Throughout all the chaos and excitement that has been taking over the late-night community, everybody has been asking what will happen to Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno and Carson Daly. But as a handful of people pointed out on Twitter yesterday, nobody seems to be inquiring about the future of Jimmy Fallon. Perhaps the reason is because Fallon has mostly stayed out of the sticky fray while Leno, O’Brien, David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel all trade barbs. But perhaps it has more to do with the fact that Fallon’s show has been steadily improving and it seems impossible that he’ll go anywhere.
Case in point: While most of the late-night hosts kept devoting their shows to the future of “The Tonight Show,” Fallon put together a segment that did everything a top-shelf comedy program is supposed to do. The host resurrected his spot-on Neil Young impression (last seen crooning the theme song to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” a few months back) to deliver another spot-on impression of the rock legend. His cover of choice this time around? “Pants on the Ground,” the instant hit originally written and performed by Larry Platt on Wednesday night’s episode of “American Idol.”
The thing that really makes the above video work is the total earnestness with which Fallon delivers the tune. When he was on “Saturday Night Live,” he gained a reputation as the guy who could never keep it together during sketches, and even on his show he sometimes seems flustered. But he’s like Brando when he slips into the guise of Young. Even though it’ll probably end once the schedules get shuffled around for good, it definitely seems like we’ve stumbled into an accidental golden age for late-night comedy, and Fallon is more than happy to contribute.