Jimmy Fallon debuted on The Tonight Show on Monday, and judging from his flawless presentation, rumors say that his appearance helped him top Jay Leno and even win a $100 bet with one of his celebrity friends. All eyes were on the former host of Late Night as he shyly presented himself and his family, then delivered a monologue right in the middle of a four-leaf clover. Although this kind of speech may not be part of his comfort zone, the host created a memorable show and proved that his funnyman side goes well with The Tonight Show, which has gone back to its roots, yet instilled a new wave of energy.
“I’m Jimmy Fallon,” the presenter said. “”I’ll be your host- for now.”
The funnyman seems to have topped Jay Leno’s 22-year-old performance, thanks to NBC’s decision to move its studio back to New York after more than 40 years in Los Angeles. However, Jimmy Fallon, who won a $100 bet with a friend for not believing he could become the host of The Tonight Show, seems to be walking in Johnny Carson’s shoes, which helped him bring a blend of old, yet fresh air to the show once topped by Jay Leno. The show went back to the roots at least with the name, because Carson’s wording of the title has been removed from “naphthalene” and used as a way to get over Jay Leno’s legacy. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon began last night, with a host surrounded by family, friends and celebrities like Will Smith, U2, Tina Fey, Lindsay Lohan, Joe Namath, Mariah Carey, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Tracy Morgan, Mike Tyson and Stephen Colbert, who welcomed the host in a creative way.
Among the celebrities invited during Fallon’s first night as a host of The Tonight Show was Joan Rivers, who came to repay her “debt” and make history: 49 years ago, she made the first appearance when Carson was the host, in the same studio. Last night was the first time Rivers appeared on The Tonight Show in 27 years after she turned to Fox for a show of her own and Carson did not want to invite her anymore.
U2’s interpretation of Invisible on the rooftop and Fallon’s dance with Will Smith were, indeed, incendiary moments, but the man who topped Jay Leno also won a $100 bet with none other than Robert De Niro.
“To my buddy who said that I’d never be the host of The Tonight Show – and you know who you are – ,” the new host said. “You owe me a hundred bucks, buddy.”
One moment later, De Niro burst through the curtain and placed $100 on Fallon’s new desk.
The former host of Late Night remained bubbly, funny, gracious and offered the fans of The Tonight Show a night to remember which, according to some viewers, instilled a new breath to NBC’s production. For Fallon, hosting a show of such a scale is a dream come true, which not only reportedly topped Jay Leno’s style of presentation, but also won him a $100 bet with Robert De Niro. As seen last night, the funnyman does not mirror Leno, as people might have expected, but legend Johnny Carson.
By Gabriela Motroc