Opinion: Jimmy Fallon succeeds as new host of ‘The Tonight Show’

Megan L. Brown is a junior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Megan Brown

Before Jay Leno, there was Johnny Carson, and before Johnny Carson, there were Jack Paar and Steve Allen. Conan O’Brien was thrown in there for a couple months when Jay Leno retired the first time in 2009, but now we have “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.” Fallon went in with a bang during his first episode as the new host of “The Tonight Show” Monday night. With Fallon’s previous duties hosting “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and his time on “Saturday Night Live,” we knew he could only succeed at being the host of “The Tonight Show.” He brought genuine enthusiasm, effortless comedic bits and just a breath of fresh air to the NBC midnight timeslot.

Fallon brought “The Tonight Show” back to New York for the first time in 42 years. He told NBC’s Brian Williams earlier this week that the show belongs in NYC. “That’s where ‘The Tonight Show’ started — actually in the actual studio where we are going to be. That’s where Johnny Carson was, that’s where Jack Paar was. There’s Broadway, there’s Times Square — it’s something glamorous about it, you know? And I think that is ‘The Tonight Show.’ “

During his monologue, Fallon was grateful and genuine with his audience. He took this time to give his statement for the show. “I just want to do the best I can and take care of the show for a while,” he said. “My goal is to make you laugh and put a smile on your face, so you’ll go to sleep with a smile on your face and live a longer life.” After his genuine monologue with predictable Olympic jokes, we saw the hilariously fun Fallon.

Fallon’s show is now bigger than ever — he brought over his announcer from the “Late Show” and his house band, the Roots. His first show had guest Will Smith and musical guest U2, but Fallon had a little more up his sleeve. His “friends,” who bet him $100 that he would never host “The Tonight Show,” came to pay their dues. Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Lindsey Lohan, Seth Rogen, Lady GaGa and Stephen Colbert were just a few.

Will Smith and Fallon even performed an “Evolution of Dance” sketch, with Smith and Fallon wearing their best “Fresh Prince” attire.

Even though Fallon is moving up quickly, he hasn’t let the fear of failing as a host get to him.  Being in NYC will bring a refreshing move for “The Tonight Show” and give the audience, both live and on TV, the greatest laughs and enjoyment out there. Fallon, with his optimism and captivating temperament, has the chance to make that late-night audience unite like the Carson days. I see the ratings increasing in the future because of Fallon’s energy and love for this business. He was made for the job.