Farewell to Friday-Mania

The Rebecca Black mania has subsided already (it actually lasted longer than I thought it would), but this, from last night’s Jimmy Fallon, was as good as way to bid farewell to it as any. Fallon’s show, as I’ve said before, is like an illustration of how much fun a talk show can be despite a host who isn’t particularly strong at any of the stuff talk show hosts are usually supposed to do well.

It doesn’t matter, because Fallon and his writers have fun ideas, carried out with enthusiasm. (Enthusiasm and joy are particularly welcome since the other talk shows don’t have it in abundance. Fallon’s lead-in, Leno, is the most joyless and soulless show around. Conan is staid now, Letterman is fun but bitter. Ferguson combines real enthusiasm with some substance, which is why he’s probably the best of the lot, but the good-natured charm of Fallon is a genuine alternative.) And Fallon and his writers have a theme for the show: essentially a big-budget version of YouTube, full of remixes, parody performances and nostalgic reminders of the stuff he liked as a kid. A comic point of view and enthusiastic execution really renders the other stuff… not irrelevant, certainly, but it doesn’t get in the way of having a good time.

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