The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon premiered on NBC last night, marking the return of the late night talk show franchise to New York.
Jimmy kicked off the show with a stellar opening monologue.
He made reference to the infamous Leno-Conan debacle the last time The Tonight Show changed hosts, joking “Welcome to The Tonight Show – the first to be broadcast from New York in over 40 years. I’m Jimmy Fallon and I’ll be your host… for now”.
As reviewers such as The Huffington Post have recognised there wasn’t a dramatic departure from what Fallon used to do on his Late Night programme and “no drastic changes” made to the winning formula.
The opening title sequence for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon was directed by Spike Lee:
Will Smith and U2 were the main guests on the opening programme.
The Evolution Of Hip-Hop Dancing came courtesy of Will Smith, in a clothing get-up reminiscent of his time on The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air:
The performance by U2 was an incredible sight. They were on the roof of 30 Rock (at The Top Of The Rock) and the backdrop of the New York City skyline looked almost like green screen it was so fantastic – but that’s New York for you!
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) February 18, 2014
In addition to the announced guests there were several other people who stopped by to wish Jimmy luck and give him $100 each – paying homage to his friend who wagered that Jimmy would never host The Tonight Show.
Surprise guests included Robert De Niro, his former SNL buddy Tina Fey, Joe Namath, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, Mariah Carey, 30 Rock favourite Tracy Morgan, Joan Rivers (who had previously been banned from The Tonight Show), Kim Kardashian, Seth Rogen, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Tyson, Lady Gaga and Stephen Colbert – Colbert yelled “Welcome to 11:30, bitch!”.
Huff Post – “Jimmy Fallon’s Stellar ‘Tonight Show’ Debut Showcases New York”
Huff Post – “Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Welcomed By Stephen Colbert”
BBC News – “Fallon brings Tonight back to New York”
Variety – “TV Review: ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’”
NY Daily News – “Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ debut gets help from New York City”