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Jimmy Fallon Sticks With His Strengths For Hit ‘Tonight Show’ Debut: Video

Fallon DeskOne week in, Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show looks a lot like Jimmy Fallon’s old Late Night – and people couldn’t be happier.

Biggest difference happened on Monday night when Fallon did two opening monologues – the first in which he introduced himself and set up the show’s storyline for the next (NBC hopes) 20 years or so, trying to put at ease the many Jay Leno viewers who heard Jay say he’s good with being shown the door while still No. 1 in the ratings, but who may not feel so hot about it themselves. That night, Fallon described himself as a guy who grew up in a small town and lives with his “beautiful wife” and six-month old daughter Winnie who he loves so much.  He noted his announcer Steve Higgins is from Iowa and lives with his wife and great kids, and that his band The Roots, had backed up Tony Bennett.

Not coincidentally, Fallon’s opening mirrored Leno’s Tonight Show finale in many ways. Both men’s shows included a parade of celebrities paying tribute to the host (weirdly, Kim Kardashian appeared in both parades, though it may not be so odd, what with her Keeping Up with the Kardashians being produced by Ryan Seacrest — an important member of the NBC-parent Comcast family).  Jay Leno ended his final broadcast talking about losing his mother and father in the first year he hosted the program; Fallon began his tenure on Tonight with a wave to his mom and dad in the audience, saying how happy he was they are still around, and telling them he hoped they were proud of him, adding “thanks for being there, you guys, I love you.” Read More »

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Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Debuts NBC News Rappers: Video

Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon logoJimmy Fallon continues to woo those Tonight Show viewers who are still on the fence about the host change, by emphasizing the familiar,  while giving it a Fallon twist. Last night Fallon introduced Tonight viewers to his deftly edited videos starring NBC Nightly News anchor/managing editor Brian Williams – this time rapping The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” joined by NBC  News’ Lester Holt and NBC Today Show co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. What could be more familiar to the Jay Leno Tonight crowd? Watch here:

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Arsenio Hall Accepts Brian Williams’ Apology For Photo Snub, Insists Suge Knight Went Off Script: Video

Arsenio Hall took a victory lap on hisArsenio-Hall-310x400__120529212241 show last night and insisted Suge Knight had gone off script the night before when he said Brian Williams had “so many hours” to apologize for omitting Hall’s photo from a recent newscast  or “he leaves”. Hall’s program last night aired hours after Williams apologized on NBC Nightly News for leaving Hall’s photo out of a montage of late-night hosts the newscast had run on Monday while plugging Jimmy Fallon’s debut as host of NBC’s Tonight Show.

Related: Brian Williams Apologizes To Arsenio Hall For Leaving Him Out Of ‘NBC Nightly News’ Late-Night Montage

“A lot of people apparently called NBC last night on my behalf. Well, it worked — we crashed the switchboard!” Hall boasted to his studio audience and viewers at home last night. Hall insisted Knight had gone off script the previous night when Hall brought him out on stage to be the “angry black man” with a message to NBC News and Williams about the snub. “I didn’t know who to call — I’m from the neighborhood, so I called Suge Knight and he stopped by and delivered a message to journalists.” But the message was directed at Williams with Knight telling Hall, “You’re the West Coast; we’re gonna give him so many days, so many hours, to get it right,” adding that if Williams does not, “he leaves.”
Read More »

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David Letterman Battles Jimmy Fallon’s First Week With Sochi Olympics Medal Winners

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 10:16am PST

While NBC‘s new Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon is stocking up on celebrities to push ratings in hisMedal Ceremony - Winter Olympics Day 6 first week in the new gig — Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig, and Lady Gaga tonight –  over at CBS, competitor David Letterman has stocked up on Olympic athletes.  Letterman’s show has lined up U.S. Olympic Men’s Snowboarding Slopestyle Gold Medalist Sage Kotsenburg for tonight’s show, and Kaitlyn Farrington, U.S. Women’s Halfpipe Gold Medalist Kaitlyn Farrington for tomorrow night.

