AAAAAAND!!!...
February 10, 2014 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Jimmy Fallon signs off The Late Show with an homage to The Last Waltz (SLYT). With Muppets. Lots of Muppets. (Past awesome Late Show musical numbers: previously and previously and previously but that's really just a start.)
posted by dry white toast (56 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Muppets good.
posted by Melismata at 9:23 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


I heard they had to rotoscope out a blob of honey hanging out of Fozzie's nose.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:32 AM on February 10 [26 favorites]


They also cut out any shots of Sweetums in that purple jumpsuit.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:34 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Let's hope that Leno doesn't get bored again.
posted by The Confessor at 9:40 AM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Watch them together - or maybe just really close to one another.
posted by Gronk at 9:43 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Previously.

Vaaan! Twooo!
posted by scolbath at 9:43 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


How did I not know about the Muppets Theme bit?? But as noted, there's really no shortage of Jimmy Fallon music bits.

Barbershop Bringin' Sexy Back

If The Tonight Show isn't as conducive to Fallon's musical hijinks, JT is going to have a lot of free time on his hands.
posted by dry white toast at 9:55 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Rolling stone article about Fallon's final Late Show episode (in which I found this utterly fantastic lip-sync-off between Joseph Gordon Leavitt, Stephen Merchant, and Jimmy Fallon from last year.)
posted by polymath at 9:56 AM on February 10 [8 favorites]


I've said The Weight is one of the few songs that we'll still listen to in 100 years.
This is my living room.

I was going to watch The Tonight Show anyway. But this bit means he could personally punch my mother every day for a month and he'll still get my TV tuned in for a while.
posted by DigDoug at 9:59 AM on February 10 [14 favorites]


But he would never do that, because Jimmy Fallon loves all moms, just as all moms love Jimmy Fallon.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:04 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


OMG, DigDoug, those posters -- where?!?! Dry white toast - that's the Sesame Street song! :-)
posted by scolbath at 10:12 AM on February 10


Gah, of course it's the Sesame Street theme! I think I need lunch.
posted by dry white toast at 10:15 AM on February 10


But he would never do that, because Jimmy Fallon loves all moms, just as all moms love Jimmy Fallon.

Cite: The Evolution of Mom Dancing with Jimmy and Michelle Obama*.

*aside: seriously, if you don't like Michelle Obama, you're in the wrong species.
posted by dry white toast at 10:18 AM on February 10 [11 favorites]


Fallon has the rep that he's a third-stringer SNL hack who lucked his way into Conan's gig (and now Conan's rightful gig) - and then he occasionally goes and does stuff like this, which blows that rep right out of the water.

(I still prefer Craig Killborne, because he's making it despite being incomprehensibly Scottish and unabashedly weird. I mean, he had The Damned on in their '80s goth outfits and made them perform their original punk songs, and he devoted an entire show to a Stephen Frye interview, who's only famous in America for a bit role in "V for Vendetta." Pus, cybernetic skeleton sidekick.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:37 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


It's an ending to a five-year tenure that started in the shadow of a lot of skeptics and a lot of criticism. What I said then was that LNJF's success or failure would be determined by whether his show had "a distinct point of view."

It's funny now — those words surprised even me when I reread them, because I had forgotten over the course of five years that I didn't know in 2009 that Jimmy Fallon even had an animating principle, let alone know that it would turn out to be joy, which is the animating principle of entirely too little of popular culture.

posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:41 AM on February 10 [18 favorites]


Craig *Ferguson*!!! Who, in addition to the awesome Fry bit did an entire cold open about Dr. Who...!
posted by scolbath at 10:47 AM on February 10 [6 favorites]


BTW, that comment on joy -- absolutely agree. I think Fallon and Ferguson both share that - rarely mean, always fun, always inviting you in.
posted by scolbath at 10:49 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


BTW, that comment on joy -- absolutely agree.


Ditto. I actually LIKED his "Blurred Lines"-on-kids'-toy-instruments cover because everyone looks like they're having so much damn fun.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:55 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Holy. Crap.

