Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon show the world that late-night 'battle' is just silly
OK, show of hands -- funny, not funny? Effective or a waste of time? Smart . . . stupid? Hey wait a minute, this is my column, and I'm going with "funny," "effective," "smart."
That would be Tuesday morning's Jay Leno-Jimmy Fallon duet that aired between the end of "Tonight" and the beginning of "Late Night" -- an adroit rendition of Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim's "Tonight" from "West Side Story" -- "Toniiight, toniiight, who's gonna host 'Tonight?' Is it gonna be Jimmy or Jaaaaayyyy . . . "
And so on. It wasn't riotous -- "30 Rock" used to do riotous -- but there is something to be said for getting ahead of your own story, which both Fallon and Leno accomplished, and (in a way) so did hapless NBC.
And what exactly is "this story?" That Jimmy will probably take over a dramatically diminished, no longer-culture-bending "Tonight" in 2014, and that Jay will get a talk show elsewhere. They will make millions. No one will get hurt. Viewers and other assorted organisms with short attention spans -- specifically TV critics -- will forget about this in a few years. Life will go on.
If you can't make fun of that via bowdlerized Bernstein, then what can you make fun of?
MEYERS REPLACES FALLON?
With Fallon -- who reportedly has signed a contract extension that ensures a "Tonight" succession -- moving on, who will replace him? The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday said "Saturday Night Live's" Seth Meyers has nearly been anointed. Challenges to this? Obvious: He's a creative force, and "Weekend Update" anchor, for a show that's seeing a creative (and ratings) resurgence this year. How to replace him there? Good luck with that.