Jimmy Fallon debuted as the host of “The Tonight Show” on Monday night and kicked off his new gig with a bang. The enthusiastic comedian showed off his hip-hop dancing skills with his first guest Will Smith, and treated the audience to a rooftop concert by U2. Twitter lit up with praise for the former “Saturday Night Live” star’s premiere, and turned up the venom for his predecessor. As tweeter @newyscruggs noted: “Doesn’t seem like twitter is missing Jay Leno.”
An Impressive Start for the New Guy
Early in the show, a Fallon sketch led to a wildly random parade of stars, including Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Joe Namath, Lindsay Lohan, Stephen Colbert, Lady Gaga, and Joan Rivers. Tweeters were impressed at the revamped show’s big entrance.
@clintonyates “Message here is simple from Jimmy: America, I am WAY cooler than Jay Leno ever was. These are my friends.”
@AntwonGalante “Well that one #FallonTonight made up for all of Jay Leno.”
Old People Jokes
While Fallon’s first episode guests were pretty Gen-X-and-older-friendly, many tweets took jabs at the former host’s target demographic:
@chilisizzle “Grats to @FallonTonight! And to the haters wishing for Jay Leno back, grats on learning how to tweet at your age. #JimmyFallon”
@blakeo94 “The only people that Jay Leno appealed to is older people who go to bed at 8. Jimmy Fallon is a necessity if NBC wants a younger crowd.”
My Guy is Cooler Than Your Guy
From the chatter on Twitter, it seemed there were plenty who had been longing for a breath of fresh air in the “Tonight Show” tradition.
@PeterHoare “Jimmy Fallon has infectious enthusiasm. Jay Leno had, well, hmm. He…umm. Well, uhh, he had…a desk? #FallonTonight”
@Carlitamusik “Couldn’t imagine Johnny Carson or Jay Leno doing the Kid’N Play, Crank That or Stanky Legg. Had no idea Jimmy Fallon could dance that well”
Shout Out to Conan
Late night fans haven’t forgotten–or forgiven–Leno for ousting Conan O’Brien not long after he’d supposedly handed over the reins to his successor. There were plenty of tweets about the apparent peril of taking over from a “retiring” host:
@thedamagewithin “@jimmyfallon now on Tonight Show, at least until Jay Leno wants it back…”
@chadzumock “I can already tell Jimmy Fallon has the Tonight Show locked down for the rest of his career. It’s Jay Leno comeback proof! #FallonTonight”
@SteelZombie505 “Today is the first time I watched #thetonightshow since Jay Leno f—ed over Conan”
Not everyone was ready to jump on the Leno-dissing bandwagon, however. As @MattBinder tweeted: “Gotta say though with the Jay Leno hate being at an all time high, it’ll be hip soon to like Jay Leno so with that said I Miss Jay Leno.” What did you tweet about the new “#FallonTonight”? A farewell to Jay or a trendy “good riddance”?
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