Big Ap­ple, big guests, big laughs for Tonight

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - BRAD OSWALD

FOR Tonight, to­mor­row is to­day. OK, well, tech­ni­cally, it’s Mon­day we’re talk­ing about, but for the sake of a lovely open­ing­line al­lit­er­a­tion and an ev­erso-clever bit of word­play, are we re­ally go­ing to quib­ble over a tri­fling 48 hours? Any­way... It’s a pretty big week over at NBC’s The Tonight Show, which, start­ing Mon­day, will of­fi­cially carry the suf­fix Star­ring Jimmy Fal­lon in its ti­tle. In ad­di­tion to in­tro­duc­ing a new host, who makes a huge move from Late Night into the most sto­ried and cov­eted desk job in all of late-night tele­vi­sion, the iconic talk show is also re­turn­ing to its New York City roots, leav­ing laid-back Tin­sel­town be­hind in favour of the ur­ban grit, siz­zling cul­tural en­ergy and up-all­night vibe of what many con­sider to be the great­est city in the world. “It started in New York; why not bring it back to New York?” Fal­lon said last month dur­ing NBC’s por­tion of the U.S. net­works’ semi-an­nual press tour in Los Angeles. “What’s the worst that can hap­pen? It’s just a beau­ti­ful city. When I think of New York, I think of nighttime. I just think it’s the per­fect place (for The Tonight Show), where it should be. I think of the lights and Times Square and Broad­way and the nightlife and the ex­cite­ment and the glitz and the glam­our — all of that is The Tonight Show.” When the show’s most cel­e­brated host, Johnny Carson (who manned the desk from 1962 to ’92), moved Tonight to beau­ti­ful down­town Bur­bank in 1972, the pri­mary mo­ti­va­tion was eas­ier ac­cess to the con­cen­trated pop­u­la­tion of movie and TV stars that make up the bulk of the af­ter-hours chat-fest’s guest list. But Fal­lon in­sists that im­prove­ments in crosscountry air travel and the in­creas­ing amount of pro­duc­tion tak­ing place out­side L.A. have elim­i­nated the need for the celebrity-driven show to be based close to Hol­ly­wood. “I feel like, book­ing-wise, it’s never been a prob­lem for us,” he said. “I mean, we’ve had the pres­i­dent of the United States on our show (who fa­mously “slow-jammed” the news with Fal­lon in 2012). You can’t get big­ger than that. “Well, I guess the Pope (would be big­ger). I mean, if we moved to the Vat­i­can; we were think­ing about that. We were think­ing about do­ing the show in the

JAMES WHITE/NBC

New host Jimmy Fal­lon says The Tonight Show ‘should be goofy and fun.’

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