Seth Meyers officially threw his hat in the late night ring this week as the new host of NBC's Late Night. See the highlights of his first week on the job and remember to check back here at Hollywood.com every weekend for your weekly late night talk show highlights.
"Fake or Florida"Seth Meyer's breakout bit of the week was an odd little game show about that kooky place in the USA that calls itself The Sunshine State.
Rudd Battles FallonPaul Rudd absolutely shamed Jimmy Fallon into submission with a this one-sided lip sync battle.
Late Night TakeoverTwo of the greatest thespians of our time, Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan, try their hand at hosting a late night talk show.
EscandaloThe folks over at Jimmy Kimmel Live! put together a hilarious Latino-flavored parody of ABC's Scandal.
Take That, ArizonaThis hilarious sketch from Conan O'Brien takes a jab at the Grand Canyon State for its anti-gay laws.
Acrobatic ArcheryThis "Stupid Human Trick" really missed the mark on Late Show with David Letterman – she really should've aimed for Letterman's crotch.
Show Me the Digital MoneyJon Stewart lampoons banks such as Credit Suisse for its role in financial marketplace fraud.
A Decade of LoveAdam Sandler and Drew Barrymore profess their on-screen love that has lasted 10 years on The Tonight Show.
Military Over-SpendingWhen Stephen Colbert found out that America is spending billions of dollars on useless military equipment, the fake political pundit doubled down on more spending!
Suit of the LoomJimmy Kimmel debuted his brand new suit, made completely from authentically loomed rubber band braids.
Waste Paper BasketballJimmy Fallon and Miami Heat's LeBron James rapped about their favorite office distraction.
"I'm going to shake things up and start with a monologue." That's how Seth Meyers kicked off his first episode of Late Night, effectively setting the tone of the new incarnation of the NBC staple. Meyers' Late Night stuck as closely to the traditional talk show model as possible, feeling entirely "familiar" as it moved from joke to joke through his new segments and interviews. At times, Late Night felt like an extended "Weekend Update" segment, although the familiarity of that format might have provided Meyers with a much-needed sense of comfort. Almost all of his current events-themed jokes landed, and overall, he appeared to be pretty relaxed for someone attempting to launch a brand new talk show. Despite, however, the episode being tightly paced and funny, some have taken issue with the fact that Meyers didn't really do anything different with his hour. Thus far, it appears that the main critique of Late Night with Seth Meyers has been the fact that it doesn't seem to break any new ground. But does it really need to?
As far as the late night talk show format is concerned, Meyers was practically tailor-made for the job. His tenure on "Weekend Update" has given him the ability to deliver practically any joke he's handed, which means his monologue will be reliably well-crafted and funny. It also means that when a joke doesn't land — like with one of his monologue bits about a congressman disguising himself as a UPS driver — he takes it in stride, moving quickly along to the next punchline. Meyers is also an excellent straight man, a talent he honed on SNL, which not only allows him to play off the goofier sensibilities of his bandleader, Fred Armisen, but will also likely come in handy during his interviews. Simply put, Meyers' first episode played to his strengths, which meant that the first episode felt like it might as well have been his 80th.
In the run up to Meyers' and Jimmy Fallon's premieres, there has been a lot of discussion about the late night talk show landscape, with so many new shows vying for attention. Each show has a different tone, a different premise, which allows it to stand out from the all of the other talk shows currently crowding the field. Fallon is up-beat and goofy, Conan O'Brien is cynical and weird, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are political satirists, Chris Hardwick is aiming straight for the social media-obsessed, millennial audience. Compared to all of those other hosts, Meyers has no schtick, no vivid niche that he can tap into in order to earn himself a target audience. The risk here is that he will end up lost in the shuffle, no matter how amusing his interviews are or how funny his original segments may be. Without breaking any new ground, Meyers might be unable to distinguish himself from the pack, and the viewers that caught his premiere episode might get bored and move on to a new show.
On the other hand, perhaps staying traditional is exactly what Meyers needs to do. Despite being the first time he's hosted his own program, Monday's Late Night was stronger, funnier, and overall more impressive than Fallon's first week at The Tonight Show has been. Where most shows struggle in the first few weeks to find their tone and their audience, Meyers hit the ground running, delivering a solid episode on his first try. Of course, this doesn't mean that the new Late Night won't have any issues in its first few weeks or even months, but where it took The Tonight Show or @midnight some time to figure out how to play to the host's strengths, Meyers found his sweet spot almost immediately, simply by sticking to what he knew.
