Column: Fallon falls flat in his 1st week on late night television show

Last week was the premiere of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” and I was intrigued to see how Conan O’Brien’s successor would do, especially because I almost never found Jimmy Fallon funny on “Saturday Night Live” (he would, without fail, laugh in every skit he was in). And “SNL” was supposed to be the highlight of his career. Let’s look at how his first week went.

Monday: It was off to a rough start with Robert De Niro as the first guest. Jimmy decided that the best way to approach the interview was to ask De Niro questions that required one-word responses. The drawn-out interview was painful to watch, and Jimmy could not keep it moving. Then he awkwardly impersonated De Niro to his face, which De Niro did not really appreciate.

Luckily, Justin Timberlake was the next guest, and he rocked it out. Literally. He did impressions of John Mayer and Michael McDonald that were hilarious, and unlike Jimmy’s De Niro impression, JT’s impressions were spot-on. Fortunately for everyone watching, JT took charge of the whole interview. Unfortunately for Jimmy, JT shined with his larger-than-life personality, while Jimmy sat there looking completely in awe.

When I wasn’t laughing at JT, all I could think was: How on earth did Jimmy get The Roots to be his house band? They seem a little too good to be performing on “Late Night.” Then I read in Entertainment Weekly that The Roots recognized that the whole country was suffering from the economic recession, and they took the job because it was a steady source of income. I guess it wasn’t Jimmy’s comedic timing that lured them after all.

Tuesday: This day he had Tina Fey on, and again, he lost himself in the interview and let Tina dominate it, which really irritated me. I don’t like how for two days he let the guests take over his show, and all I could think was that Conan would never have let that happen. Conan understands how to let the guests to talk, but he’s also able to keep the conversation moving along. Jimmy needs to work on that.

He also couldn’t avoid sounding like a parrot, constantly repeating things Tina had just said. Plus, Jimmy commented on how his interview with De Niro was really awkward, which made me feel sorry for him. Then I became irritated again because when I watch late-night talk shows, I don’t want the host to make me feel bad, I want him to amuse me.

Wednesday: Surprisingly, this day wasn’t too bad. Jimmy seemed much more confident with his monologue, and he successfully delivered his skits, which made me think that maybe the show wasn’t going to be a disaster. I also like how he includes his audience members in his skits (he made two men pretend to be Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston).

While his skits were getting better, I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s just because the writers were writing better. Still, his interview with Cameron Diaz flowed nicely, and they both were amusing during their dance-off.

Then again, Jimmy didn’t really need to talk as much as he did the past two nights, which I think helped him.

Thursday: Unfortunately, the skits that started off today went on for just a little too long again. In the interview with Donald Trump, Trump mentioned that he noticed “Late Night’s” ratings had been great the whole week. Yet, all that really means is that everyone is watching to see if Jimmy can actually pull this off.

On Thursday, Jimmy once again proved that his interviewing skills need a lot of work and instead of sitting meekly back, he constantly talked over both Donald Trump and his other guest, Serena Williams, like he was competing for attention.

So far, I have a lot of mixed feelings about the show. I think it has a lot of potential to be funny, but I’m afraid Jimmy will never outshine his predecessor. However, I was surprised to find myself rooting for Jimmy because he seems like a good guy. Still, I can’t wait until Conan is back in June.

Colleen is a senior in Media who isn’t sure if she’s going to keep watching Jimmy Fallon. She can be reached at [email protected]