Earlier this week, Conan O’Brien’s website commemorated the 20th anniversary of his audition for Late Night by releasing a short clip from it, an abbreviated “mock show” in which he interviewed Mimi Rogers and Jason Alexander in front of a live studio audience. O’Brien is clearly nervous (and can you blame him?), but Lorne Michaels and the Late Night producers saw something in that performance, and gave him a shot. That’s the beauty of the great comic audition — even when a talent is a little rough around the edges, the joy of discovering someone fresh, new, and funny wins out. After the jump, we’ll take a look at that tape and several other killer auditions from very funny folks. … Read More
So it’s official: Jimmy Fallon, SNL character-breaker turned Late Night host, will take over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno next February. The handoff has been confirmed by NBC, Leno, and Fallon, who told the New York Times, “I have nothing but respect for Jay. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have a show to be taking over.” That’s a nice (if slightly inaccurate) bit of car-waxing from Mr. Fallon, who is wise to keep on the best possible terms with Mr. Leno, a man known for doing whatever it takes to hang on to Tonight. And with the outgoing host already making joking-but-not-really overtures that he’s not quite done yet (“Would I do it again? Believe me, the phone’s not ringing off the hook. It will be nice if people seem interested. But I’ll let it sit where it is”), and slightly ominous pronouncements about his expectations for his successor (“I would like to see Jimmy keep it at No. 1, which I’m sure he will”), Fallon’s gonna have to be very careful that Leno doesn’t end up repeating what he did to Conan and showing up behind the desk again nine months later. With that in mind, we’ve got a few suggestions that Jimmy might want to consider if he wants to keep Tonight. … Read More
If you’ve felt a sense of déjà vu in TV news lately, you’re not alone. The television blogs and trades are once again dominated by rumors, gossip, and inside information on NBC’s attempts to oust Tonight Show host Jay Leno for the younger, funnier, and more youth-friendly host of Late Night. The names are different, but the story’s the same — the only suspense is whether it’ll play out differently this time around. Then again, the post-local news slot on the Peacock Network has always been a contentious place; even a quick glance at the history of The Tonight Show reveals decades of battles, back-stabbings, and would-be usurpers. Join us after the jump for a brief rundown of the show’s many heavyweight bouts. … Read More
We’ve already established that Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is the most perfect holiday tune of the past two decades. In fact, it’s pretty much the only Christmas song we ever look forward to hearing. (Sorry, Sufjan.) So we were thrilled beyond words to learn that Jimmy Fallon, reviver of many great ’90s cultural artifacts, had Carey on the show to perform an unspeakably adorable rendition of the song. Backed by The Roots and the host himself on a selection of instruments you might remember from your elementary-school music class, the performance also featured a small menagerie of kids to sing along on the “you-oo-oo, baby” parts. If you missed it (or just need to see it again), click through to see the diva in action. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we got some excellent suggestions on what to do with our leftover turkey from F. Scott Fitzgerald, including his recipe for the Turkey Cocktail. We wanted to own every single one of these action figure versions of the most famous scientists of the 20th century. We drooled over… Read More
Sure, he brought the awkward humor to his Saturday Night Live promos. But what’s going to happen when arguably the best standup comedian in the world — not to mention the most unique voice in TV sitcoms — goes live from New York? On last night’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, he assured us that he lives “above the line of misery” in Hurricane Sandy-wrecked Manhattan, although his ruined boat is apparently in a sad pile at some marina. When the topic turned to SNL, CK confessed that he’s worried about how he’ll do as host. Describing his first table read, he recalled to Fallon, “There’s a thing this thick of paper to read, and I’m in all of it, you know? And it’s not what I do for a living at all.” The comedian is pretty sure he blew 100% of his lines and has even been having visions of Lorne Michaels telling his staff, “There’s a hurricane, no one would blame us if we canceled.” Is this just typical Louis CK self-deprecation, or are we in store for some big-time disappointment Saturday night? Watch him talk about SNL below, and see the full Late Night interview at Laughspin. … Read More
1. Just about all live entertainment in New York City was canceled last night, but Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman both braved the storm to tape their shows without audiences. Watch their monologues — and Letterman’s interview with Denzel Washington, who obviously can’t be deterred by even the foulest of weather — at … Read More
1. The New York Times has an interesting interview with New York rapper Angel Haze about her her decision to release “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” a very personal song that chronicles her history of sexual abuse with stark honesty.
2. If you’re embarrassed about your warm and fuzzy feelings for Taylor… Read More
1. Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” the lead single off her untitled seventh album, has arrived online. Listen to the song — which was written by Sia, produced by Stargate and Benny Blanco, and includes 35 mentions of the word “diamond” — here.
2. Iconic singer Andy Williams — best known for songs like “Moon River”… Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we were happy to see a young Bill Nye sporting a bow tie in his adorable yearbook photo. We couldn’t believe how one London theater is dealing with patrons who talk during movies (spoiler alert: it involves Lycra-clad ninjas). We discovered Ballast, a clever new website… Read More