DigDoug, where did you get those posters, and how many commandments do I need to violate to get them?
posted by eriko at 11:04 AM on February 10


Craig *Ferguson*!!! Who, in addition to the awesome Fry bit did an entire cold open about Dr. Who...!

Thanks for that correction. Kilborne is the guy who was the original host of the Daily Show before it became great, a kind of second iteration of Dennis Miller's SNL schtick with all that that implies considering what happened to Miller (more hip than smart), and I think is currently mouldering somewhere on history's junkpile, while Ferguson is genuinely wonderful.
posted by JHarris at 11:09 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


JHarris, don't try to change history, Kilborn was the guy who MADE the Daily Show great and Stewart was the caretaker until he rightly figured out that he was woefully miscast as Killborn's successor and made the show his own with a much greater political bent.

The idea behind casting Killborn was briliant - a simple-minded, All-American talking head (a la William Hurt) fed the news via Liz Winstead (a la Holly Hunter) and projected with a pitch perfect smarmy grin. I really miss that show and wish there was some way to view those back episodes because they were hillarious. Now back to America's love affair with the translucent personality that is Jimmy Fallon...
posted by any major dude at 11:20 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


There is no moment of zen without Killborn!
posted by history_denier at 11:30 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


JHarris, don't try to change history, Kilborn was the guy who MADE the Daily Show great and Stewart was the caretaker until he rightly figured out that he was woefully miscast as Killborn's successor and made the show his own with a much greater political bent.

The idea behind casting Killborn was briliant - a simple-minded, All-American talking head (a la William Hurt) fed the news via Liz Winstead (a la Holly Hunter) and projected with a pitch perfect smarmy grin. I really miss that show and wish there was some way to view those back episodes because they were hillarious. Now back to America's love affair with the translucent personality that is Jimmy Fallon...



This is so backward I don't even... Craig Kilborn is the host you get when you're ready for a show to die, and TDS pre Stewart was a giant boring turd.
posted by stenseng at 11:32 AM on February 10


I never really understood the love (or mild like) people had for late night talk show hosts. David Letterman and Jay Leno left me feeling cold, like watching Two and a Half Men. Yes, I understood the contexts of their jokes, and I actually chuckled a time or two, but I would never go out of my way to watch their shows, and I have only seen clips of their shows online because of their guests.

While I still don't stay up to watch Jimmy Fallon, I have watched hours of clips from his show, some of them repeatedly. Instead of the guffawing sidekick who gets some face-time and a few lines, there's a whole bad-ass house band who actually spend time picking out the intro tracks to pay homage or poke fun at the guests. And Steve Higgins is more than the faceless sonorous introductory voice, but he gets to cackle along in some stupid games. Yes, the games are stupid, like Egg Russian Roulette, but Fallon's genuine enjoyment of the whole thing is infectuous, and Higgins gets to play along.

Maybe it's my age - the anecdotes/jokes submitted by users via twitter are a lot funnier to me than the Wacky Paper Clippings sent to Leno, which always felt like filler to me, even though they're pretty similar concepts. But I think Fallon really brings more to the show, and others react to that.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:40 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


stenseng, this is a Fallon thread, which by definition is a celebration of milquetoast, inoffensive comedy preferred by a generation of children brought up on Facebook shaming so I'm not surprised that you'd find the mean-spirited pre-Stewart Daily Show boring. But you cannot deny the show its popularity.
posted by any major dude at 12:01 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Today I learned that you can find angry cranks even in the world of fans of late night television comedy.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:04 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


I have a theory that Jimmy Fallon may be the reanimated soul of Buster Keaton. (They look alike; take a look, imagine young Fallon with silent-movie makeup and a porkpie and see if you don't agree.)

