First, there was Robert De Niro. Then came Tina Fey. Then came "Broadway" Joe Namath. Oh, and after that there was Rudy Giuliani and Mariah Carey, Tracy Morgan, Joan Rivers, Kim Kardashian, Seth Rogen, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Tyson, Lady Gaga, and, last but not least, Stephen Colbert. With one simple gag, Jimmy Fallon was able to get enough star power on his stage in three or so minutes than most late-night shows have in a month. What a way to start his Tonight Show career, right? And this was before he started dancing with Will Smith!
As you'll see, like so many things Fallon does, the joke was simple, but the payoff huge. We also have to note that, stuck in between gag guests like Kim K. and LiLo, Rivers' appearance was a touching moment. See, ever since she abdicated her official Johnny-Carson-backup role at the Tonight Show for a failed Fox late-night gig of her own, she hadn't been allowed on the 11:30 flagship in 30 years. Her appearance, and the appearance of all those other celebs, signaled to us that Fallon is gearing up for years of drama-free, attitude-free fun on Tonight. After all the late-night rancor of the last two decades plus (much of it supplied by Jay Leno), it couldn't be more welcome.
Also, how crowded and awkward was it in Tonight's green room? Kim, Lindsey, SJP, Mariah, and Joan in one place? The real show was probably backstage!
Video: Courtesy NBC.