Perhaps, with all of the new, innovative shows that now take up the hours between 11 PM and 1 AM, the thing that will allow Meyers to stand out the most is by adhering to the standard format. It's likely that as he becomes more comfortable at his new desk, he'll be more willing to experiment with new segments and sketches. His rapport with Armisen and goofy bits like "Costas Vision," in which the audience gets to see the Olympics as Bob Costas did through his eye infection, proves that he's willing to drop some of the formality in favor getting a little weird on the show. Since he's already promised that both Armisen and the show's writers will eventually turn up as different characters, it seems as if Meyers has some potentially ground-breaking things planned. He has a good amount of time in order to try new things and see what works best for the show, but right now it seems that what's working best is just sticking to what he — and we — are already familiar with.
Meyers has always said that he's much better at setting up another character than he is at taking on the role himself, and so it seems that is exactly what he plans to do with Late Night. In a way, it seems as if this might be Meyers in his purest form: the sarcastic straight man, willing to be a little goofy, but mostly trying to make everyone around him look better, and it seems to be working for Meyers, as his first episode is one of the stronger late night premieres to hit television screens. So maybe Meyers is a little too traditional, a little too expected. But as long as the jokes continue to be funny, we might as well just enjoy them.
NBC Universal Media
With Jay Leno's second (and hopefully final) departure from The Tonight Show, the torch has officially been passed. SNL vet Jimmy Fallon is now set to take over the program after his wildly successful tenure on Late Night. NBC has announced which guests will be joining Fallon on the couch for his first week as host, and the list spans the gamut of Hollywood's heaviest hitters. With such an impressive lineup scheduled for his first few shows, we decided to compare Fallon's first week with the first weeks of the other recent recipients of The Tonight Show. So how does The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon stack up?
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (2014)Monday: Guest: Will Smith/Musical Guest: U2Tuesday: Guests: Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig/Musical Guest: Lady GagaWednesday: Guest: Bradley Cooper/Musical Guest: Tim McGrawThursday: Guests: First Lady Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell/Musical Guest: Arcade FireFriday: Guest: Justin Timberlake
Star Power: 10/10Musical Guests: 9/10Overall:Jimmy Fallon's fun and frenetic late night style has celebrity guests smitten. This fact is clear from the sheer star power he was able to attract for his first couple shows. Huge stars like Will Smith, Jerry Seinfeld, and even the FLOTUS herself, Michelle Obama are showing up to inaugurate Fallon into the 11:30 timeslot. Even more impressive are the musical guests. From U2 to Arcade Fire, there's a good mix of old and new favorites. The only caveat is that there's a lack R&B or hip hop. A bit of Kanye or Beyonce would have gone a long way.
The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (2009)Monday: Guest: Will Ferrell/Musical Guest: Pearl JamTuesday: Guest: Tom Hanks/ Musical Guest: Green DayWednesday: Guest: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bradley Cooper/Musical Guest: Sheryl CrowThursday: Guest: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joel McHale/Musical Guest: John Mayer TrioFriday: Guest: Ryan Seacrest, Patton Oswalt/Musical Guest: Chickenfoot
Star Power: 8/10Musical Guests: 7/10Overall:Conan O'Brien started off his short-lived time as host of The Tonight Show on fire, with Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks making up his first two shows, but the week cools off considerably with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ryan Seacrest capping off the end of the week. Seacrest is fine and good, but he's not the caliber of guest that should be finishing off your "coming out" week. The musical guests suffer a similar fate as the regular ones: the week starts off strong with Pearl Jam and Greenday, but tapers off with Chickenfoot rounding out the Friday show.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (2010)Monday: Guest: Jamie Foxx, Lindsey Vonn/Musical Guest: Brad PaisleyTuesday: Guest: Sarah Palin, Shaun White/Musical Guest: Adam LambertWednesday: Guest: Chelsea Handler, Apolo Ohno/Musical Guest: Avril LavigneThursday: Guest: Matthew McConaughey, Brett Favre/Musical Guest: LifehouseFriday: Guest: Morgan Freeman, Jason Reitman/Musical Guest: Robin Thicke
Star Power: 7/10Musical Guests: 7/10Overall:It seems that people weren't so excited to welcome back Jay Leno so soon after leaving The Tonight Show less than a year earlier. Leno's return to The Tonight Show was less of an event, and more of a "been there, done that" sort of affair as many saw Leno as the bad guy in the demise of O'Brien's incarnation of The Tonight Show. Jamie Foxx is a great opener, but Sarah Palin lost a lot of her novelty by the time 2010 rolled around. Chelsea Handler is just another late night host, and Matthew McConaughey was still in the middle of his transition between shirtless heartthrob and A-list serious actor. The musical guests are similarly disappointing with Avril Lavigne, Lifehouse, and a pre-'Blurred Lines' Robin Thicke making up the underwhelming lineup.