In his film persona Keaton was Old Stoneface, never cracked so much as a half-smile on camera, and was the master of the silent gag. But reborn, he gets to do all the things he didn't do last time around -- can't keep a straight face ever, goofing and mugging and making music.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:05 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Fallon has the rep that he's a third-stringer SNL hack who lucked his way into Conan's gig (and now Conan's rightful gig) -

Not really. Prior to 2008 Fallon was once paid not to be on late night. NBC wanted Fallon so bad , but didn't have room for him, so they paid him not to take a show on a different Network.
posted by Gungho at 12:13 PM on February 10


stenseng, this is a Fallon thread, which by definition is a celebration of milquetoast, inoffensive comedy preferred by a generation of children brought up on Facebook shaming so I'm not surprised that you'd find the mean-spirited pre-Stewart Daily Show boring. But you cannot deny the show its popularity.

Again, you make no sense. Fallon, while maybe not being *edgy* enough for you, is a monster talent, in the old school entertainment sense - dude can sing, dance, is a multi instrumentalist, does great impressions, including spot on singing impressions, and is an affable, likeable host, and by all accounts, a super nice guy off camera.

Stewart has turned TDS into a beloved and much needed cultural institution, funny, incisive, and useful.

Craig Kilborne always came across as the obnoxious bitter has-been jocko asshole, the only one in the room who thinks he's charming or entertaining, and who has ruined every show he's ever been plopped down on the set of. TDS back then was...forgettable at best.
posted by stenseng at 12:14 PM on February 10 [12 favorites]


Craig Kilborne always came across as the obnoxious bitter has-been jocko asshole, the only one in the room who thinks he's charming or entertaining, and who has ruined every show he's ever been plopped down on the set of. TDS back then was...forgettable at best.

This. I work with many people who worked with Kilborne and that pretty much sums up the view of 100% of them.
posted by nevercalm at 12:20 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I've poked through some of the older Fallon links and that reminded me of a clip I saw from an interview he gave where he talked about the Bruce Springsteen/Neil Young "Whip My Hair" thing. He told a story about how they approached him to do the bit, and one of the things that Bruce got really insistent upon was that when they made him up as younger Bruce that he have "a big floppy hat!" (Imagine Jimmy saying "big floppy hat" in a Bruce Springsteen voice each time.)

But the thing that struck me was, when they'd finished making Bruce up as young Bruce, Jimmy said that Bruce immediately ran off to show John Landau, who was waiting in the green room. And Jimmy said that John Landau first laughed - but then started blinking back tears, because of the whole "Oh my God I remember when he looked like that for real" factor. It was strangely moving.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:39 PM on February 10 [6 favorites]


I love Fallon's musical Impressions, Tebowie being my favorite.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:45 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Goddammit...I wish I could stay awake late enough to watch this stuff.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:49 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I like Jimmy and think he's a great continuation of the paternal late-night host tradition that Leno simply never had natural talent for. I see great things for him, even though I don't watch him, but I think my neice and nephew will. Barring Wrath of Leno II: The Re-Returning, Fallon will be in that slot for a long, long time. If anything, Conan may still steal home plate in the form of online and live shows, but I think the stage is set for the next 10 years at least.

As for Kilborn, his role is history is undeniable. Everybody in every story says what a dickhead he is, by all accounts playing within type in, "Old School," but I figure that's merely good reason for nobody wanting to work with him anymore. I mean, not accounting for taste and all that, it's not like history isn't full of dysfunctional comedic talents. I tend to think that the amount of revulsion he receives is connected to an expectation that our late-night hosts be paternal.
posted by rhizome at 12:50 PM on February 10


I was prepared to ignore this and pass by until I saw there would be muppets, at which point I was drawn in. Having now watched a few of the videos linked my thoughts were 'that was more fun than it had any right to be' which I now realize is pretty much Jimmy Fallon's MO.
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:55 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Fallon as Neil Young sings Prince of Bel Air
Fallon as Bob Dylan sings Charles in Charge
Fallon as Jim Morrison sings Reading Rainbow
posted by rocket88 at 1:07 PM on February 10 [7 favorites]


If you look close, you can see where they rotoscoped the cocaine booger out of Animal's nose
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:08 PM on February 10


Stensenge, you would have LOVED Rich Little, another "monster talent" of his day. Your post is just more evidence that the Facebook generation cares more about likeability than talent. If I had to advise anyone trying to make it in the entertainment industry today I'd say forget developing your talent just take courses in PR and read Dale Carnegie.
posted by any major dude at 1:31 PM on February 10


I think any major dude might be being sarcastic, guys.
posted by JHarris at 1:49 PM on February 10


You can tell by the pitch perfect smarmy grin.
posted by rocket88 at 1:56 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Stensenge, you would have LOVED Rich Little, another "monster talent" of his day. Your post is just more evidence that the Facebook generation cares more about likeability than talent.

