Watching NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon over the past year or so, I grew to appreciate his sketches like “Thank You Notes,” “Superlatives” and the all-too-rare “Let Us Play With Your Look.” I was excited for the former Saturday Night Live star’s transition to the Tonight Show on NBC, which started last week with a who’s-who of famous guests, not just because it meant Jay Leno was finally off television but because he deserved it after five years on Late Night. Fallon’s a good talk show host and I love me some Justin Timberlake, who had been a frequent guest previously and has already appeared on the Tonight Show. Fallon’s first week was a little awkward, with a lot of blubbering and guests reassuring him of his obvious and multiple talents, but he’s gotten over that and looks to be beginning a long tenure as America’s favorite background noise for nighttime activities (whatever those may be). But Seth Meyers, another SNL alum, who took over Late Night this week, is a different story.
Let’s start with the positive. He has a great bandleader in Fred Armisen. The former Saturday Night Live writer and star is a great fit due to his previous history as a touring rock musician and general musical know-how. Seth Jabour and Syd Butler from Les Saavy Fav on guitar and bass, respectively, Eli Janney from Girls Against Boys on keyboards and Beyoncé’s drummer, Kimberly Thompson make up the 8G Band with Armisen, who is as musically versatile as they come. But those bright spots are not enough to carry the show.
First of all, the set is, well, it looks a little cheap. The Crate and Barrel desk in the middle of the floor with Myers’ dull, gray computer chair behind it brings to mind more of a Wayne’s World public access late night show than the one and only Late Night Show on a major TV network. The backdrop is a boring blue square pattern, like a faux Japanese screen in my great aunt’s guest room. His guests sit on individual chairs, again probably from Crate and Barrel; what happens if he has more than two guests? Or if he interviews a band? Do they sit on the floor? Come on, even I can afford a couch.
“Whoa, I think that was Nick Offerman,” said my friend. I didn't see the guy, so I asked who that was, because I thought it might be a friend of a friend that I had maybe met once or something. I didn’t recognize the name because I’m used to hearing a different name in reference to the mustachioed man’s man: Ron Swanson, the character on TV’s Parks and Recreation. I don’t watch the show but am familiar with the character because I’m a young person with Internet access. But I didn’t believe my friend, anyway, because why would such a big star be getting a cup of coffee at Acre in Petaluma?
So, we did what any reasonable people would do: waited outside the shop, drinking our coffee, trying to decide if it was him or not. In our five minute not-stalking-just-enjoying-coffee sit down, I asked my friend what he would do if it turned out to be the actor. A photo would be too much to ask, and he didn’t want to be “that guy” anyway. Maybe just say “hi” or something. We didn’t come to a conclusion when he exited the shop, so we did what any reasonable people would do: waited a minute then followed him downtown.
Turns out it was him, which we confirmed inside Chick-a-Boom Vintage Clothing when the clerk was even more excited to see Mr. Offerman than my friend was. Apparently he was in town promoting his book, and his wife wanted to do a bit of shopping (of course, this is third-hand store clerk knowledge, not an official news source like TMZ or anything). So I did what any reasonable person would do: tried on a tuxedo jacket and walked around the store, giving Mr. Offerman a respectful nod I caught his eye. My friend and I then left and walked around town some more, talking about how cool it was that we just “met” Nick Offerman. We are dorks.
Don't say we don't work hard around here. The buzz around the office today was all about the Lip Sync-Off between John Krasinksi ("Jim" on the Office) and Jimmy Fallon.
Jimmy leads off with an impassioned version of Melissa Manchester's "Don't Cry Out Loud" only to be topped by Kraskinki's performance of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" that reeks of many hours practicing moves in front of a bedroom mirror.
And make sure to watch all the way through so as not to miss Fallon's syncing of an over-the-top version of "Over the Rainbow" by Star Search reigning champion Sam Harris (remember him?)
Of course, multiple views of the competition only serves as a reminder of the original lip-syncing competition and my absolute favorite show when I was ten years old, "Putting on the Hits," hosted by Allen Fawcett, he of the blue twinkle-eyes and permed mullet. The show offered up wacky, and often bizarre, renditions of popular songs of the day.
Here are some choice performances from a show that put competitive lip-syncing on the map, the show that let "everyday people shine like the stars they've always wanted to be."
Stacy, Debbie and Stacy do "Crush on You" by The Jets
Tony and Susan doing "Angst in My Pants" by Sparks
Creepy Baby Man
Umm, and here's Kato Kaelin, at the time a "mild-mannered salesman from Milwaukee, Wisconsin" but who eventually became most famous for living in Nicole Simpson's guest house on the night she was murdered, doing a baffling and terrible performance of "Born to be Wild."
A giant squid was finally captured on video in its natural habitat. Why is this news? Why should the denizens of the North Bay care? Because giant squid are incredible, that's why.
Unfortunately, this clip is from ABC, the lowest common denominator of television news. So there's about 20 seconds of idiotic banter in this 45-second clip. Yeah, buddy, don't take a dip past TWO THOUSAND FEET.