Follow @Hollywood_comFollow @CurrentlyJordan
NBC Universal Media
When Jimmy Fallon joined the late-night talk show race, his relentless positivity and genuine interest in every single guest, from teen queens to multiple Oscar winners, stood in stark contrast to the cranky competitiveness that pervaded that landscape. On Feb. 24, fellow nice guy Seth Meyers trades his Weekend Update desk for one at Late Night and the scales tip further. TV just got a lot friendlier, post-Primetime.
Jay Leno signed off of The Tonight Show on Feb. 6... for the second time. The Leno/Conan O'Brien hand-off debacle raised a lot of hackles. Even the usually congenial O'Brien let his anger and disappointment be known in the documentary Conan O'Brien Can't Stop. Over on CBS, David Letterman seems to be increasingly uninterested in learning anything about his guests, sometimes drawing the line at their names. Now Fallon and Meyers join Craig Ferguson in the small club of hosts unimpeded (at least outwardly) by long-term grudges, blood feuds, etc.
Academy Award producers reacted to the backlash to Seth MacFarlane's hosting performance by replacing him with the kind and almost wholly uncontroversial Ellen DeGeneres. And now, the late-night pendulum is swinging back the other way too. As much fun as it's been to spend night after night after night with uber-rich comics oozing equal amounts of hubris and self-loathing, audiences have responded to Fallon's role as a good-natured fan who can show off while letting his guests show off too. Can we count on Seth Meyers to exude the same perpetual glee as Jimmy, with just a tad more snark? And, more importantly, who will be the Timberlake to his Fallon? We're hoping it's Amy Poehler. We will also accept Bill Hader, in character as Stefon.
Who do you think will reign late-night as the "King of Nice"? Seth or Jimmy? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
NBC Universal Media
For nearly 22 years, Jay Leno served as the host of late night's most venerable franchise, The Tonight Show. For the second and presumably last time, Leno bade a farewell to all those who stayed up late with him. Check out the highlights of his last week on the show and remember to keeping coming back here at Hollywood.com for your weekly late night highlights.
"A Heartfelt Goodnight"We'll start with how it all ended. At the end of his last show as the host of The Tonight Show, Jay Leno fought back tears during his goodbye. He kept it together up until that moment when the finality of it all finally got to him. Whatever your thoughts are about Jay, it's hard not to get a lump in your throat especially when he quotes Johnny Carson's own farewell on The Tonight Show, "I bid you all a heartfelt goodnight."
Auf Wiedersehen, TonightBut before things became sappy, Billy Crystal livened things up. Having the distinction of being Leno's first and last guest, Crystal wanted to give Leno a goodbye to remember. A la "The Sound of Music," Crystal ushered in a musical farewell featuring Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Chris Paul, Jim Parsons, Sheryl Crow, Carol Burnett, and Orpah Winfrey.
What's Next for Jay?Everybody has his own opinion on what Leno should do next. Check out this extended version with more celebrities that was not seen on TV!
The Gravity of the MomentOf course Leno wasn't the only one who became all teary-eyed all week. Sandra Bullock showed her emotional side during her Tonight Show eulogy to Leno.
Thanks for the MemoriesGoodbye Jay! And thanks for all of these great moments on The Tonight Show.
Soccer PunchedJimmy Fallon also wrapped his run as host of Late Night this week, beginning with a thorough ass-kicking in "bubble soccer" by Chris Pratt and Colin Farrell.
Rockin' Out from Late NightFallon's goodbye was more lighthearted affair, courtesy of a joint musical performance with The Muppets.
Zombie EqualityIn other late night talk show highlights, Conan O'Brien celebrated the return of The Walking Dead from its winter hiatus with a zombie-themed cold opening and cable's first zombie lesbian kiss!
F**k You, CelebritiesThe latest "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets," the cast of The Monuments Men took the full brunt of the Internets.
Damon vs. Kimml XCVIIIThe latest matchup of Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel's perpetual feud was literally extinguished by the end of Thursday night's show. The final score was Kimmel 8,521 - Damon 0.
Beloved U.S. TV personality Jay Leno signed off as the host of The Tonight Show after 22 years on Thursday (06Feb14) with a star-studded bang. The programme capped off weeks of heartfelt celebrity tributes to the TV host from the likes of Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez.