I think Danny Kaye, Carol Burnett, Sammy Davis Jr., Steve Allen, Sid Caesar, etc. would be more apropos comparisons, but you keep shaking your fist at that Facebook shaped cloud, old man.
posted by stenseng at 2:08 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Don't worry, the only thing that MIGHT bring Leno back to the Tonight Show AGAIN would be if Fallon's ratings drop even worse than Conan's. (And Conan's ratings were in free-fall even before Leno started his half-hearted 'prime time' show as a 'lead-in') Also, Lorne Michaels, who is now the Owner of ALL the NBC late-night shows except Carson Daly (did you know he still has a show?) would need to be paid off big-time. Leno is taking his "don't even talk about competing until September" clause very seriously and is booked to do his stand-up in every hotel & casino that can afford him through then - and making as much money as he did with his show without having to write NEW JOKES every night. The vilification of Leno is mostly undeserved... he was being fiercely competitive when Johnny left the Tonight Show, and he regretted signing the deal to leave the show in the Conan deal (it didn't look bad 4 years in advance, but when it got close...) but his 'evil machinations' had nothing to do with most of the ensuing disaster, that was an incompetent NBC president (who today is running CNN and trying to ignore Conan on the channel at the other end of the hall). And Conan is in no danger of beating Jon & Stephen in the cable ratings, let alone anyone else, even the Arsenio Hall revival. Sad but true, but some comic geniuses appeal to tiny audiences. Leno is no genius, except at holding onto what's left of the mainstream, and he's now doing it in Vegas, baby.

That said, we need an ALL-MUPPET late night chat show, Fozzie with the monologue, Kermit behind the desk, Dr. Teeth leading the in-house band and "Veterinarians Hospital" and "Pigs in Space" as weekly sketch segments... sigh.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:37 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Also Craig Kilborne was "the guy who started the show, got bored and quit" for both The Daily Show AND Late Late Show only to be eclipsed by the guys who they hired to replace him, Jon Stewart and Craig Ferguson. I think the only reason he hasn't re-emerged is the only offers he gets have contract clauses for "WHEN we find somebody better".

Comparable prime time TV example, Terry Farrell, who quit DS9 (as the symbiote Dax) with one season to go, got a cushy gig at the sitcom Becker and quit THAT after five years and hasn't been seen since.

I am still worried that NBC has given Lorne Michaels way too much power, but at least he has gotten over the feud with the Muppet people over blame for the batshit crazy segments they did for the first year of SNL. But I still love you, Skred...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:48 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


/me has a sad that digdoug still hasn't divulged where to get the awesome muppet posters.
posted by scolbath at 3:32 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I found the clip I was talking about earlier, with Jimmy remembering some of the backstage-with-Bruce stuff.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:55 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


Retro Muppet Posters Artist's page

Another link with info
posted by stenseng at 4:25 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


I had to mentally do the math on this one before showing Mr. Ruki. Two things he loves - The Band and the Muppets. One thing he really despises - Jimmy Fallon. I went for it and showed it to him before I watched it myself.

Readers, he approved. (And was even complimentary!)

This was sweet. And I hope NBC treats Jimmy better than they did Conan.
posted by Ruki at 4:55 PM on February 10


Jimmy Fallon is like fudge ripple ice cream. Even if you don't eat it every day, you probably think of it fondly, and don't hate it, especially when you've got two scoops in front of you.

Unfortunately, Conan is very much like strawberry ice cream. The people who like it really like it. And are probably aliens.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:22 PM on February 10


/me has a sad that digdoug still hasn't divulged where to get the awesome muppet posters.
I sent you a memail.
And it's in the link on flickr! And stenseng posted it.

