Welcome to the Fallon Files, a weekly-ish series chronicling only the lowest lows of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Haters, rejoice. Now that my beloved Ellen is off the air and presumably on a year-long vacation with Portia, I have set my sights on another baffling talk show host. This time it’s Jimmy Fallon, who devoted readers of this website will know I think is awful at his job.
For our first installment, we’ll be looking at what is a classic Jimmy interview. It’s boring, not funny, and the guest does not seem to be having a good time. He had Emma Chamberlain on the show last night and managed to talk almost exclusively about the Met Gala, which happened almost two months ago. Our boy has his finger on the pulse.
“For those who don’t know, can you explain what you do?” Jimmy asked, with all the confidence of someone who definitely knows who Chamberlain is and what she does. She’s a very famous vlogger, in case you are unaware. Just yesterday she finally returned to YouTube after a six-month hiatus, which another host might find to be an interesting and timely topic worth asking about.
For instance, why did she leave? Why did she come back? What did she do during her time off? What’s different now compared to half a year ago? Is she changing anything about the way she approaches vlogging? Those are just some questions I thought of in five seconds that I would like to know the answers to.
They even had an opening to discuss it. At one point, Jimmy referenced Chamberlain’s YouTube videos and offered an explanation as to why millions of people love her so much: “I think it’s because you’re real, and I think you’re honest, and I can kind of see that. When I watch it, I go, ‘That’s real.’”
(I will pause here to ask you, just for a moment, to imagine Jimmy watching an Emma Chamberlain vlog. I’m trying to conjure up the image myself and my brain is short circuiting. That man has never once opened YouTube with the intention of watching Chamberlain chit-chat from her bed. If he has, he should be arrested.)
Instead of pursuing the only conversational thread that could have provided some genuinely compelling insight — discussing Chamberlain’s big return to the platform that made her a star — Jimmy apparently found it more relevant to spend five minutes revisiting her red carpet work at the Met Gala (and that Jack Harlow clip) and then two minutes promoting her coffee brand. Nothing makes for better television than talking to someone about their months-old viral moment and whichever product they’re hawking — Ellen taught me that.
This is going to be a long series, I can already tell. With no end in sight for The Tonight Show, I imagine I will be doing this until either Jimmy or I die. Welcome to hell: It looks like Studio 6B and sounds like forced laughter constantly ringing in your ears.