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The Telefile
Jimmy Fallon… Could Have Been Worse I Guess! So Jimmy Fallon finally took over the Late Night hosting duties last night, and I'm sure today is going to be full of complaints about how boring and non-hilarious it was. Which it was. It was both those things. But while Jimmy may not be the genius Conan or Letterman are, I actually think the show has the potential to be a lot funnier once there are fewer eyes on it in the coming weeks and months. The problem with last night wasn't at all that Jimmy had bad ideas that failed; it was that he played it way too safe, and safe, on a comedy show, is usually pretty boring and uninspired. I have tremendous faith in head writer A.D. Miles and Jimmy's ability to improve as a performer though (he was so much more composed last night than I'd ever seen him), so for now, I'm just kind of counting last night's premiere as a practice round. Here's the best and the worst from the show.

The bits that worked:
- The Conan sketch, and the jokes about how Jimmy hasn't booked any good guests for next week. It was nice to see Conan, and it's a good idea for Jimmy to get the audience rooting for him right off the bat. 'Cause this is an uphill battle if I've ever seen one.
- "Blonde Mothers from Connecticut" was one that almost worked, but it was a great idea, so I'm including it here. Randomly skewering the advertising business for no reason is fantastic, and it did make me laugh a little, even though it didn't quite go anywhere. Plus, there was an A.D. Miles voiceover!
- The interviews. Like Conan, Jimmy did a good job of tailoring the interviews for each specific guest, and not letting them shill for the entire thing. Robert De Niro is a notoriously difficult interview, and turning that into a joke and allowing him one-word answers was a funny and smart way to deal with that. And letting Justin Timberlake continue to believe he's a comedian while restricting him to singing bits was an even smarter move.
- "Space Train." Astronauts who are afraid of flying? I'm sold. Loved it. Laughed all over the place.

The bits that didn't work:
- The monologue. I know these are usually designed to be full of clunkers so the host can riff, but this was wayyyy too old school jokey. He seemed confident and uncharacteristically grown-up, but c'mon, an "I hate it when my dad drinks" joke in response to a rowdy audience member? Ugh. That's so not his generation.
- "Slow Jam the News" where Jimmy just kind of pornily said his jokes while the Roots played some makeout music. I'll give it points for reminding me of The State's immortal "$240 of Pudding" sketch, but it was the kind of comedy anybody could do.
- The "Lick It for 10" segment. Such a Letterman ripoff.

Potpourri:
- I don't know how I missed this in all the hiring announcements, but longtime SNL writer Steve Higgins is the show's announcer, which must mean he's also a writer. Trust me, this is a very, very good thing for the show.
- "Ooh! The band is on the other side now!" -- Literally a thing I thought while watching.
- Anyone notice that Jimmy was dressed for a damn funeral? Sad, because if this show fails, it really is the end of his career.
- Tonight -- Tina!

Your impressions? Is Jimmy doomed? Or am I totally wrong and this was the funniest thing that's been on television since Johnny Carson got a pie in the face after saying the word "diarrhea"? Discuss.

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