More than four decades ago, when Johnny Carson moved the show west, the Big Apple was looking rotten while Los Angeles had become the entertainment capital of the country. Today, as production jobs and revenue steadily drain away from L.A., New York is regaining the primacy in live television production that it once had at the dawn of the TV era.
In those early days, comic musician Steve Allen was the first person to claim the host’s chair on the fledgling "Tonight Show." Allen’s wit had a zany, physical edge that would disappear when the hosting job went to the more earnest and urbane
Unlike Paar, or the man who made the "Tonight Show" an entertainment institution, Johnny Carson, Fallon treats an interview like a quick chat, not a probing discussion. And when it comes to an opening monologue, he doesn’t sling the jokes straight like Carson or like the man whose job he just took,
It will be interesting to see how Fallon handles the backstage politics of his job. Carson was the absolute ruler of late night who could bestow his blessing on a new comic or ban from his show anyone who crossed him (as happened, famously, with Joan Rivers). Leno battled with
Leno's bad feelings, however, did not seem to extend to Fallon, who never appeared to be scheming to steal Jay's job.
Jimmy Fallon seems to be a genuinely nice, normal guy — at times, almost too nice and normal. His first night at the "Tonight Show" desk, the self-deprecation was a touch excessive, his "I-hope-you-like-me" solicitousness a far cry from the confident cool of Carson or the caustic nihilism of Letterman.
On Night 2 he looked more comfortable, sang with a barbershop quartet and, in the tradition of Carson, invited the night’s stand-up comic to take a seat next to him. Of course, the comedian happened to be
Leno and Burbank had a good long run. Now, there’s a new kid on the block and the new address is