In Case You Were Wondering, ‘Philadelphia Magazine’ Is Taking A Firm Pro Fallon-Hating Stance

News & Culture Writer
02.25.14 42 Comments
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 1

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You may or may not love Jimmy Fallon. Myself, I used to be somewhat lukewarm — but objectively, I think he’s found his niche in late night and, like most people, was genuinely happy to see the guy advance to The Tonight Show.

But hold that thought, because Philadelphia Magazine — bastions of cutting-edge journalism which once printed a cover story about why it’s really super hard to be a white person in Philly *uncomfortably tugs shirt collar with one finger* — has published a lengthy party-pooping opinion piece about why Jimmy Fallon sucks. Take it away, Philadelphia Magazine:

Back in the ’90s, I lived in an apartment off Sunset Boulevard, where I had quite the assortment of neighbors, including Ellen “Grandma Walton” Corby, Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead, and a struggling actor named Oscar Nuñez. Oscar was a performer at the Groundlings sketch comedy school, and I’d go see him perform.

First rule of any good article: Name-dropping!

I remember one show in particular in which each performer got five minutes to do a character of their own creation, and after watching one excruciatingly annoying character named “The Masshole,” I wanted to walk out. But I stayed to support Oscar.

The Masshole bit was just five minutes of a guy doing a bad Boston accent. No jokes. Just an accent, like “My brudda pahked his cahr in the yahd not fahr from Havaaad Yahd. It’s a wicked Camaraaa…” I remember thinking at the end of the gig, “Don’t quit your day job, kid.”

That kid was Jimmy Fallon.

OMG. I totally thought he was going to say Colin Quinn! Go on.

And now, many years later, the unthinkable has happened: Jimmy Fallon is everywhere. Forget his day job, the kid now has the most desirable job in comedy.

I know that the world is a cruel, unjust, chaotic place. I just don’t understand how mealy-mouthed Jimmy Fallon became host of The Tonight Show.

He’s not funny. He’s not a good actor. He’s not a good interviewer. And so far, he has yet to have an original idea.

Whereas penning hate-pieces on Jimmy Fallon is TOTALLY original.

Fallon is the kind of guy that pulls out an acoustic guitar at a party and does a Neil Young impersonation or takes someone’s sunglasses and pretends to be Stevie Wonder.

Or worse, he puts on Tom Jones and does the Carlton Dance. He’s that guy.

Fallon has so few ideas on what to ask his guests (even in the most puffy puff-piece interviews) that he resorts to playing parlor games like Beer Pong, Flip Cup and Air Hockey with them.

Watching him makes me feel like I died and went to Manayunk on a Friday night. It’s horrible.

Comparing anything to Manayunk is local-Philly sensationalism in its poorest form.

The problem is, Fallon can’t fail. He has set the bar so low for comedy that he is guaranteed this job for life.

Impersonations are the lowest form of comedy, just below puns. And impersonations of Gilbert Gottfried, Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler are the lowest form of impersonations. Fallon does all three regularly.

Well… He did them in his Saturday Night Live audition and I guess a few times as a cast member. Also, aren’t at least like 75% of Saturday Night Live sketches impersonation-based? Maybe the author’s problem is that he really just doesn’t like “comedy.”

He was the one guy on Saturday Night Live that could not stay in character. He would crack up laughing, flub his lines and stare directly into the camera.

These days, Fallon’s whole shtick is to take something from childhood, rope in a superstar celebrity, and beat it to death.

And let’s not even talk about his apparent obsession with Justin Timberlake, who seems to show up constantly to sing medleys of 20-year-old pop songs. ENOUGH ALREADY. I’m almost ready to tune into Arsenio. Almost.

I’m sure Mr. Arsenio would be happy to have you.

I realize the best TV writers are now at the Daily Show, Colbert, Key & Peele, Real Time, Tosh.0, Portlandia, Always Sunny, and Parks & Recreation. But C’MON. Hire somebody.

I know not everyone falls for Fallon’s smirky, impish personality. It’s been reported that other SNL cast members weren’t keen on his antics. Tracy Morgan was bothered by the “laughing and all that dumb [bleep] he used to do — he wouldn’t mess with me because I didn’t [bleep]ing play that shit. That’s taking all the attention off of everybody else and putting it on you, like, ‘Oh, look at me, I’m the cute one.’ I told him not to do that shit in my sketches, so he never did.”

I love Tracy Morgan as much as anyone — but the testimony of one of the lesser mentally stable Saturday Night Live cast members is not winning your argument. I’ll need to hear what Victoria Jackson’s thoughts are on the matter, first.

It’s almost sacrilege, at least in Philly, to talk smack about Fallon, thanks to Questlove and the Roots. I have nothing but love and respect for them. And I realize that they have to eat. But when I hear them being described as “Jimmy Fallon’s House Band,” it’s like God is strangling a kitten. Why God, why?

Wow, dude. It’s one thing to hate a guy like, say, Jay Leno, but even then I can’t imagine putting the kind of vitriol it takes to write like a 1000+ word opinion piece crapping my pants about it. Plus, because relevant: If Jimmy Fallon, Carly Rae Jepsen and Jimmy Fallon’s House Band — I’m sorry, I mean The Roots!!! — performing “Call Me Maybe” didn’t melt your icy facade just a little bit, then you might actually be the one with the closet kitten-strangling problem.

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