The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (last post about Fallon for awhile, I promise) has been on the air for two weeks. I’ve watched many of the episodes, and I’m happy he’s kept many of the bits that made him popular on “Late Night.” I remember when Conan took over “The Tonight Show,” and promised all the bits he developed at Late Night would remain there. All of his material would be fresh.
As an artistic choice, I respected Conan. As a fan, I was annoyed. No Masturbating Bear? No Chuck Norris handle? No more of those weird interviews with the still picture and lips cut out? I loved those bits! And while I can appreciate wanting to treat this show like Louis CK treats his standup with no recycling and all brand new material, this is fucking comfort food as television, so there’s something to be said for giving the people what they want.
One of the other things I enjoyed most was on opening night when Jimmy said, “To my buddy who said I’d never be host of ‘The Tonight Show,’ hey, you owe me a hundred bucks, buddy.” And then a parade of famous people file out one after another and slap $100 on his desk.
It’s a fun bit, but an even more fun thought exercise. I realize these likely aren’t the 14 people Jimmy would have on the top of his list (at least, I hope Kim Kardashian doesn’t find her way onto that list), but let’s say you had just become host of your own personal Tonight Show, and got to re-create this bit with any 14 famous people of your choosing. Who would you choose? Did I make a list? In the words of my wife, you bet your sweet ass I made a list. And here’s who would be placing $100 on my desk. This would be the lowest rated show ever, but I would die grinning like an orgasmic skeleton.
Bill Allen (You’ve got to kick it off with THE MAN)
CM Punk (Best in the world)
Jason Cruz (You can’t make me see what you think I should know…)
Aubrey Plaza (But only if she no-sold it, April Ludgate style and said something mean and pithy to me)
Amber Nash (Those of you who suck might be thinking, “Who?” Does this help?)
That’s right, the voice of Pam motherfucking Poovey, only the funniest animated character ever.
Chris Hardwick (Who would be so excited to be there, which I’d need after Aubrey Plaza was mean to me… which I also wanted)
Willa Ford (I can’t name for you a Willa Ford song, but she was so funny and so hot in that Maxim interview I read like a decade ago, I’ve had a massive crush on her ever since)
Ryne Sandberg (Now coaching the goddamn Phillies. It’s a tragedy.)
Ann McElhinney (Fracking brilliant, indeed.)
Humpty (You look like MC Hammer on crack, Humpty!)
Gabrielle Union (I said, brrrr, it’s cold in here… There must be some Clovers in the atmosphere.)
Chuck Klosterman (Combining intelligence and not giving a fuck in ways I only fantasize about.)
Frances McDormand (I have yet to find something I dislike her in. She’d nail this role too, and IT’S NOT EVEN A ROLE!)
Patton Oswalt (My inspiration and favorite pop culture person, ever.)
Let’s see your list. Who’d welcome you to your own personal Tonight Show? Feel free to share in the comments. And if not, enjoy your Friday and your weekend.