Our secret shame: We once had an epic, inexplicable crush on Jimmy Fallon and even crashed his birthday party a few years back in an effort to ask him out, which ended … badly, let’s just say. Then he got married and moved to L.A. so we no longer crash his parties (or get within 100 yards of him, per the judge’s instructions).
But now he’s coming back to New York, as NBC will formally announce today, to take over for Conan O’Brien as the host of Late Night. Fallon is expected to appear at today’s press conference flanked by Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels, who also introduced the then-unknown O’Brien in May 1993. O’Brien, of course, will be installed over at The Tonight Show, where NBC has gotten out its giant vaudevillian hook and is yanking Jay Leno off the stage next year — and not a moment too soon, might we add.
Still, everyone is concerned. Producers are concerned that the late-night-talk-show market is oversaturated. The New York Times is concerned because Fallon is most famous for his impressions and talk-show hosts have to play themselves every night. Everyone else is concerned because they believe Fallon to be the First Coming of Dane Cook who doesn’t have the humor chops. Will he have to start bringing in Tina Fey for comic relief the way Jimmy Kimmel now relies on Sarah Silverman? Will the show only be funny when Fallon can't keep a straight face, like on SNL? Will our crush on Fallon come roaring back, or will we look back on it the way we can't believe we used to watch Desperate Housewives? Basically, it’s impossible to know if Fallon will bomb until his ass is in the seat in June 2009, but the questions remain.
Oh, and if someone could please explain Carson Daly’s continuing presence on the air, that would be great. —Noelle Hancock