The Legacy of The Tonight Show

I used to be a big fan of The Tonight Show, presumably because it was the one that my Dad always watched.

Loved Jay Leno – he was a funny guy, and typically would stay up late with my friends so that we could watch Conan, too.

“Stay tuned for Conan!”

It all changed for me a few years ago in 2010 when the whole Leno/Conan thing went down that really left a bad taste in my mouth, and I stopped being a fan of both Jay Leno and The Tonight Show because my view on the whole situation is that the one person who could’ve done something (Leno), didn’t.

But this post isn’t really about that, and although I didn’t watch the actual episode tonight, I’ve watched a couple of the clips that are up on YouTube already and I’ve been reading a lot of the media coverage about the whole thing, and what a big deal it is to be moving the show back to NYC for the first time since Johnny Carson left (although I was too young to watch even when he hosted in the 80s/90s), and even how Jimmy Fallon is tweaking the name of the show to be The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon instead of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon … also because that’s how Carson and even the older hosts before him did it.

And I guess all of this kind of got me thinking about, really, what an institution The Tonight Show has become, much like Saturday Night Live – another show that the comedy fan in me would still like to watch, but I just can’t bring myself to do it, and even looking at Jimmy Fallon himself … I never really watched him on Late Night simply because of sour grapes over the whole Leno/Conan fiasco, even though the clips that I’d randomly watch online were mostly entertaining and I’d always enjoyed him starting out on SNL as well.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that after watching his extraordinarily humble and earnest introduction from a few hours ago, I think it might finally be time to give The Tonight Show another shot…

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