Jimmy Fallon made his debut Monday as the new host of “The Tonight Show” in all-star broadcast. With Fallon in charge, the show moves back to New York for the first time since then-host Johnny Carson took it to Los Angeles in 1972.
When he hit the stage, Fallon introduced himself saying: “I am Jimmy Fallon and I will be your host ‚Äď for now.” ¬†The funnyman then spoke for a few minute about his childhood, his family, his career. He was pretty subdued through it all.
“I just want to do the best I can and take care of this show for a while and if you guys let me stick around long enough, maybe I’ll get the hang of it,” he said. “My goal is to make you laugh so you go to sleep with a smile on your face and live a longer life.”
Finally, after all the formalities were out of the way, he re-entered the show through the gigantic blue curtains and started his show with the usual monologue making everyone understand that he‚Äôs a grateful heir to ‚ÄúThe Tonight Show‚ÄĚ throne.
He expressed gratitude for his new gig, introduced his parents in the studio audience, and dispensed love in every direction ‚ÄĒ and made it sound authentic. He had a few Olympics jokes, one offering sympathy to NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, who was sidelined from several days of Olympics coverage with a blinding bout of pinkeye.
Even with celebrity cameos of Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Robert De Niro, and many other, as well as high-profile guests like Will Smith and the band U2, Mr. Fallon‚Äôs debut was more sweet than sassy, says The NY Times.
“To my buddy who said that I’d never be the host of ‘The Tonight Show,’ and you know who you are,” Fallon said, “you owe me a hundred bucks, buddy.”
A host of big names including the likes of Mariah Carey, Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga were among an almost never ending line of celebrities who apparently bet the funnyman he would never sit behind the famous desk of the hit NBC institution. There was even a nod to the past, with former guest host Joan Rivers, who was a protege of Johnny Carson, handing over some cash.
During the rest of the show, Fallon pulled out old bits with fresh takes — such as an evolution of hip-hop dancing SaveFrom.net with Will Smith and ‚ÄúLate Night Superlatives.‚ÄĚ
Hours before the show, Fallon shared a special message on Instagram with fans, writing, “This is it. We are starting a new chapter of the Tonight Show.
“I can’t even begin to describe what we are all feeling right now here at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NYC. But – I know that we’ll never have this exact feeling ever again,” he continued.
“By this time tomorrow we’ll no longer wonder what it would be like to do the Tonight Show. We can’t put that feeling – that moment back in the bottle. All we can do is try to make the best show that we can and make people happy. And we will. Here’s to the first of many. Fun.”