Related: Gold Medal Olympic Snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg Sits Down With Dave Letterman Tonight: Video

U.S. Men’s Ski Slopestyle Medalist Trio of Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper will celebrate their Olympic sweep with Dave on Thursday. Kotsenburg became the first gold medalist of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi when he won the top medal in Men’s Slopestyle snowboarding competition, which made its event debut at these Olympic games. Farrington made her Olympic debut by taking thome the gold in the halfpipe event.  And Christensen, Kenworthy and Goepper dominated the medal podium for the U.S. in the U.S. Men’s Ski Slopstyle which made its  debut at the Sochi games. Their podium sweep is just the third for the U.S. in Winter Olympic history, joining men’s figure skating in 1956 and men’s halfpipe snowboarding … Read More »

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Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Luge Gag Delights ‘Today’ Team: Video

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 7:36am PST

NBC’s Today team this morning celebrated making the opening monologue in Jimmy Fallon’s celebrity-strewn Tonight Show debut last night. “The screaming actually came from their sled,” Jimmy Fallon had joked as he showed a clip of spandex-ed Al Roker and Matt Lauer making their return to the luge, on the Olympic track in Sochi. “You can’t unsee that,” Fallon snarked.

Watch here:

‘Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ Debut Ratings Tie Conan O’Brien’s 2009 Premiere
Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Lady Gaga, Joan Rivers & Kim Kardashian Surprise Jimmy Fallon On His First ‘Tonight Show’: Video
Jimmy Fallon’s First ‘Tonight Show’: Will Smith, U2, De Niro And Olympic Fever

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Opening Monologue Of Jimmy Fallon’s First ‘Tonight Show’: Video

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 11:01pm PST

Here’s how the Jimmy Fallon era of The Tonight Show began Monday night:

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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.

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.”


Brian Williams Critiques Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Set
Fallon Seizing Social Media Ahead Of ‘Tonight Show’ Takeover
Read More »

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Jimmy Fallon Seizing Social Media Ahead Of ‘Tonight Show’ Takeover

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST

In the days since Jay Leno’s last night hosting The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon‘s social-media team has ramped up and dramatically increased The Tonight Show social-media engagement — positioning NBC’s decades-old late night for social-media dominance online even before Fallon debuts this evening as host of The Tonight Show.

The Jimmy Wars Go Online - Fallon versus KimmelAccording to analyst RelishMIX, Fallon’s team jumped The Tonight Show engagement by 12.3 times (see graphic) in the seven days following Leno’s final show February 5, compared with 2.5 times for rival Jimmy Kimmel’s team. Engagement means, basically, how many people are watching, sharing and reposting a show’s content, according to RelishMIX CEO Marc Karzen. The company tracks social-media effectiveness and engagement for TV shows, movies and video games, analyzing how much fans of a given show are watching YouTube videos (and for how long), how often they’re posting and reposting material, and otherwise sharing and talking about the show on social media over time. “The graphic shows us that once Leno stepped aside, the Fallon machine quickly pulled the trigger on grabbing all of the Leno social channels in order to own those fans,” Karzen said. “The big tactical battle for 11:30 will be fought between Fallon, Kimmel, (David) Letterman and Arsenio (Hall) to deliver even more socially engaging segments that extend beyond the broadcast.” Read More »

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Brian Williams Critiques Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Set

Jimmy Fallon Brian Williams InterviewFollowing a report on North Koreans “living in the midst of a modern-day Hitler” (Kim Jon-un), a report on a plane hijacking, and another on today’s American results from Sochi, NBC Nightly News turned over a chunk of tonight’s broadcast to a plug for the launch of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. During the course of the news segment, viewers learned that Fallon is “just excited and it’s starting to sink in now, like wow — I can see everything now, it’s actually going to happen.” We heard a snippet of the new Tonight theme song and saw a cute picture of Fallon’s daughter, Winnie. Interviewer Brian Williams explained 30 Rock will infuse Tonight with a certain something it did not enjoy in Burbank, and Fallon let us know his show will be shot in the same studio from which Johnny Carson and Jack Paar broadcast back in the day. Then Fallon took Williams for a tour of the new set — except Williams’ cameras were not allowed in, so viewers could only hear Williams and Fallon talking behind closed doors. “I can’t believe you’ve done this all in pink,” Williams said. “And why the urinal?”

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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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Jimmy Fallon’s First Full Week Of ‘Tonight Show’ Includes Guests Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig, Bradley Cooper, Justin Timberlake

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 8:52am PST

NBC this morning announced Jimmy Fallon’s first full week of guests on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Fallon is bringing the network’s late-night franchise jimmy_fallonback to New York City next week. The lineup for premiere week includes the previously announced Will Smith and U2 on the first night Monday, February 17, and Michelle Obama on Thursday.

Monday, Feb. 17: Guest Will Smith and musical guest U2.

Tuesday, Feb. 18: Guests Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig and musical guest Lady Gaga.

