Jimmy Fallon Repurposes Dave Letterman’s Top 10 List: Video

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon“I love that guy,” Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon effused tonight of David Letterman — one night after Letterman announced he would retire next year. “It’s hard to imagine late-night TV without him, ’cause he revolutionized it. He made it what it is today. And, after I heard the news, I kind of started thinking about reasons why Letterman is retiring. … If you want, I could just read my Top 10.” Here’s the clip:
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Jay Leno’s TV Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speech: Video

By | Wednesday March 12, 2014 @ 8:46am PDT

Jay Leno was inducted last night into the Television Academy’s Hall Of Fame along with Rupert Murdoch, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David E Kelley, Ray Dolby and Brandon Stoddard. Here is Leno’s acceptance speech — if you’re missing his Tonight Show stand-ups, this will do nicely.

Related: … Read More »

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Jay Leno Reminds Bill Maher Of Israel As He’s Inducted Into TV Academy Hall Of Fame With Rupert Murdoch, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David E Kelley, Ray Dolby & Brandon Stoddard: Video

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Jay Leno, being inducted into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday night, said he’s glad he left NBC’s Tonight Show when he did The Television Academy's 23rd Hall Of Fame Induction Galabecause he was the oldest person on the show. Everyone else was 20 to 40 years younger than him and, while you may think you’re holding your own with them, “they’re really just laughing at you,” he explained. “You can’t be hip past a certain age. You have old guy gestures.” And when you make references to The Dick Van Dyke Show they think it’ s “a lesbian joke or something” —  and they don’t understand what you’re talking about when you say the time is “Half past 2.”

Leno told the Beverly Wilshire Hotel gathering his favorite book is Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol —  a searing indictment of 19th century industrial capitalism — and his favorite character in that classic work of literature, Mr. Fezziwig, who treated a young Ebenezer Scrooge like a son. Leno mentioned this by way of saying how proud he was that his Tonight Show was a place where people came to work hard during the day and, at 6, they went home to be with their family.

Related: Jay Leno’s TV Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speech: Video

Emmyslogo_newEven though he’s now “jobless and penniless” Leno still is a “fantastic stand-up,” said Bill Maher, who inducted Leno into the Hall, and the fact people are wondering what he will do next proves he’s still relevant, the HBO show host said. He described Leno’s more than two decades hosting Tonight as a drive down a highway in “some giant gleaming pristine luxury car with the competition far in the rearview mirror — except one time when NBC,” driving some beat-up clunker, “blindsided him and beat the sh*t out of his beautiful car.” Maher blamed TV critics for rewriting history to make Leno’s predecessor, Johnny Carson, out to be some guy who did a “rebellious, edgy, film noir version” of Tonight Show that by comparison made Jay look like a milquetoast. “That’s all bullsh*t — and I say that as a fan of Carson,” Maher said. Leno is the victim of “some bad publicity over the years” that he did not deserve — most famously how America got it into its head that “Jay Leno stole Conan O’Brien’s dream,” Maher complained, calling it,  “the most hysterical thought I’ve ever heard, in a business known for bullsh*t.”

“Jay reminds me a little of Israel,” Maher continued. “He isn’t perfect but he’s held to standard I don’t think anybody in the world is expected to live up to but him,” he said, calling Leno “the most Machiavellian and also the most morally upright person I know in show business. He will hide in a closet but never needs a confessional booth.” Read More »

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‘Arsenio Hall Show’ Renewed For Season 2 – With Help From Jay Leno: Video

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 5:54pm PST

ArsenioLenoJay Leno stopped by for tonight’s taping to surprise Arsenio Hall with the announcement that CBS Television Distribution renewed The Arsenio Hall Show for a second season. (The show already had a two-year deal with the stations led … Read More »

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‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ Gets Ratings Bump With Guest Michelle Obama

Nellie Andreeva

Michelle-ObamaAs expected, the visit by First Lady Michelle Obama gave The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon a bump, with the broadcast drawing a 5.3 household rating in the metered markets, up a tenth from Wednesday. In comparison, both … Read More »

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UPDATE: Night 3 Of Jimmy Fallon’s ‘The Tonight Show’ Hits 10-Year High For Wednesday Viewers

