NBC released a new ad for The Tonight show, the ad is meant to be a touch of a tear jerker that digs through he archives of the show in preparation of Jimmy Fallon’s arrival. It seems like a very sweet commercial, reminding us of the powerful and rich history of the show.
The spot quickly shows a run through of the hosts, Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Conan O’Brien, and Jay Leno. It also, has a graphic that shows those names, in that order. I know what you’re thinking, wait, didn’t Leno host the show before O’Brien too? Yeah, he did. In fact, Leno hosted from 1992 all the way till 2009, before giving up the reins of the show to O’Brien, who’s short stint ran from 2009 to 2010. Of course, like the commercial says, after O’Brien, Leno took (back) over in 2010 and will continue until Fallon joins the historic bunch on February 17th.
To further that awkwardness, in the very beginning you see a number of quick snap shots of the hosts standing at their respective monologue spot. You even see a quick one of Conan (this time he was after Leno) and then the show gives an extended but quick look at the hosts from Johnny Carson ’til now. We see Johnny nail the jokes and do his timeless thing. He then introduces a young Jay Leno on to the show, translating the show to Leno’s time to shine. They show a few (classic?) moments from Jay’s time as the host and then Jay introduces Jimmy Fallon. The rest of the spot is excitement over Jimmy Fallon’s arrival and the next chapter of The Tonight Show.
Anyone else notice the problem there? There’s a bit of Conan O’Brien disappearing act going on. As if they just listed his name and one very fast picture of him then pretended he was never on the show at all. While O’Brien certainly had a short time on the show before NBC yanked the rug out from under him, he was still a host of the show. No matter how the show did, it’s a little crappy and low to not re-write how the show’s history went but also pretend parts of it never happened. Especially since its NBC that had a bigger hand in this zany history by throwing O’Brien to the curb and tossing Jay back into the spotlight.
All that aside, I suppose we should just forget the history for now and look forward to Jimmy Fallon’s chapter of the show. There are many laughs waiting to be had and a whole lot of history waiting to be written, even if it’s re-written again in the future. The biggest change you might notice right away from the spot is that it will officially be called The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon rather than The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The other question that might pop up is that the band is usually The Tonight Show band, will they pay homage to this somehow with The Roots coming over? All things we’ll learn about on February 17th.
Also, not to be outdone, there’s a new promo for Seth Meyers taking over late night.