NBC should rethink plan to dump Leno
Soon Jimmy Fallon will be taking over as host of “The Tonight Show” from 20-year veteran host Jay Leno. Isn’t this deja vu for NBC? I recall Conan O’Brien trying to replace Leno. It backfired after David Letterman got much better ratings than Conan did at the 11:30 p.m. time slot. NBC’s obsession with youth is redundant. Is Leno, who is in his 60s, to be let go because of his age? He has the highest ratings of any late night host. Don’t you stay with the winner until he is not winning any more?
The young Fallon was plucked from “Saturday Night Live,” where he was a comedy skit player with no real stand-up comedy experience. He was given the NBC late night show that O’Brien once hosted. Fallon has the weakest opening monologue of any late night host I have ever seen. His eyes dart back and forth and he does not demonstrate the cool, calm experience that Letterman and Leno possess.
Fallon opens every one of his shows by clapping his hands. I saw where an SNL veteran player instructed a new SNL host to clap his hands to ease his nerves. Fallon may have great ratings numbers for the 12:30 a.m. time slot opposite CBS late night host Craig Ferguson, but the 11:30 time slot is a whole different demographic ball game, as O’Brien found out.