By and | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 11:20am PST

Jimmy-Fallon-Bradley-Cooper-Charades-VideoUPDATE, 11:20 AM: Jimmy Fallon‘s first Wednesday as host of The Tonight Show may be one he will long remember. Certainly NBC will because with 7.274 million viewers, it marks the highest Wednesday Tonight Show has done in more than 10 years. The last time the late-night franchise had a Wednesday that good was on February 2, 2004, when 7.69 million tuned in. Also Fallon pulled off the rare trick of actually going up in the adults 18-49 demo from his second night to third night. Nielsen has last night’s show drawing a 2.4 rating. That’s better than the 2.0 of Conan O’Brien’s third night of his Tonight Show gig on June 3, 2009 , and it’s a 4% rise from the 2.3 result in the demo Fallon got Tuesday. A rise, however slight, is a feat that neither O’Brien nor Leno could pull off. Both O’Brien in 2009 and Leno in his 2010 return saw their demo ratings dip from night 2 to night 3. O’Brien was down from the 2.3 of his Night 2, while Leno slipped from a 1.6 on March 2, 2010 to a 1.5 on March 3 of that year. Read More »

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‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ Debut Ratings On Par With Conan O’Brien’s 2009 Premiere, Beats Jay Leno’s 2010 Return

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 11:00am PST

Fallon Will SmithPREVIOUS, 6:59 AM: A week and a half after ending his stint on NBC’s Late Night with record ratings, Jimmy Fallon last night began his Tonight Show hosting gig in strong form. The midnight premiere of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon drew a sturdy 7.1/20  in overnight metered-market results. That’s tied with the 7.1/17 metered-market rating that Conan O’Brien pulled on June 1, 2009 when he began his short-lived run as host. (UPDATE 11 AM: The final numbers are in, and last night’s Fallon debut actually edged O’Brien’s opener in total viewers, 11.31 million vs. 9.17 million. Among adults 18-48, the two were tied at a 3.8 rating)

Fallon’s debut is also up from the 5.4/14 metered-market rating that Jay Leno garnered on March 1, 2010 when he returned to fronting the venerable NBC franchise after O’Brien’s brief stint. Leno’s return received a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 and was watched by an audience of 6.67 million. Late night rivals David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel were far behind Fallon last night with both having metered-market ratings of 2.0/5.

Related: Jimmy Fallon’s First ‘Tonight Show’: Will Smith, U2, Robert De Niro & Olympic Fever
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Jimmy Fallon’s First ‘Tonight Show’: Will Smith, U2, De Niro And Olympic Fever

Jimmy Fallon First EpisodeIn his debut as host of NBC‘s The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon paid homage to the show’s storied tradition while also bringing the energy that marked his stint on Late Night. Fallon started off his very first Tonight Show thanking his predecessorsFallon monologue “Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno,” in a broadcast that had all of late-night TV’s familiar trappings — the band, the monologue, the couch, the desk — and featured surprise appearances including Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Seth Rogen, Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rudy Giuliani, Mariah Carey, Mike Tyson, and Lady Gaga, who joined first guests Will Smith and U2. The intro directed by Spike Lee reminds viewers that Tonight is back in New York City by showing Fallon in familiar spots including Katz’s Deli. The theme carries over to the spare, elegant set designed by Eugene Lee with its behind-the-desk images of the skyline and wood carvings of some landmarks. (The desk includes a laptop computer to Fallon’s left.) The Roots played the host on with a new theme song that owes a lot to Motown.

Related:
Opening Monologue Of Jimmy Fallon’s First ‘Tonight Show’: Video
Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Lady Gaga & Kim Kardashian Surprise Jimmy Fallon On His First ‘Tonight Show’: VIDEO

Fallon DeskThe host wore a gray suit with a white shirt and black tie. In a sentimental opening, without apparent irony, he talked about his “great childhood” in Saugerties, NY, where he would not have predicted that he would graduate high school and go on to host The Tonight Show. “I would have said, ‘I graduated high school?” Fallon also thanked his wife and daughter and his parents, who were in the audience. “I wish I could have gotten you better seats, but it’s a hot show, Dad. I hope you’re proud of me. I know you are.” Fallon also praised his band who, he said, “can play with Tony Bennett [and] they can play with Jay-Z without blinking an eye.” He also thanked his announcer Steve Higgins, “one of my best friends, and I love you. It’s going to be fun.” Fallon recalled staying up late to watch Johnny Carson. Hosting the show “means a lot to me. I hope I do well,” he said. “I just want to do the best I can and take care of the show for a while.” He added that “anyone I can make fun of I will … so you go to sleep with a smile on your face and live a longer life.”

 

Related: 
Brian Williams Critiques Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Set
Fallon Seizing Social Media Ahead Of ‘Tonight Show’ Takeover
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Jay Leno Bows Out With Biggest ‘Tonight Show’ Week In Decades; Ditto Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Late Night’ Swan Song

Jay Leno‘s Tonight ShowLeno_lastshow__140207022124-575x388 swan song churned up the franchise’s biggest weekly crowd since the week of NBC’s Cheers finale in ’93. Meanwhile, his replacement, Jimmy Fallon wrapped his Late Night hosting gig with that show’s biggest weekly haul since it followed Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show farewell, in May of  ’92.