For his final show, the 63 year old sat down with his first-ever guest Billy Crystal, who enlisted Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Sheryl Crow, Jim Parsons, Carol Burnett and Oprah Winfrey to join him for a surprise musical send-off.
Announced musical guest Garth Brooks told fans after the taping of the final Leno show that he was thrilled to be a part of U.S. TV history, stating, "I was really proud of him (Leno)."
Leno celebrated with his wife and longtime crew members and producers at an after-show party on the Burbank, California lot, where Chris Isaak provided the musical entertainment.
After the show, Britney Spears shared her thoughts about Leno's departure on Twitter.com, writing, "Thanks for making us smile for so many years."
The end of an era marked the second time Leno had quit the show since taking over hosting duties from iconic U.S. TV host Johnny Carson in 1992 - in 2009, he announced he was ending his run, and Conan O'Brien stepped in as his replacement. Poor ratings and politics led to Leno's return in 2010.
Former Saturday Night Live regular Jimmy Fallon will take over as the host of The Tonight Show from Monday (17Feb14), when the programme returns to New York for the first time since Carson brought it to California in 1972.
NBC Universal Media
It sure is lonely at the top.
That's a fact that Jay Leno has come to learn as he prepares to take his final bow as host of The Tonight Show. While applause will echo through the Burbank studio as his show wraps for the last time, that same sentiment certainly won't be echoed throughout Internet message boards and dank comedy clubs across the country. There, people are celebrating his departure from NBC like he's late night's version of Joseph Stalin.
Leno, who has hosted the Tonight Show for the past 19 years, isn't being given his due; the public opinion about his exit is sounding less like "Good job" and more like "Good riddance." The entirety of the Internet has entered a chorus of "Ding-dong, the Witch is dead!" as Leno's final show nears and the land of late night enters its happily ever after with Jimmy Fallon at the head. But should Leno's tenure really have such a tarnished legacy?
Obviously those 19 years didn't always go smoothly. Even the inception of his hosting duties were mirred in controversy: Leno was chosen over David Letterman when Johnny Carson left the post in 1992. Even with the rough beginnings, Leno was able to steer the Tonight Show admirably in an increasingly populated sea of late night programs. As the sun sets on Leno's time as host, he still remains the one ratings bright spot that NBC has, as the rest of the network struggles to come up with a real viewership bump in any category besides late night.
Of course, there was also the Conan O'Brien incident of 2009. While Leno doesn't come away spotless in the whole situation, he doesn't deserved to be dragged through the mud because of NBC's terrible decision making.
Broad has become a dirty word in the comedy world, and people have derided Leno for painting with the widest brush possible. yes, Leno's comedy is simple and quick, and easy to grasp and understand, but that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. There's a reason that Leno dominated late night for the overwhelming majority of the time he was there. He captured an audience that loved the jokes he told. An even as you might snark through another rendition of "Headlines," or change the channel during another round of "Jaywalking," there is a whole section of America that feels like it's being directly spoken to. Jay Leno filled a need, and The Tonight Show, the populist institution that it is, needed to be broad enough to touch as many people as possible. Middle America needed their champion too.
So even though Leno wasn't everyone's cup of tea, and he certainly wasn't mine, he still deserves a round of applause. He continued the legacy of The Tonight Show admirably, even though his reign as host wasn't always the smoothest, He still deserves a round of applause.
NBC Universal Media
Is a Full House reunion in the works? It certainly came together for an episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Check out the throwback reunion that had everyone talking, plus lots of puppies! Remember to come back to Hollywood.com every week to catch up on all the late night talk show highlights.
Three Men and a Jimmy FallonWe've all been there – waking up to a cold sweat, panicking about hosting The Tonight Show. Thank the heavens there's always Daddy, Uncle Jesse, and Uncle Joey to help put us back to sleep! While it's great to see Bob Saget, John Stamos, and Dave Coulier back together again, we don't miss the mullets and the ugly sweaters.
Dude DuetPolitical comedian Bill Maher and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane do their best Rat Pack impression by singing a farewell to Jay Leno.
"Katy Perry Finger-banged my Cleavage"Now that's an image that guys will certainly want etched in their minds! In her interview with Conan O'Brien, Anna Kendrick told the world just how intimate she and Katy Perry became on Grammy night.
Don't SpeakThe week's most painful interview to watch goes to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who just couldn't keep up with Jon Stewart's questions about the healthcare.gov website.
Missed ConnectionsEvery guy's feeling a missed connection with Alison Brie's sultry reading of people's desperate pleas of romance from Craigslist.
