Following Craig Ferguson's departure, James Corden became host of The Late Late Show, with its celebrity interviews, music and sketches, as well as new features. And of course, it's all hosted by Tony Award winner James Corden.
Stephen Colbert took over as host, executive producer and writer of THE LATE SHOW on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. The comedy-variety-talk show is broadcast five nights a week from the Ed Sullivan theater in New York.
After Johnny Carson's retirement from the show, Jay Leno stepped in as his permanent replacement. The format of the show has remained largely unchanged, consisting primarily of an opening ... See full summary »
If you want to know what Johnny Carson was like when he took over 'The Tonight Show' in 1962, Jimmy Fallon is revisiting the moment. When Carson took over the show in October of that year, he not only succeeded the iconic Jack Paar as host, a huge order, he was following an array of "guest hosts" who filled the gap that summer until he could take over. Because of his contract with ABC as host of the game show, "Who Do You Trust?", Carson had to wait to move into the job. Thus, among others, came the likes of Merv Griffin, who was simply and surprisingly sensational. People were openly wondering whether NBC had hired the wrong guy for "Tonight." As Carson was preparing to make his first appearance on "Tonight," Ed McMahon, who had been his sidekick on "Who Do You Trust?" and was following him to "Tonight" asked, "Johnny is there anything special you want me to do?" Replied Carson: "Ed, I don't know what the hell I'm gonna do." Carson was nervous, and it showed. But he grew into the job, and the rest is history. Fallon is nervous, too _he's even as skinny as Johnny was back then _ but his experience on "Saturday Night Live" has served him well. There are basic talents that a talk show host should have, but some get by with just two. They need stand-up comedy in some way, shape or form (even the late Tom Snyder could do some things funny). The need to be sit-down funny too, again, in some way shape or form. And last, it helps if they listen _ really listen. Jay Leno had the first two elements down pat, but fell down on the third _ you had the feeling he really wasn't listening, but gearing up for the next punchline. David Letterman has all three, and in fact, as an interviewer could hold his own with any newsman when it comes to questioning politicians or people in the news. Out of Letterman's feel for people came his "stupid tricks" and "Top 10" shticks. As for Leno, he had his "Jay-walking" routine, which cruelly made fun of people on the street for not being up on history or current events. Carson had an innate respect for his guests, as did Paar and as does Letterman. So does Fallon. On a recent memorable show, he began with a hip-cool opening monologue that smoothly integrated computer talk with observational comedy. Then came his interview with Oscar-winning actor, Colin Firth, who was promoting his new film, "The Railway Man." Fallon's first question was stunning in its simplicity and depth: "What's it like to win an Oscar (Firth won a few years ago for 'The King's Speech')?" What followed was a fascinating revelation of what Hollywood is really like, and how the Oscar can be as much of a problem because of jealousy and resentment as it can a career booster. It became a poignant reminder that even "success" and fame come at a price. Firth immediately opening up and the conversation was one witty rejoinder after another, with the interviewer and the interviewee literally finishing each other's sentences. Then came the young actress Chloe Grace Moretz, who is starring in a new off-Broadway play, "The Library," being directed by Steven Soderbergh (it's written by his frequent screen writing collaborator Scott Z. Burns). The subject of the play: a deadly school shooting, and the impact on a young girl who survives. Try that as an interview topic when the venue is framed by humor. One could easily see why Moretz was cast in the role, an intelligent, direct and completely open performer who pulls you in with her utter vulnerability and honesty. Enter Fallon. The host easily slid into a totally different persona, with wit and yet enormous respectfulness for the subject, questioning his young guest about the play and her approach to the role. Amongst all of this, Fallon had what is gearing up to be a recurring bit, with crazy album covers, again exhibiting solid, off-the-wall humor without demeaning the musicians themselves. Jimmy Fallon is terrific. And, like Carson, he will get terrific-er.
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