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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We Lied

Okay, we lied. We said we were going to blog live during Jimmy Fallon's show debut on Monday night, but we just couldn't do it. We spent most of the first thirty minutes of the show cringing in the corner, just wishing it would go away, and when it was clear they weren't going to pull the plug on the show in mid-broadcast, we finally gave up and went to bed.

To say it was a disastrous, rudderless mess would be an understatement. The unfunny opening monologue was almost overwhelmed by Fallon's nervous flopsweat, followed by a couple of pre-taped video pieces which were so poorly conceived and written that it left one thinking, "You guys had months to prepare something and this was the best you could come up with?" Fallon's house band is The Roots, (pictured above), and it was obvious within the first few minutes of the show that they were clearly the best part of the show. Why weren't The Roots given the show and Fallon stood in a corner as the back-up? Fallon chose for his first guest, Robert DeNiro, who is famous for not speaking on talk shows, and with Fallon he lived up to his reputation, only adding to Fallon's nervous, mindless prattle. Maybe the producers of this show are also the same type of people, who, when looking for a clown for their children's birthday party think it's a good idea to hire the local neighborhood registered sex offender. After DeNiro's segment, that was about as much of the show as we could take.

To pile on Jimmy Fallon's obvious lack of talent as a television personality would just be cruel at this point. Every single t.v. critic in the country pretty much savaged him the morning after the show. No, we lay the larger blame on the show's executive producer, Lorne Michaels, (pictured at right). Michaels made a name for himself by creating the original Saturday Night Live, which was a brilliant piece of television in its first five years. And then for the next 28 years, the show eeked out a few laughs here and there, but for the most part was a hollow, unfunny shell of its former glorious self. Michaels went on to produce one bomb of a movie after another, starring the same talentless stars from whatever current incarnation SNL happened to be in at the time. So maybe its time to stop thinking of Michaels as a wunderkind producer and starmaker and face the truth: he struck gold his first time out with Belushi, Ackroyd, Murry, Radner, Curtain, etc., but their success was due to their enormous comedic talents, and not because of anything Michaels did. And thus, maybe Michaels doesn't really know squat when it comes to spotting talent. Clearly if Lorne Michaels thinks installing Jimmy Fallon as a talk show host was a good idea, it's time for someone to ask him to permanently retire, and stop terrorizing our television sets.

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