Leno’s actual Thursday night finale last week clocked the biggest crowd for an individual Tonight show broadcast since Jerry Seinfeld turned up after his primetime hit’s so-long episode, on May 14, 1998. Read More »

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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model Leaves David Letterman For Younger Guy – Jimmy Kimmel

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 1:41pm PST

jimmy-kimmel-1-600Another late-night torch has been passed. This time, the “torch” is the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model, who’s being passed from David Letterman to Jimmy Kimmel.

For the past six years, the SI swimsuit cover and cover model … Read More »

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UPDATE: Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit Gets 14.6M Viewers, Best Result Since ‘Seinfeld’ Finale Visit In 1998

LenoUPDATE, 11:46AM: Jay Leno’s last Tonight Show has outdone the host’s first departure in 2009 to hit its highest viewership numbers since 1998. Last night’s farewell was seen by 14.637 million viewers, numbers not seen since the 14.962 million that watched when Jerry Seinfeld showed up as a guest on May 14, 1998 when his hit primetime show ended. With a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49, last night’s Tonight hit its best demo result since the 4.4 of January 22, 2010 when Conan O’Brien ended his brief stint fronting the late night show. Leno drew  over 11.9 million viewers when he first signed off Tonight on May 29, 2009.

Related: Jay Leno’s Final ‘Tonight Show’

Last night’s show was the 4th best viewership result since Leno took over from Johnny Carson in 1992. The all-time top Tonight Show of Leno’s reign was the 22.4 million who watched on May 20, 1993 with the Cheers cast after their finale. Number #2 was Leno’s May 25, 1992 debut, which had 16.1 million viewers and number #3 was that May 14, 1998 visit by Jerry Seinfeld. Leno’s last show was up 283% from The Tonight Show’s season viewership average of 3.822 million.  Lead-out Late Night With Jimmy Fallon garnered 6.014 million viewers last night and 2.0 rating. That’s the best Late Night has ever done with the exception of the 6.087 million viewers the show got in a post-Super Bowl 2012 special. In regular weekday broadcasts last night’s Fallon is a record for the former SNL cast member and the best an NBC Late Night show has done since David Letterman’s final show on June 25, 1993.

PREVIOUS, 6;32AM In the end, Jay Leno left The Tonight Show on top — way on top. The longtime host bid farewell to late-night with his highest ratings since March 2009. Last night’s finale pulled in a whooping 9.2 household rating in the metered markets. That’s the best the show has done since March 19, 2009, when President Obama made his maiden appearance on the show as the first sitting president to do a late-night program. It also was higher than Leno’s previous The Tonight Show finale in May 2009, which drew an 8.8 rating. Leno almost tripled Tonight Show‘s delivery from last Thursday, when the show posted a 3.5 rating. The rating caps a strong last week for Leno, in which he had been building in the ratings every night, with a 3.9 on Monday, 4.2 on Tuesday and 4.3 on Wednesday.

Related:
Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over
Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Farewell Speech: Video Read More »

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Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Finale: His Farewell Speech (Video)

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 1:18am PST

Related:
Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over
White House Gives Shout-Out To Jay Leno: “End Of An Era”

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Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Finale: Billy Crystal’s Celebrity Musical Featuring Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian, Jack Black (Video)

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 1:14am PST

As a parting gift, Billy Crystal and the Shut Your Von Trapp Family Singers sang “So Long Farewell” to Jay Leno. Here is the video featuring Crystal, Jack Black, Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian, Chris Paul, Sheryl Crow, Carol Burnett and Jim Parsons. (Musical number starts after the 2 min mark):

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Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Finale: Jay Leno & Billy Crystal’s Monologues (Video)

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 12:57am PST

The final Tonight Show With Jay Leno featured two monologues, one by Leno and by his guest and old friend, Billy Crystal, who was Leno’s first guest on The Tonight Show in May 1993, and helped close things out Thursday night. Here are clips of Leno’s final Tonight Read More »

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Jay Leno’s Final ‘Tonight Show’: Obama Appoints Him Ambassador To Antarctica While Billy Crystal, Oprah Winfrey, Garth Brooks And More Serenade Host: Video

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 8:00pm PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198“I don’t like goodbyes – NBC does – but I don’t care for them,” an emotional Jay Leno said, kicking off a star-studded final broadcast show as host of The Tonight Show. “Tonight is our last show for real. I don’t need to be fired three times — I get the hint,” Leno joked to a friends-and-family studio audience as he ended his 22-year run Thursday night. It’s his second very-last-time-as-host — having been pushed aside in 2009 by NBC to make way for Conan O’Brien, who lasted seven months.

“I’ve got to tell you, the outpouring from people has really been touching. Anthony Weiner sent me a photo of his penis looking really sad.”

