'SNL' Alum Jimmy Fallon to Take Over Post-Conan 'Late Night' Show
'SNL' Alum Jimmy Fallon to Take Over Post-Conan 'Late Night' Show
It's finally officially out in the open – Saturday Night Live (SNL) stalwart Jimmy Fallon will inherit the Late Night show from Conan O'Brien.  Come the middle of next year, when Conan relinquishes his hosting chores, Fallon will take over the cudgels after a brief period of transition, which will include a revamp of the Rockefeller Center studio that houses the Late Night show.

The official announcement came yesterday straight from Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff, chairmen of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios during a press conference held at Rockefeller Plaza.

According to executive producer Lorne Michaels, it took some time for Fallon to make a decision about the regular late night TV gig.

"Jimmy's slow to commitment," Michaels said.  "I think he thought long and hard about that.  And I think he made the right decision."

For his part, Fallon confessed that he believed he was destined for the Late Night show.  He revealed that his kindergarten yearbook dubbed him the most likely successor to David Letterman.  Close enough.

Little did he know how prophetic his kindergarten yearbook would turn out to be.  It's clear that the NBC bigwigs saw the same qualities in him that his classmates did all those years ago.

NBC late night/primetime series executive vice-president, Rick Ludwin, said Fallon became the top contender for the Late Night hosting job because he exhibits "all of the qualities for a late night host.  In addition to being funny, he loves talking to people on and off camera, he's a talented comedy writer and his time at SNL demonstrated not only his ability to entertain, but also the work ethic and dedication it takes to succeed at hosting a nightly show.”

Meanwhile, Fallon has assured that despite his and Lorne Michaels' joint efforts to determine his Late Night show's content, they will continue to stick with the basic setup of the program.

"We're not going to reinvent the wheel here," Fallon said.  "We're going to take a lot of time to think about what we're going to do."

Fallon swears he is all revved up and ready to take on the lifestyle, grind, schedule and responsibilities associated with the Late Night show.

"I'm totally ready for this lifestyle," he quipped.  "I'm ready to do standup on weekends and really work hard.  I really plan to give my all on this,” he added.  “My wife, she left me a note this morning saying, `Nice knowing you.'"

-Rosario Santiago, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: AP, Variety
(Image Courtesy of AP)