Jimmy Fallon to Take Over for Conan in 2009
Jimmy Fallon to Take Over for Conan in 2009
Jimmy Fallon is taking over for Conan O'Brien in 2009.  The Saturday Night Live alum has been lurking in the wings ever since NBC announced Conan would be taking the reins of The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2009, but this is the first official announcement that Fallon is indeed going to be the new host of Late Night.  There had been reports over the last year that maybe NBC was waffling over their decision to replace Leno – his ratings are still strong – but it now looks as if they're going ahead with their original plan.  Conan will replace Leno, and Fallon will replace Conan.  Carson Daly (the wooden host of Last Call with Carson Daly) had openly campaigned for the job, but NBC probably didn't truly consider him as a candidate.  The “official” official announcement of Fallon's hiring will likely take place at NBC's upfront presentation on May 12.

Jimmy Fallon was something of a hot commodity following his departure from Saturday Night Live, but floundered in a couple of movie roles (Taxi, Fever Pitch).  Since then, he's been largely absent from the world of TV and film  We can only assume that he's been in some top-secret late night hosting boot camp.  Fallon has, unfortunately, gotten a bad rap, retrospectively, for his work on Saturday Night Live.  Most of this comes from, I assume, Fallon's propensity to laugh during SNL's skits. The truth is he's a talented dude and was a key cog in SNL's resurgence during the Will Ferrell years.

This is a good decision.  Fallon can improvise, his time as a Weekend Update anchor is good preparation for daily monologues, and he'll be a youthful, unique voice in the late-night TV landscape.  I wonder if NBC will want an Andy Richter-style co-host with Fallon like Conan had.  If so, there are a lot of good candidates.  If they go for another SNL alum, Fallon might want to hire his buddy Horatio Sanz.  This would be bad, and would induce too many fits of giggling.  If I may make a suggestion: Tim Meadows.  Meadows is an unsung comic performer, and would be rock solid as a dead-pan, laid back co-host.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
(Image Courtesy of NBC)