Tag Archives: Jimmy Fallon

Let’s Get a Few Links Off My Chest: The Challenge Hibernation Edition

To my few loyal readers who may not be as interested in the minutia and the “inside the competitor’s studio” unrelenting coverage of all things The Challenge, do not fear: my pop culture and sports identity has not lost its mojo (a fair presumption). The reality of covering the “Fifth Major American Professional Sport” (that also happens to be a TV show) full-time is that other writing takes a little bit of a backseat. With so much going on (NBA Playoffs! Game of Thrones! Colbert taking over Late NightThe remarkable cultural ascendancy of Billy on the Street!), I thought I could at least send you to the right places.

Without further ado, let us get a few links off my chest…

I am not sure I would call this the “greatest shot in playoff history” as some have suggested…

(greatness demands higher stakes than Game 2 of a first round series), but I would be hard pressed to find a more incredible basketball play and the replays only make it look better.

Beno Udrih’s reaction non-reaction (at 0:18) says everything.

For the record, this remains my favorite playoff basketball play that I ever seen (you are really watching what greatness is all about)…

Speaking of Larry Legend, Jalen and Bill have an interesting chat about LeBron’s place in the “greatest forward of all-time conversation…

They both reluctantly argue (and subsequently mourn) that if LeBron wins his third championship this season, he passes Bird on the all-time forward list. I may not be there yet, but this is not an erroneous argument by any means. LeBron, beginning the playoffs in his eleventh season, is already right there. Incredible.

While were still in the land of Larry, somebody finally got into a fistfight with Lance Stephenson, and, not so surprisingly, it was Evan Turner (not exactly anyone’s favorite teammate). Despite a decisive game 2 victory against the Hawks, Pacers championship aspirations are in a whole lot of trouble. At least Roy Hibbert isn’t for sale on Amazon.Roy-Hibbert-Cover

I had the pleasure of watching the epic game 1 showdown between Houston and Portland. Is there a more fun glue guy/crowd pleaser/enforcer in the league right now than Patrick Beverley? This is his response to being hit with a Mo Williams flagrant foul.

Thunder fans may object, but you have to love what this guys brings to the table.

If Patrick Beverley had played in 1980s, he would have been a perfect insertion to the Pistons. I certainly loathed the “yellow, gutless way” they did things, but it is hard not have some respect for the Bad Boys of Detroit as a compelling and dynamic basketball team (I had forgotten how eloquent Isiah Thomas is and how bizarre Adrian Dantley seems to be).

There have been many great 30 for 30 documentaries, but I am not sure one resonated (or provided a greater opportunity to relive and reminisce) more than this one.

Thank goodness for Robert Parish’s revenge enactment (start at 0:17). Amazingly, he was not ejected. Respect.

That’s what you do, Paul Pierce. That’s why the Celtics miss you so much.

On to the other spectrum popular culture, Season 4 of Game of Thrones has already been responsible for its share of reactions (SPOILER ALERT!) and has further proved why Westeros is apparently the worst place to have a wedding. This week brought out some mixed opinions about the transfer of a book scene to television. I am still ruminating on the ramifications of the scene in question and as a television viewer first and foremost (I have only read the first book and aim to stay at least two books behind because I enjoy watching the television show too much), I will wait to see where Mr. Weiss and Benioff take me, but for now, if you are watching, read Andy Greenwald because he writes amazing things about an amazing television show.

My feeling after watching this video: I think we may be witnessing the birth of a political star…

The future of late night is bright with these two. John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight debuts Sunday night on HBO. I remember his final The Daily Show with a nostalgic fondness.

Speaking of Late Night television, I admittedly have never been a Letterman guy. This is entirely a byproduct of my age (too young), my sensibility (I appreciate a different type of comedic irreverence), and my late night habits during formative late night habit-forming years (I have been a loyal follower of The Daily Show, an affinity that first awakened to the brilliant laughter and learning combination in college). Notwithstanding, I get it. I get why and how Letterman inspired a generation and why he is justifiably a comedic and television legend. Bill Simmons carves out a beautiful piece of prose to put all in perspective. Stephen Colbert (a Daily Show disciple on his own right) is the worthiest of replacements and will add to the already thriving renaissance of the medium.

Yes, they may not be the most incredible pre-publicity images I have seen, but they are still images from Jurassic World!Jurassic World

Bryce-Dallas-Howard Director-Chair

While on the subject of Steven Spielberg properties…will a collaboration with Tony Kushner be his next project or will it be a collaboration with Tom Hanks? I will gladly take both.

Coldplay is making me very excited for their new album, Ghost Stories, out May 19-20. Every song they have put out thus far simultaneously sounds entirely unique and yet eerily connected to one another as if from some carefully constructed masterwork. The latest release (as a live BBC performance) of “Oceans” furthers this trend:

I have tried and failed to read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter follow up, The Casual Vacancy, four times now. The “right timing” stars have never aligned. Maybe this just announced HBO miniseries will quell the trend.

The Leftovers debuts this summer on HBO and has Damon Lindelof’s stamp written all over it. The long awaited return to television by The Lost showrunner presents something extraordinary.

Finally, two games in, and LaMarcus Aldridge’s 2014 postseason is OUT OF CONTROL. Whether the Blazers win the series or not (Houston is heading back to Portland down 2-0), Aldridge’s rise to one of the game’s elite players (and mid-range jumper master) has already happened.

St. Patrick’s Day Bliss: Jimmy Fallon and Kermit the Frog

There are many ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

For my Dad, Danny Ainge, and Rob Lowe, it is a birthday celebration.

