When Jimmy Fallon took the reigns of The Tonight Show after Jay Leno finally retired in 2014, there were lots of skeptics—especially after Conan O’Brien’s disappointing, short-lived stint as host. Nearly two years later, though, Jimmy Fallon continues to make us laugh with his quirky and unique sense of humor. From his popular “thank you note” segment to his famous musical performances with celebrities, there are too many reasons as to why Fallon is the best Tonight Show host of all time. But we’ll do our best to narrow it down.
He Reminds Us That Stars Are People, Too
Some of the best moments on The Tonight Show occur when Fallon goofs off with his celebrity guests, reminding us that stars really aren’t that different from you and me. From dancing with First Lady Michelle Obama to rapping with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, Fallon has a natural ability to bring out the sides of celebrities we don’t otherwise get to see. He goes beyond the typical “interview” style that was common in Leno’s days and really incorporates his guest stars (often hilariously) into his segments.
He’s Bridged the Generation Gap
Jay Leno had lots of die-hard fans who weren’t so sure about how they felt about Fallon as a replacement. However, instead of losing those older viewers (as was kind of expected after Leno left), Jimmy Fallon managed to bridge the generational gap between the older viewers and the younger, 18-49 demographic. In fact, viewership among The Tonight Show’s target demographic has been up 31% since Fallon took over, with a nightly average of nearly four million viewers!
He’s a Social Media God
Let’s face it: nobody has the ability to gain new followers and make video clips go viral like Jimmy Fallon. Case in point: a year after Fallon took over as host of The Tonight Show, the show’s Twitter followers more than tripled in number, Facebook followers quadrupled, and YouTube subscribers quintupled! Fallon’s segments on The Tonight Show also have the tendency to go viral shortly after each show airs, so it’s never a surprise to see video clips from the previous night’s show being shared all over social media.
He Was a Comedian First
Unlike lots of other Tonight Show hosts in the past, Jimmy Fallon has always had a passion for comedy; he was a comedian before he was a performer or talk show host, so he’s got an uncanny ability to make light of any situation and leave his audience in stitches. Many of us first became aware of Fallon when he was on Saturday Night Live from 1998 through 2004, but his career in comedy dates back well before that—and it shows in his interactions with guest stars and his opening monologues.
Two Words: Ragtime Gals
Oh, and last but not least, let’s not forget about his famous recurring segment, where he and his guest star in a barbershop quartet known as the Ragtime Gals and take hilarious spins on popular songs. We’ll never forget his and Kevin Spacey’s inspiring performance of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty.”
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