You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.

The Late Shift

Though I am a huge fan of “Saturday Night Live,” I have never understood just why Lorne Michaels seems to think that Jimmy Fallon is the Next. Big. Thing. I mean, he seems kind of sheepishly funny and all, but Fallon’s work on SNL mainly consisted of him cracking himself up. I don’t mean he did skits that he personally thought were funny; I mean he spent his time on air giggling. There is a certain amount of charm in this: Watching Jane Curtain try not to lose it after the “Jane, you ignorant slut” moment was priceless. The best spontaneous bust-up on SNL ever though was watching Gilda Radner effortlessly save a skit while guest host Candace Bergen dissolved into tears of laughter. That is to say, the regular was ever the pro while the guest host--perhaps understandably--found herself lost in the silliness of the moment. But Fallon, unlike Radner, would never rise to the occasion on SNL; he would instead crack himself up--not crack up the guest host or the viewer. And don’t get me started on Fallon’s stand-up, which once included props—like Troll dolls (I’ll leave it at that). So I am curious as to how he will fare as successor to Conan O’Brien after Conan takes over for Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show.” It’s embarrassing to admit this now, but I was originally a naysayer when Conan premiered. Maybe Fallon will prove me wrong, too? Thoughts and/or best spontaneous SNL moments?

--Sacha Zimmerman

Related: "Why Jimmy Fallon Is Jay Leno 2.0"