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Fallon questionable as host

I already miss Conan O’Brien.
With his show closing up Feb. 20, it has been a hard two weeks without the funniest man on late night TV.
I am not concerned with the fact that he will be taking Jay Leno’s post and the move up to an earlier time slot. I know the same sort of irreverent humor will be a hallmark and the show will probably be vastly the same.
I am really worried about this Jimmy Fallon character and his first show did nothing to remove my fears.
I think everyone probably remembers Jimmy Fallon from his days on “Saturday Night Live” from 1998 to 2006.
He co-hosted Weekend Update with Tina Fey and was in a variety of other sketches. He was OK, but Jimmy Fallon had one major problem.
Regardless of whether the sketch lasted 30 seconds or five minutes, Fallon was sure to bust up laughing right in the middle of it, regardless of if he was on camera or not.
Now, I know some of the stuff on the show was pretty funny, and I am sure it takes a little something not to giggle in the middle of a performance, but without fail, Fallon would always ruin everything he touched with his uncontrollable laughing.
So as he stood up to take over “Late Night” on Monday, I was skeptical. I did not know if he could handle the lofty standards set by Conan or if he could finally be on another late night comedy show.
It appeared my fears were not misplaced.
Fallon was visibly nervous, shifting his weight from leg to leg and shaking slightly throughout his opening monologue.
I’m not going to begrudge him for being a little scared on his first night on the job, but he never really calmed down, and the show never really paid off.
All of his sketches were bizarre, particularly “I’d lick it for $10” where he asked an audience member to lick an item for $10. Perhaps this was some sort of bold NBC ploy for audience interaction, but it seemed pointless and really unnecessary.
The biggest problem was that the show never really got better. Whether he was interviewing Robert De Niro or chatting with Justin Timberlake, Fallon never really found his footing.
I really do not want to judge Fallon just by his first show and say it will not be able to pick up, but the signs are not good.
I really want to like “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
I want it to be good and find success, but there is really not much to work with, particularly if a certain host does not step up and really improve in a very short time period.
Looking back through Fallon’s work on “Saturday Night Live” you can certainly find some of his gems. Many of his impressions are really funny, and he works well when paired off with other actors and guests.
His best sketches, The Barry Gibb Show and Jarret’s Room, both benefited from guests and Fallon becoming a character.
If he could focus on what he is good at, “Late Night” would definitely improve.
Surely, it will take Jimmy Fallon some time before he can really come into his role on “Late Night,” and I will be sure to give him that time. That is, unless he keeps up with this “Slow Jammin’ the News” segment.
Jackson Adams is a freshman journalism major from Springfield. He is the assistant Voice editor.
Direct questions, comments and other responses to jadams@mail.bradley.edu