The Boy Who Never AgedIt looks like Peter Pan spent too much time away from Neverland! Bill Murray made another impressive entrance on Late Show with David Letterman when he literally swooped in for his interview.
Prepping for the Puppy BowlFamed football coach Joe Gibbs trains Stephen Colbert for the biggest and cuddliest game of his life.
Puppy ConanDue to popular demand, Conan O'Brien brought back the canine version of his show, "Puppy Conan."
Puppy PredictorsThis is the last clip featuring puppies, we swear! Jimmy Fallon unleashed the hounds to see who's their pick to win Sunday night's big game. And the winner will be ...
Peer AdviceWhere's the proof that Justin Bieber is sinking faster than mercury during a polar vortex? Miley Cyrus is giving him advince on how to keep things on the DL on The Tonight Show.
CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
Jay Leno was on the January 26 airing of 60 Minutes and during his interview, he expressed bitterness about the fact that he was leaving The Tonight Show for the second time and this time, it was for real. Truly. I was so moved by this that I had to pause my live TV and laugh so hard that I nearly threw up.
My disdain for the Chinned One goes way back into the 1990s, back when David Letterman was supposed to be the heir to Johnny Carson and take The Tonight Show mantle. That didn't happen, with Leno weaseling his way into the picture, even hiding in a closet to listen to an NBC board meeting. Ever since that happened, I have been a Letterman fan and have watched maybe two hours of Leno in over 20 years. Part of it has been that I never liked Leno's comedic style either (One exception - I loved when he asked Hugh Grant what he was thinking when he was caught with a prostitute in his car).
Of course, Leno was playing his "Aw Shucks" persona during the interview - he said that no one should feel sorry for him, since he makes millions of dollars. What, did you expect him to hit the interviewer with a chair, rip off his shirt and scream that he was going to be going after Jimmy Fallon? Whoops. I think I may have just given Vince McMahon an idea over at the WWE.
See, despite his protestations, he has been involved in not one but two screw jobs involving the hosting of the show, with Letterman and Conan O'Brien. With Fallon slated to take over the reins in February, the producers of the show might be wise to store some of Leno's old things. You know, just in case. At least this time he didn't finagle a crappy variety show that killed some of NBC's other dramas and comedies since it hogged a whole hour each day and potentially sabotaged the lead-in numbers for Conan. The whole thing just reeked.
Of course, I'm not the only one that views Leno in a poor light. Jimmy Kimmel has been very outspoken in how he didn't like how the whole O'Brien/Leno situation occurred. I wonder if he'll dress up like him again before his final Tonight Show, you know, one more final shot across the bow at Leno.
Maybe now he'll be visited by the ghost of Carson during his retirement and see the error of his ways. I doubt it. Don't entirely unpack your bags, Fallon.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon/YouTube
Interested in learning more about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or do you want to see the Microsoft chairman wear a chicken suit? Take a look at the goofy side of Bill Gates below, plus the rest of the best moments of late night television this week.Remember you can catch all the late night highlights every week right here on Hollywood.com.
PC VirusDespite Windows' notoriety for viruses, even Bill Gates couldn't resist putting together a viral video on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
The Bare EssentialsThe folks from Impractical Jokers shared a clip on Conan where James Murray poses as a nudel model. Try not to laugh too hard at the "spinning Egyptian."
Bieber, Bieber, EverywhereJustin Bieber's latest run-ins with the law have landed him in the hot seat of late night television. David Letterman's Top 10 List counted down the "Justin Bieber Headlines We're Likely to Read"
Doodle+Jon Stewart goes into why it would be awful to watch yourself having sex using Google Glass, as if it needed any explanation.
Farewell KissWhat could be a better way to leave The Tonight Show than to receive a shower of kisses from Heidi Klum? Until his last show, it could only really go downhill for Jay Leno.
Papa ColbertDuring his celebration of literary giant Ernest Hemingway, Stephen Colbert unveiled a portrait that mashed his features with Hemingway's.
The Evolution of BieberJimmy Kimmel tries to find the missing link between the sweet, bowl-cut Justin Bieber of yore and the DUI, pants-sagging public menace of today
Lovin' SpoonfulTwenty seconds can be an awfully long time, especially when a guy in boxers is spooning you.
A Dog in the FightWant to know who'll the Super Bowl next week? Jay Leno's canine prognosticator says it will be Seattle!
Backstroke of GeniusIn this week's edition of "Fan Corrections," Conan O'Brien unveiled the "true ending" of Scarface in which Tony Montana survives the raid on his mansion.