Wednesday, Feb. 19: Guest Bradley Cooper and musical guest Tim McGraw.

Thursday, Feb. 20: Guests First Lady Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell and musical guest Arcade Fire.

Friday, Feb. 21: Guest Justin Timberlake.

Fallon wound up his tenure as host of the network’s Late Night on a high note. The final episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon drew 6.6 million viewers, its largest audience ever. In an encouraging sign for Fallon‘s prospects at The Tonight Show, he delivered the largest viewership for the Late Night franchise since the final show of David Letterman on June 25, 1993 (7.5 million). Fallon outdrew every episode of his predecessor, Conan O’Brien. In adults 18-49, the final Late Night With Jimmy Fallon posted a 2.2 rating, the highest ever for a regularly scheduled episode and the second highest behind the special post-Super Bowl show in 2005 (2.5), which also held Late Night With Jimmy Fallon‘s previous viewership record with 6.1 million. … Read More »

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‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ Draws Largest Audience In 4 Years With Final Full Week

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 1:07pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Leno-monologue__130404173359__130509220741In its final full week on the air, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno drew 5 million viewers from January 27-31, the show’s largest audience since the week of March 1-5, 2010, Leno’s first week back on The Tonight Show. Its adults 18-49 average, 1.4 million, was the biggest since the week of November 22-26, 2010. Leno’s farewell continues to boost the ratings for his successor, Jimmy Fallon, who garnered 2.4 million viewers last week, his highest Late Night average since May 25-29, 2009, the final week before Conan O’Brien took over Tonight. Late Night averaged 932,000 adults 18-49, the biggest weekly 18-49 viewership for the show since September 6-10, 2010 (with an NFL overrun, 952,000). Both Leno and Fallon dominated their late-night broadcast rivals.

‘The Tonight Show’ Hits Best Wednesday Since Conan O’Brien’s First Week In 2009
Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over

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NBC Faces Tough Task Of Balancing Games, Promotion And Security Concerns As Sochi Olympics Begin

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 12:49pm PST

SochiOlympicsNBC__131021180345__140123184857NBC today kicks off its most ambitious Olympics coverage ever in Sochi, airing the Winter Games across NBC, NBC Sports Network, USA, MSNBC, and CNBC (Curling, Nothing But Curling). Its planned 1,539 hours of coverage outstrips its Vancouver and Torino coverage combined, and Kantar Media has forecast NBC’s Sochi-palooza will result in a whopping 5,500 minutes of Olympics TV ad time. The Sochi Olympics also are expected to be real barn-burner, ratings-wise — but for reasons that might unravel NBC’s larger Games Goals. Security concerns –  the big story so far in Sochi — are expected to drive up ratings, as some viewers tune in to see if anything bad happens. “If anything, the prospect of a terrorist event, the controversy of [Russia's] anti-gay laws –  those things in an odd way have increased awareness and interest in those games,” Bob Costas, NBC’s primetime Olympics host, acknowledged to reporters during a recent news conference. He added, “Obviously, we have our fingers crossed that nothing happens.”

Related: NBC “Taking Every Precaution” In Wake of Russian Violence Ahead Of Sochi Olympics

The Tonight Show with Jay LenoThat kind of Must See TV, however, may not mesh up with NBC’s long-held belief the Olympics are the perfect platform off of which to promote, and launch, new programming. The broadcast network plans to premiere two new primetime comedies – About A Boy and Growing Up Fisher – following Olympics coverage on Saturday, February 22, and the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, February 23, respectively. But by far NBC’s biggest play will be its debut of its Jimmy Fallon-hosted Tonight Show, making its much-ballyhooed return to New York City. Fallon will debut as host immediatly after Games coverage during NBC’s second week of Sochi coverage: The first week of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will air at midnight; on Monday, February 24, it moves back to the franchise’s earlier, regular timeslot, followed by the premiere of Late Show With Seth Meyers. According to outgoing Tonight Show host Jay Leno, NBC moved up its planned hand-over in order to feed Fallon the huge Olympics audience.

Related: Hot Late-Night Promo: ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ Read More »

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‘The Tonight Show’ Hits Best Wednesday Since Conan O’Brien’s First Week In 2009

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 8:02am PST

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 22Jay Leno’s last week fronting The Tonight Show has seen the host hit ratings highs not experienced since his return to the NBC gig in 2010. The 63-year old comedian’s second-to-last show last night was no exception with even a bit more. Wednesday’s Tonight Show pulled in 4.3/11 in metered-market households. That’s the best Leno has done since the week on March 2, 2010 when he returned to The Tonight Show gig. In fact, it ties the best Wednesday, the NBC late night show has had since June 3, 2009, the first week of Conan O’Brien’s short-lived stint in the job. In contrast, Leno’s late night rivals the Late Show With David Letterman on CBS and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live drew a  2.4/6 and a 2.1/5 respectively ratingswise.

Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over
Jay Leno Gets His Name In Lights — And A Thank-You From NBC — On Burbank High-Rise: Photo

Leno had The Voice’s Blake Shelton and a very emotional Sandra Bullock on as guests on his second-to-last show Wednesday. “When I made crazy life decisions, you never questioned it, you were just always so welcoming and every single person on your crew was that way,” the Oscar winning actress told Leno. “You were so welcoming. I just felt special, even when I was insecure,” Bullock, who is nominated … 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
Read More »

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Jay Leno’s Last ‘Tonight Show’ Tuesday

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 3:05am PST

On Jay Leno‘s last Tonight Show Tuesday, some of Jay’s favorite guest appearances were shown: President Obama reminiscing about when he and Donald Trump grew up together in Kenya, John Kennedy Jr. and Jerry Seinfeld reminiscing about Seinfeld’s Contest’s episode, former President George W. Bush giving Jay a portrait, Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing his candidacy, Betty White announces she’s as horny as she ever was, Hugh Grant explaining his escapade on Sunset, etc. Guest Matthew McConaughey reflected on advice that Jay gave him many years ago, and Charles Barkley retired Jay’s jersey:

Watch here:

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‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ Hits Best Monday Ratings Since 2010 Return

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 7:14am PST

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 22 He’s in the last week of his stint as host of The Tonight Show, but Jay Leno  isn’t going quietly. Three nights after delivering his highest overnight ratings since President Obama was a guest in October 2012, Leno matched Friday’s rating with a 3.9/10. It marked the best Monday result since the late-night host returned to The Tonight Show in 2010; Leno pulled a 5.4 when he took the show over again on Monday, March 1, 2010. Last night guests were Leno’s successor Jimmy Fallon and 92-year-old Betty White. The ratings results left Leno’s 11:30 PM rivals far behind: A Late Show With David Letterman encore on CBS got a 2.3/6, while Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC garnered a 2.2/6 in 56 metered markets. Leno has the Oscar-nominated Matthew McConaughey, NBA legend Charles Barkley and Lyle Lovett scheduled as guests tonight.

Related: Jay Leno Hazes Jimmy Fallon On ‘Tonight Show’: Video Read More »

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

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 9:33pm PST

JayLeno__130320220248Jimmy Fallon is here tonight. He’s not here to talk — he’s helping me pack,” Jay Leno told his audience tonight on his final Monday as anchor of NBC’s Tonight Show.  “You know Jimmy starts as new host of Tonight Show on the 17th – and it would be strange if there was some accident and he was not able to … fulfill his duties as host,” Leno joked. Also guesting tonight: Betty White. “Betty White is 92 –  in TV terms, Betty has lived through through six Tonight Show hosts,” he observed.

Related: ‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ Hits Best Monday Ratings Since 2010 Return

“You were lucky to get out of New York today — huge storm,” Leno began when Fallon came out and sat down. “Yeah. Had to be here. Your last week. This means a lot to me,” Fallon said, with no trace of irony. “Did you watch the game?” Leno asked, in re Sunday’s Super Bowl. “I missed a little … because I was flying,” Fallon admitted. “You’re on the cover of my bible – Men’s Health,” Leno said, producing a copy of the issue. “Something made me smile about this. … Is that a gold chain around your neck?” Leno teased, pointing to the cover photo of Fallon.  “And, it’s a little touched up.”

Related: TCA: Jimmy Fallon Announces First ‘Tonight Show’ Guests, Talks Jay Leno Transition
Read More »

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Jimmy Fallon Hands Over Legendary Pickle To His ‘Late Night’ Successor Seth Meyers

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 7:00pm PST

Jimmy Fallon carried on the Late Night host tradition, handing off the legendary plastic pickle to his successor Seth Meyers during Meyers’ appearance Tuesday on Late Night. The pickle was passed on to Fallon from Conan O’Brien when Fallon took over Late Night in 2009. O’Brien had received it from David Letterman‘s staff. Meyers takes over as host of Late Night on February 24 after Fallon moves to The Tonight Show.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - Season 5
Here’s Fallon talking about the pickle on February 24, 2009 when he first started Late Night.

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