The Life and Times of Jimmy Fallon
Just a Thought
I know there are alot of celebrity hot messes out there but fortunately this hub isn't about them. This hub is about who I consider to be the best and most original late night host since the days of Arsenio. That's right, I'm talking about the one and only Jimmy Fallon. While he may not be as seasoned as Leno or have the trademark quirkiness of Letterman, he is a late night icon all his own. So in celebration, this hub's all about Jimmy.
Jimmy Fallon has been around since 1998 when he first emerged as a fresh faced player on Saturday Night Live. During his six years on the air, he helped create some of the most memorable characters and skits in the past fifteen years of SNL. And after he decided to leave for an ill-fated movie career, he eventually found his way onto late night television by succeeding Conan O'Brien as the Late Night host following the Tonight Show. It wasn't easy but he eventually won us over with his creative skits and impressions. He just won a People's Choice Award, meaning he's definitely here to stay.
The Boston Teens
Okay, it does get old when people use silly accents to mimic people of different regions but it never makes it less funny. I personally love Boston Teens featuring Jimmy and Rachel Dratch. As two lovesick teens trying to live life, it is definitely entertaining.
Even though Jimmy isn't from Boston, he's seemed to master the Beantown lingo quite quickly. From the affinity for Bostonian cuisine to their endless romance with the Boston Red Sox, the only thing missing was a Harvard alumnus to complete it.
My favorite thing about these skits is just how dedicated both Jimmy (Sully) and Rachel (Denise) are to making you believe they really are 16 and madly in lust with each other.
And who can forget when Matt Damon and Ben Affleck actually appeared in character. Affleck, actually made three cameos and married Smitty (Seth Myers). Let's not discredit Frankie (Horatio Sanz) and his awesomeness.
My favorite has to be with Justin Timberlake as Denise's mischievous, pyro-loving brother. It helped establish a future comedic bond between Justin and Jimmy that have made them both viral video icons.
Weekend Update has long been the catalyst of SNL. And while some have succeeded in bringing the humor in news, others have tanked. Jimmy's approach combining whimsy and insight, is by far standout. And it only was aided by the genius of his co-anchor Tina Fey.
I just love the way Jimmy broke character when he was trying to impersonate someone else. Or how he would go on in a pre-Kanye type rant about an issue. He definitely set the tone for the current crop of faux newscasters and late night commentators.
Another highlight of his Weekend Update stints was when he and Tina would converse about the different topics and try to out funny each other. They recently reunited for the Christmas 2011 episode alongside current update host Seth Myers and former co-anchor Amy Poehler. Let's just say it was still awesome!
Let's not forget Jimmy's penchant for turning events in to songs. That would later be revealed as his strong suit but he gave us a nice introduction in this format.
The Barry Gibb Talk Show
As we all know, there are certain icons of each era that never really fade from our memories entirely. While they may not be in the spotlight as much as in their prime, they still are fondly admired. One such icon would be Barry Gibb, the oldest brother and co-lead singer of the Bee Gees. Alongside twin brothers Robin and Maurice, they went on to create some of the most timeless pop music of all time.
Young Jimmy Fallon found this out in a college as he regularly watched Saturday Night Fever in his dorm room on a weekly basis. It would serve as his introduction to one of his most beloved characters that continued through his post SNL career.
Jimmy is Barry, but not as we remember him. Instead of the soft spoken and gentle Aussie we assumed he was, it's quite quickly revealed he's a down-under gangster. He doesn't take any junk as the host of his own talk show. Whether the guest is Ariana Huffington or Jimmy Carter, he is quite clear about how the show operates. He's not alone, though. He's joined by younger brother Robin, wonderfully played by an almost unrecognizable Justin Timberlake.
Together they sing the guests names, listen for all of twenty seconds, and then Barry lays into them for whatever he believes they did wrong. That usually means he elaborates about life on the tough streets of Sydney, Australia growing up and halfway harmonizing with a befuddled Robin.
If you ask me, there's no better way to laugh than seeing these clips.
Slow Jammin' With BW
We all know the news isn't the most uplifting thing in the world, but in some contexts the headlines can be quite entertaining. After initially struggling to find his late night niche, Jimmy picked up on a way to rock the news alongside of another NBC stalwart, Brian Williams.
I don't care what you think about Brian Williams in his regular context, if you happen to catch him on Today or Late Night- he's a riot. His deep, steady baritone accompanied by the awesomeness of the Roots reading the headlines is just plain genius.
Another added benefit is the humor they add in the delivery that you just won't get the Nightly News. Jimmy also gets his Barry White on with his one-liners. If you have not seen this yet, well I am sure you will enjoy it.
History of Rap
Who doesn't love a great history lesson? Okay, maybe not all of us. But when it includes a unique cultural history of a specific genre of music, then you just have to stop and watch.
I'll be the first to admit, that I couldn't think of two people more oddly subscribed to giving a history of rap than Jimmy and his old buddy Justin Timberlake. I'm not doubting their street cred, but when I think hip hop teachers I usually think of say, Jay-Z.
However, they proved me and a whole lot of people wrong with their History of Rap series beginning in October 2010. And it wasn't just any old recitation of lines, it was a full-on time capsule in the span of five minutes.
After the initial awe, they suddenly went viral. Thankfully, they continued the series in July 2011 and October 2011 with parts two and three. And If I may say so, it's still hard for me to pick an absolute favorite. They put most karaoke contests to shame.
Thankfully with the release of Justin's latest album and highly regarded weeklong residence aka Timberweek- they closed out the week with History of Rap 4 and it's just as epic as ever.
Okay, I didn't watch when this initially aired but once I heard I was intrigued. I mean Jimmy's outdone himself several times with his Bieber bits, his dead-on Neil Young impersonation, and the old standby Thank You Notes. But Tim Tebow and David Bowie together?
Well, not only did it work. It was completely awesome. Tim Tebow is known for his faith and Tebowing (kneeling to pray) during games. His actions have swept the nation into a frenzy that sports hasn't seen in a while. And then there's David Bowie, the original Space Oddity. He changed the face of pop with his character Ziggy Stardust and later the Thin White Duke.
Somehow, it was only through the genius of Jimmy Fallon that they meet in the ultimate pop culture mashup of craziness and comedy.
The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon
NBC took notice of Jimmy's charm and talent and decidedly made Jimmy Jay Leno's successor in hosting the Tonight Show in the Spring of 2014.
Now obviously Jimmy is not the first person to be announced as Leno's replacement as we all can recall the infamous Conan debacle of 2009. But hopefully this will all work out.
Unlike his predecessor, Jimmy will remain in New York and have the Roots as his backing band.
So we will have many years of fun with the one and only Jimmy Fallon.