Jimmy Fallon. The Tonight Show. New York. These three things sound like a great combination, but we won’t know for sure until Fallon actually takes over from Jay Leno this Monday. At T minus one day to go to the big premiere, the host has been doing the obligatory press rounds, including a guest article on the New York Daily News, in the style of his thank you cards, which became a staple of The Late Show (Fallon's previous home).
Fallon is a New Yorker, through and through and that will mean some changes for the show.
In the heartfelt open letter, Fallon pays tribute to the masters. He thanks the previous hosts of The Tonight Show - Johnny Carson, Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno – not forgetting stars of late night television from other shows – like David Letterman, Ernie Kovacs and SNL’s Lorne Michaels. And he does have a lot to be thankful for – after all, Fallon’s career found its roots in his early days at SNL.
After the obligatory look back, Fallon moves on to the bright, exciting and probably quite hilarious future: “Now, people keep asking me how “The Tonight Show” is going to be different and the answer is, not much. It’s coming to New York. That’s the biggest change and you’re going to feel that. It will be noticeable. This is where I’m from, this is where I live and I relate to New Yorkers.”
He doesn’t make it clear what that means, exactly, but if Fallon feeling at home will make for a better show, we’ll take it.
“I think if I went anywhere else, I’d be a fish out of water, because when I think of nighttime, I think of New York City. I think of the lights, the people moving around on the streets, the lights, Broadway, Times Square — it’s just perfect for a late night talk show.”