Related: Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exits Gets 14.6M Viewers, Highest In 15-Years

Oprah singingIn sharp contrast to the “last” time Leno celebrated his very last night as host of Tonight Show in 2009 — when, ever the team player, he had O’Brien as his final night’s guest — tonight’s show was packed with celebrities including President Obama. Longtime pal Garth Brooks performed his hit “The Dance.” And a cast of A-listers including Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black and Carol Burnett performed with Billy Crystal and The Shut Your Von Trapp Family Singers, the Rogers & Hammerstein tune from The Sound Of Music, “So Long, Farewell” with lyrics changed to suit the occasion. (Watch a clip below.) The show ended with Leno in tears as he thanked the audience, calling the Tonight Show crew his family and wishing his successor Jimmy Fallon well. (Video at the end of the post.)

But first, Leno mulled exactly how long 22 years is.

- “Here’s how long ago it is. When I started hosting, marijuana was illegal and you could smoke cigarettes anywhere you wanted.”

- “Twenty two years ago, guys actually had to go to newsstands for porn, can you imagine?”

- “So much has happened. You know the saddest part – OJ never found the real killers.”

Related: Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over

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White House Gives Shout-Out To Jay Leno: “End Of An Era”

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 4:00pm PST

Obama Leno FinaleWhite House press secretary Jay Carney had some nice parting words for Jay Leno ahead of tonight’s taping of the final Tonight Show With Jay Leno. It’s fitting because Carney’s boss was the first sitting president to appear in late-night. … Read More »

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Jay Leno Gets His Name In Lights — And A Thank-You From NBC — On Burbank High-Rise: Photo

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 9:43pm PST

His Tonight Show predecessor often had fun with “beautiful downtown Burbank,” but tonight Jay Leno likely agrees with that sentiment. NBC organized a glowing tribute to the departing host of its late-night staple, using the city’s tallest building to spell out “THX JAY!” in lights. The display will … Read More »

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Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198On Thursday night, Jay Leno once again will hand over The Tonight Show to NBC’s younger-better idea – this time it’s his lead-out, Jimmy Fallon.

Most of the coverage has been about Leno taking with him a commanding ratings lead in late-night, not only among total viewers but also in the 18-49 age bracket advertisers covet.  And in the days leading up to his exit, The Reporters Who Cover Television dusted off think pieces about Leno leaving the show in the wake of a demographic shift affecting millions of baby boomers who are being pushed aside to make way for a younger generation with different sensibilities. In many ways, Leno’s handoff to Fallon does mirror the first time the press wrote those think pieces, when NBC replaced Leno withJay Leno NBC his lead-out, Conan O’Brien in 2009 – a plan that famously flamed out over seven months.

Related: Jay Leno Hazes Jimmy Fallon On ‘Tonight Show’ (Video)

But the bigger news here is the incredible gift Leno’s been given: a handoff do-over.

It’s a loaded gift for Leno.  He owes much of his ratings success, and longevity, to the fact that he’s much adored in flyover country — Leno won last month’s 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll asking which late-night host was most likely to make you laugh, handily beating his latest replacement Fallon, his first replacement O’Brien, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, and Craig Ferguson. But the media doesn’t like Leno so much, having pegged him decades ago as the closet-hiding, eavesdropper who backstabbed their late-night crushes Letterman and, later, O’Brien.

Related: ‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ Sets Final Guests As NBC’s Bob Greenblatt Addresses Jay Leno’s Future, Possible Car Show
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Study: Bill Clinton Biggest Butt of Jay Leno Monologue Jokes During ‘Tonight Show’ Tenure

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 7:37am PST

jaylenoSince 1992, Jay Leno‘s top Tonight Show opening monologue target has been Bill Clinton, according to a study released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson topped his list of celebrity targets, but their tally is chump change compared to Clinton’s, according to the study that tracked nearly 44,000 Tonight Show jokes.

Clinton was the subject of one out of every 10 gags about public affairs and/or public figures in his monologues, and O.J. Simpson was his top celebrity target. The study tallied 43,892 jokes about public figures and public affairs from 1992, when Leno became host of Tonight Show, through January 24, 2014.

Clinton accounts for 4,607 of that joke total. For comparison sake, George W. Bush came in for 3,239 jabs, and Jay targeted Kim Kardashian a total of  just 57 times, according to the study. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Clinton’s VPOTUS Al Gore, and Monica Lewinsky accounted for four of Leno’s top seven targets. Overall, the Top-20 list includes the past four presidents and vice-presidents, as well as the past six failed major party nominees for president. Democrats were the targets of 10,885 jokes, 15% more than the 9,465 jokes directed at Republicans. The study says that’s because Leno frequently targeted presidents and Democrats occupied the White House in 13 of his 22 years as Tonight Show host.

JAY LENO’s TOP 20 POLITICAL JOKE TARGETS: Read More »

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