Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jimmy Fallon to replace Conan?

at least that's what this New York Times article aboutsuitors subtly courting Jay Leno for a "return" to late night after his time at NBC is over and the "Tonight Show" is hosted by Conan

Executives close to the planning said the expectation now was that Mr. O’Brien would leave “Late Night” next January, allowing him five months to reshape his show for the transition from New York to Los Angeles and the earlier time period of “Tonight.”

NBC has begun construction on a new studio for “Tonight,” as well as offices for Mr. O’Brien’s staff, on its Universal lot here. Several executives predicted that NBC would use the months Mr. O’Brien will be off the air to introduce his successor, widely expected to be Jimmy Fallon, the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member. Mr. Fallon is the favorite of Lorne Michaels, the “Saturday Night Live” producer who had success in choosing the unknown Mr. O’Brien in 1993 to succeed Mr. Letterman and who will again be involved in the selection of the new host of “Late Night.” Moving into the show next February would mean Mr. Fallon could benefit from the lead-ins from Mr. Leno’s last months on “Tonight.”

Really?! Jimmy Fallon?! I've never been a fan and have always considered him really annoying, though I guess I could look at this as a blessing as it may inspire me to go to sleep at a more reasonable hour. But couldn't they find someone less well known and established and younger, like they did with Conan who was like all of 30- it would keep that underground late night "subversive" feel better than with someone who starred in Taxi
[and okay I did not realize Jimmy Fallon is only 33- he seems like he's been around for ever, but still]

The rest of the article is pretty interesting as well, though an underlying theme seems to be that once Jay leaves he'll want revenge and to take on and beat NBC head to head after being "forced out" and maybe it's just his public persona, and the fact that I'm too young to remember the Late Night Wars of the early 90s but he seems like really laid back and "pointing out errors in small town newspaper"-y and dancing with his wife Mavis on New Year's. I've never taken him for vindictive or out for blood. Letterman, however, I can see crushing someone with glee in his eyes

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