The ever-adorable Jimmy Fallon becomes the sixth host of “The Tonight Show” Feb. 17. This is a pretty big deal, as all the hosts of the show in its 60-year history have become American cultural icons. After the highly-publicized squabble between short-lived “Tonight Show” host Conan O’Brien and NBC favorite Jay Leno in 2010, many expected Leno to stay on as host for many more years. Last spring, however, Leno announced that Fallon, host of “Late Night,” which airs after “The Tonight Show,” would become host in early 2014.
To put it simply, Jimmy Fallon will make “The Tonight Show” exciting again. Leno’s format has gotten old over the last 22 years, and Leno himself has dropped out of the public favor, especially after “retiring” only to come back a few months after his primetime show failed. Jimmy Fallon has proven on “Late Night” that he isn’t afraid to embarrass himself and bring even the biggest celebrities down with him (see reason #4).
His real connections with his guests, the in-studio audience and even his house band The Roots make the show feel like one big party, full of old friends, making the show endlessly entertaining, even in repeats. Don’t believe me? Check out these moments from “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” online. They’re short, funny and shareable.
These are just a few of Jimmy’s best moments from the last five years. I can’t wait to see how he ups his game for the bigger, bolder “Tonight Show.”
Reason 1: “I’m up all night to eat turkey.”
One of the best things about Jimmy is that he’s very musically talented, and incorporates that into a lot of the original skits he does. This recent clip features Carrie Underwood and Rashida Jones joining him in this hilarious holiday reworking of current pop hits.
Reason 2: Hashtag
Another one of Jimmy’s best qualities: he’s best friends with Justin Timberlake. Timberlake makes regular appearances on the show. There have even been two “Timberweeks” on Late Night in which Timberlake appeared on the show in some capacity every day for a week. This clip, viewed more than 20 million times, is from one of Justin’s latest visits.
Reason 3: Joking Bad
“Late Night” has done tons of spoofs of popular shows, and it was difficult to pick just one to highlight. Downton Sixbey, Jersey Floor and The Real Housewives of Late Night are laugh out loud funny, but the “Breaking Bad” spoof, Joking Bad, is hilarious and includes cameos by our favorite meth-cooking duo. Watch long enough to see what part of his body Gus loses…
Reason 4: Harrison Ford piercing Jimmy’s ear
According to Jimmy, a lot of blood was edited out of this clip. Once again, Jimmy isn’t afraid to make a fool of himself or even inflict bodily harm upon himself for our entertainment. And don’t worry, the image of Jimmy being cuddled by Harrison Ford in their matching feather earrings will never leave your brain.
Reason 5: Evolution of Mom Dancing
A few of these “evolution” skits have been done on “Late Night,” including a couple with Justin Timberlake, but the First Lady’s dance moves with Jimmy had the whole country talking. Still hilarious almost a year later.
Reason 6: Slow Jamming the News
Who else could get the President of the United States to do this? No one. And that is why Jimmy Fallon will be the greatest host of “The Tonight Show” ever.
Reason 7: Thank-you notes
And we can’t leave out Jimmy’s favorite Friday night activity…
“The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon premieres Monday, Feb. 17 at 10:35 p.m. CST on NBC.