Fallon hosts Tonight Show

British talk shows still dominant

by Scott Thompson

With the launch of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, people across the country were given the opportunity to see its most prized talk show, which gained prominence through previous hosts Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and Conan O’Brien.

However, while Fallon provided encouraging signs of why he was chosen to host this national treasure, viewers from outside the nation might have been left puzzled, as it fell fairly short of standards set by British talk shows, such as Alan Carr: Chatty Man, The Graham Norton Show, and The Jonathan Ross Show.

Fallon undoubtedly entertained audiences of all ages, with a skit featuring Michelle Obama and another History of Rap performance with Justin Timberlake. However, when it comes to actually interacting with the guests, British talk shows remain head and shoulders above The Tonight Show, as guests aren’t strictly interested in selling a product or praising a host for his accomplishments. Rather, they interact with one another so as to do what audiences want to see them do: entertain.

Whether guests are simply more entertaining on British talk shows because they’re allowed to drink on air, or if the hosts are simply more entertaining at the moment, guests manage to loosen up, open up, and create side-splitting humor on British television on a regular basis.

Rather than having a few standout moments from an interview, they create an hour of non-stop positivity and humor, and I think most American talk show hosts could take a few notes from their British counterparts, especially Fallon, who has a lot of pressure on his shoulders with the recent promotion. However, only time will tell if he’s up to the task.

Sophomore Scott Thompson is Arts & Entertainment Editor. His email is sthomps2@fandm.edu.