D A Y 5 8 1
Out of principle, I generally hate Jimmy Fallon.
Sorry, but for me, he’s always had at least two strikes against him:
1) Good looking guy doing comedy
2) Laughs at his own jokes
That 1st one might need some explaining, huh?
Well, this isn’t a hard & fast rule or anything, but I’ve always felt like comedy is like theater. If you’ve got the goods, you can do it well. Regardless of your appearance. Meaning that the funny or talented don’t have to rely on their good looks to get them the job. Total ogres, waddling pancake batter & absolute rejects can take the stage & kill.
Now, I’m not saying that you have to be ugly to do comedy or theater. I’m saying that a majority of us aren’t the prettiest of flowers. And we’re actually fine with that. It’s partly that hangdog, slightly off-looking quality that gets us work (along with any talent that may exist underneath).
I’m also not saying that the perfectly quaffed, chopped, channeled & pristine of the world can’t have talent. But I’ll say this to those people: There are more of us than there are of you.
Okay, enough of that shit. Separate discussion.
As far as Fallon, he’s moved beyond his SNL days. And I applaud him for that:
- Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
- Capitol One commercials
- Uhhhhh, that movie “Taxi”
- There is no 4th bullet point
In other words, regardless of my Fallon stance, good on him, I say. I mean, taking the reins from Conan is enough, right? AND he got The Roots to be his house band. If anything, that move alone elevates him in my mind.
But this regret isn’t about Fallon. Well, it is & it isn’t.
These music parodies he’s been doing have forced me to change my anti-Fallon stance. Just slightly anyway. Because it shows he has more creative depth than I gave him credit for. Especially watching THIS thing. I feel like it’s damn near brilliant.
But again, this regret isn’t about Fallon. My regret lies with his audience.
I regret that a majority of the audience is only getting HALF the joke.
Chop that up any way you like. Blame it on the cultural references, the demographic, whatever. Every one of these that I’ve seen feels like the audience (in-studio, at least) is getting part of it, but not all of it. Jim Morrison is iconic enough, but they might be too young to get the “Reading Rainbow” theme. Or “HEY! It’s Bob Dylan. I know what HE looks like. But what the fuck’s ‘Charles In Charge?’”
Maybe the Doors’ “Reading Rainbow” wasn’t the best example.
But it’s not like Fallon’s parodying some TOTALLY obscure TV show through the voice of a performer few would be aware of. Here’s what I mean:
- THE RESIDENTS perform the theme to “McMillan & Wife”
- ANIMOTION performs the theme to the cartoon “Pole Position”
- SLADE performs the theme to “The Great Space Coaster”
Okay, if you’ve tracked ANY of those references, you’re NOT a Jimmy Fallon audience member.
I realize that this guy’s having to use a wide aperture here. He’s at the helm of a show that can take a few chances, but for the most part, it’s like Telemundo. You’re having to appeal to a massive audience, full of every single age range, IQ & pop cultural sensibility.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. And maybe The 13th Floor Elevators doing a blazing, psychedelic rendition of the theme from “Riptide” is meant for the scattershot audience of YouTube, not network TV.