Fallon: Regular Guy?

I saw this on Drudge yesterday. For some reason I thought the Fallon version of the Tonight Show was starting in the spring. I’m not enough of a TV watcher to keep up with these things, I guess. I’m now exclusively on Amazon and the XBox for content. That means old movies when the spirit moves me and whatever is free from Microsoft.

Anyway, I never have understood the popularity of Jimmy Fallon. I don’t think he is very funny. The dorky effeminate white guy routine is as worn out as the neurotic Jewish guy routine. You have to be a comedic genius to make it work. But, I’m not a good judge of these things. I think Will Ferrell is just warmed over Chevy Chase.

What got my attention in this article was this:

Fallon has long positioned himself as a regular guy, the kind who would rather play charades with his guests than engage in lame interviews — or, even better, just pick up a guitar and goof around. His likableness has taken him far.

But even by his standards, the “aw shucks” factor was high on Monday night.

After a lovely opening credits intro directed by Spike Lee, Fallon took the stage, thanked his predecessors, and said: “I really don’t know how I got here.” Speaking in a voice so quiet you could practically hear audience members swallow, he introduced himself to “those of you who are watching me for the first time, which is very possible,” starting with the basics. “I’m 39 years old, I live in New York City with my beautiful wife Nancy and my daughter Winnie who’s six months old … and I love her so much.”

Fallon a regular guy? This is one of those things where you see the yawning gap between the over-class and the rest of America. The only place an effeminate poseur is a regular guy is in some gentrified hipsterville like Brooklyn. In the rest of America, men are still men and they don’t “pick up a guitar and goof around with friends.” That’s the sort of thing that will still get you beat up in large swath of America. If you’re black or Spanish, regular guys are certainly not 30-something white hipsters.

That probably explains the enormous investment in Fallon by NBC . They really want him to be the every man. More important, they want America to look like the trendy places they have coffee and talk about writing projects. In fact, they want it so much they believe it is happening. These people are always sure their greatest desires for society are right around the corner, so they can believe anything is possible.

In the early days of TV, writers and performers were obsessed with middle-America. TV hosts were from the Midwest so they could relate to everyone. The shows were geared toward reinforcing and flattering the norms of middle-America. Johnny Carson became an icon and a force in Hollywood because he was loved by middle-America. Leno, as much as he could, kept that tradition going, but he was never a powerful figure in show business like his predecessor. His politics were simply too pedestrian.

The promotion of a Jimmy Fallon reflects the new way of doing things. Instead of armies of Jewish writers flattering Middle-Americans, Hollywood is an army of writers lecturing, educating and training those crude prols that go to WalMart and eat fast food. Fallon is the new model man, small, petite and vulnerable. He does not have on guests to entertain you; he has them on so he can entertain them. The new model man is an androgynous man-boy begging for acceptance by spilling his heart out in public.