The Last ‘Tonight’ for Jay Leno

By Stefan Guilliams, Staff Writer

On Thursday February 6, 2014, Jay Leno said goodbye to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” NBC, and America after 22 years on the air. Jay said during his opening monologue, “I hate saying goodbye, but NBC on the other hand loves it.” Jay previously left the “Tonight Show” in 2009, and was replaced by former “Late Night” host Conan O’Brien.

Conan’s stint on the “Tonight Show” was very short lived, starting on June 1, 2009 and leaving January 22, 2010. Then NBC struck gold with the return of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” With the triumphant return of Jay Leno and the success of the “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” creating, probably, the best one-two talk show punch on TV today. With that being said, NBC made the great decision to bring Jimmy Fallon up from “Late Night” to “Tonight” after the Olympics

Fallon, a Saturday Night Live alum, took over for O’Brien when he took over for Leno. Even though Conan was bumped off the network, Fallon stayed put. When he took over, he brought his youthful energy and refreshing musicality to the show.  He also brought the biggest band in talk show history, The Roots, to be his in-house band. Fallon is known for bringing the biggest celebrities, getting the audience involved, and mixing celebrities, musical guests, and audience members for games and once in a lifetime experiences.

Jimmy Fallon originally got his first taste of the spotlight on SNL, but where he really shined was as host of “Weekend Update” on SNL from 2000-2004 along side, co-first lady of comedy, Tina Fey.

Fallon will be followed by former “Update” anchor Seth Meyers. The SNL pedigree and being known for being himself in the eyes of America helped Fallon become a household name. This same success should transfer over to Meyers as he steps into Jimmy’s huge “Late Night” footsteps.

Seth Meyers has been an SNL cast member for thirteen years, head writer on the show for nine, and “Update” anchor for eleven years. In that time he has accumulated eleven Emmy nomination for his writing for television, including one win for the Musical Monologue for Justin Timberlake in 2011. Just like Jimmy, Seth will bring a style of comedy and perception of the definition of a talk show.

Meyers spoke on the move to “Late Night” on Ben Stiller’s “Nantucket Film Festival’s Second Annual Comedy Roundtable,” by saying, “I want to bring some of the scripted news style and scripted ‘guests’ into the show.” Meyers surrounded by comedy giants Mike Meyers and Ben Stiller, spoke about his love for writing and being the “straight man” for insane characters, and how it’ll prepare him for his new role as a host. His plan is to bring on actual celebrity guests, as well as, his own scripted actors, like Conan O’Brien has in the past. These characters will be as crazy and controversially hilarious as his guests on update. This equation of scripted comedy and talk show format looks to add up to a great follow up to Fallon’s legacy.

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