Buck up, champ!
posted by DigDoug at 6:35 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Strawberry ice cream is for aliens, now I've heard everything.
posted by rhizome at 6:39 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


oneswellfoop: Logic and the realities of Conan's situation make me sad. I very much like Conan, and will continue to DVR both him and Fallon. But I have to admit, Fallon's show has been far more entertaining for the 4 years they've both been on. The difference in guest draw has been astounding.

Is CONAN really that far below Arsenio Hall's new show? That makes me sad.
posted by DigDoug at 6:43 PM on February 10


Don't forget that it was Jimmy Fallon who played Bobby Rondinelli (or was it Albert Bouchard?) and delivered the classic (his only) line:

"Quit [snerk] . . . quit being so selfish, Gene!"

And here's another somewhat relevant blast from the past, Jay Leno's 1955 Buick Roadmaster (from Mike Nesmith's Television Parts, c. 1981).
 
posted by Herodios at 6:45 PM on February 10


I never knew I wanted Joseph Gordon-Levitt to look me in the eyes and sing Super Bass, but there you are.
posted by maryr at 7:28 PM on February 10 [5 favorites]


I started watching Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on day one.

It was the first time anyone of my general generational cohort group was hosting a nighttime talk show. I figured, I needed to see how it might go.

It was SOOO rocky to start. He was incredibly nervous and tentative. He was trying out things which might have felt risky in the writer's room but which ended up falling entirely flat on air. He didn't know how to interview guests (and more than a few times, ended up with guests basically leading him through the interview in order to save him from drowning). He really floundered for the first month.

Then I watched him slowly blossom. He figured out how to interview people in his own style, making many guests on his couch start to feel like you were sitting at a party watching two good friends talk about good times. He invented somewhat awkward but usually engaging audience participation segments which were brilliant. (My favorite was the "instant band" segments, where he pulled together 2 or 3 "bands" out of the audience, people who knew how to play instruments and sing, and got these groups of strangers together to write songs and then perform them on the show. The winners got to keep all the gear they used during the performance.) He instituted great things like the annual Ugly Christmas Sweater giveaway.

Most of all, he lost his self-consciousness, perhaps justifiably earned during his tenure at SNL, about laughing at himself and what he was doing. Breaking character and laughing during a skit on SNL is not a good thing. But being self-aware enough that what you are doing is 1) ridiculous and 2) funny is a good thing in a late night television host. It's the wink-and-nod at the home audience that you are not trying to depict anything serious, you aren't trying to Put On A Play, instead, you are trying to entertain at the Nationwide Livingroom & Bedroom Party, where most are watching the show in their individual abodes. And it shows that you are not taking any of it so seriously that it isn't going to be fun.

His musical talents, his physical abilities, his game-show-host charm, his affinity as an interviewer, his willingness to be a part of everything... as a previous comment pointed out... his JOY...

I think we've found our new Johnny Carson. Truly.

I sound like a fanboy. But I am not. I stopped DVRing his show a while back, I just don't have the energy to keep up with nightly programming like that on top of the rest of my media life. But I have great admiration for him and what he's grown to become.

I think The Tonight Show is going to be in excellent hands, and we're all going to look back 20 years from now and appreciate just how great Fallon truly is.
posted by hippybear at 8:53 PM on February 10 [10 favorites]


Pfft. Fallon. I wouldn't give that guy's troubles to a monkey! on a rock!!

you know where I'll be
posted by petebest at 5:15 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


While I have grown to accept the fact that the muppets have largely outlasted their original performers, somehow their discordanance runs home most in the musical numbers. I guess it's easier to pull off a speaking voice. The worst by far is the apparent replacement of Janice's performer by David Rudman reminding me that the vast majority of Rudman's characters sound exactly alike, altogether too much of the inconsistently speech impaired abomination that is "Baby Beaw." Also, like oh wow, it made me realize that Janice had always been in drag. A lot of camp in those old characters, especially the cows.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:22 PM on February 11


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