians confirm it is the first time a current First Lady performed a nationally televised dance parody.
And Timberlake has been Fallon’s Number 1 running buddy. They have become almost as inseparable as Justin Bieber and scandal.
It was surely only Timberlake’s concert Monday at the United Center in Chicago that kept him from being an inaugural guest. Instead, he’ll close the first week, Friday night, between tour dates in New York City and Buffalo.
Fallon taking over “Tonight” also marks NBC’s complete submission to producer Lorne Michaels, who has parlayed control of “Saturday Night Live” and close relationships with its stars into a guiding hand over “SNL,” “Tonight” and, beginning next Monday, Fallon’s successor show, “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

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