For NBA teams with a red and black color schemes, it is an excuse to wear green.


For others, St. Patrick’s Day is a reason for parades and excessive (and frankly, unnecessary) inebriation.

After last night, I am not sure I could think of two better individuals to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with than Jimmy Fallon and a green icon in his own right, Kermit the Frog.

Their interview is one thing…

…But this performance of “Bein’ Green” is something else entirely. Classic Fallon. Classic Kermit. Classic.

Andy Greenwald is a word magician of the television arts

Last week, Grantland’s masterful television commentator, Andy Greenwald, delivered one of those brilliant pieces of prose that have amazingly become par for his contributor page course. Whether or not you agree with Mr. Greenwald that The Americans is the “best show on television” is not the point (I can find reasonable justification for this argument), but rather how Greenwald’s written ideas and the eloquent delivery thereof make watching television exponentially better. It is no coincidence that my ascendant television watching identity and desire to occasionally write about it have been aligned with my time as an avid Greenwald reader. His influence is felt in the same way that a Roger Ebert review always made the movie experience better or how a Bill Simmons column (and the Grantland Chief who thought that Andy Greenwald would be a perfect choice to write about television for the almost three-year-old sports and entertainment commentary Mecca) makes my lifelong NBA fan experience that much more amazing and fantastic.

Today Greenwald unleashed his latest treatise on the state of modern comedy through the lens of Jimmy Fallon’s twelve show old The Tonight Show tenure and the Jerry Seinfeld web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.. As a loyal viewer of this new Tonight Show iteration and great admirer of Jimmy Fallon, Andy Greenwald gives an incredible voice to the giant bear hug that I thought I had been receiving from Fallon’s inclusive and infectious brand of laughter generation. Yes, I have enjoyed Jimmy Fallon and I had a reasonable understanding why, but through Greenwald’s written filter, it all becomes so much clearer and, subsequently, that much more rewarding.

Monday night TV: when amazing happens

Television the night after the Oscars can often be a little bit anticlimactic.  Apparently the following and diversified artists didn’t get the memo.

“Hey Kevin Durant.  I am not going to give up that MVP so easily.” – LeBron James (hypothetically), after scoring 61 points against the Charlotte Hornets to-be

Gonzo stopped by Jimmy Kimmel to promote Muppets Most Wanted and discuss best practices for chicken relationships.

One night after the “Adele Dazeem” incident, Idina Menzel spent some time with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots playing kid instruments.  Yes, she knows what it means to “let it go.”

And finally, The Daily Show has a new correspondent.  Welcome to the NBC sitcom star and late night talk show of your own farm system, Jordan Klepper.

Jimmy Fallon Lip Syncing competition part II – Paul Rudd domination

In what is fast becoming a Jimmy Fallon late at night show tradition (the first iteration featured Stephen Merchant and Joseph Gordon Levitt on Late Night), Paul Rudd and Jimmy Fallon went head to head in a lip syncing battle this week.  For so long battling a tarnished legacy from Milli Vanilii fraud, Beyoncé vocal performance conservatism, and whatever this Ashlee Simpson SNL stint was (whatever happened to Ashlee Simpson, anyway?), lip synching is making a comeback.  Like Full House and Saved By the Bell nostalgia, kid instrument song performances, and Justin Timberlake collaborative magic, Jimmy Fallon is at the forefront of this movement.  Jimmy’s performance was impressive, but Paul Rudd literally dropped the mic.  Enjoy!

The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon begins!

The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon began in the same way Late Night with Jimmy Fallon ended.  Yes, it is a new studio, a new set, and a more realistic live viewing time slot.  Yes, The Tonight Show is a more prestigious and honored cultural institution than Late Night (with all due respect to Conan and Letterman before him), a legacy that Johnny Carson built in his thirty years as host. This is absolutely a big deal, but as Jimmy Fallon’s first pre-monologue graciously gave reverence to his Mom and Dad sitting in the audience, to the Roots and their adaptive musical brilliance, to “announcer” Steve Higgins and his great friendship, to the lineage of hosts that came before him, to his wife Nancy and his baby daughter, Winnie Rose, and to both his loyal viewing audience and to those that may find their way to him now that he is on at an earlier time, it was Jimmy’s emotional generosity that once again set the tone.

From his beautiful Muppets performance of “The Weight” to end Late Night to this gracious and personal opening act, Jimmy Fallon’s greatness stems from his unabashed willingness to open his heart to his audience.  In his first Tonight Show couch interview with Will Smith, Jimmy was his usual, self-effacing self.  Discussing the incredible line of friends (more on this in a  bit) who lost a faux $100 bet that Jimmy would never host The Tonight Show, Will Smith, perhaps the last real movie star still standing, turned to a humbled Fallon and said, “People are coming because of your heart.”  Amen, Fresh Prince.

Some highlights from night one of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon:

• An incredible array of friends came to wish Jimmy well (and pay up for doubting the possibility of his new hosting duties). Robert De Niro. Tina Fey. Joe Namath. Rudy Giuliani. Mariah Carey. Tracey Morgan. Joan Rivers. Kim Kardashian. Seth Rogen. Lindsay Lohan. Sarah Jessica Parker. Mike Tyson. Lady Gaga. Stephen Colbert.  Could there possibly ever be a more diversified group of honored guests?

• Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith presented “The Evolution of Hip Hop Dancing.”  The degree of sweating says everything.

• If you are going to begin your time on The Tonight Show with a big musical guest, book U2.  The high point comes at 9:16 when the Edge begins an acoustic performance of the wrong song.

Tonight’s show features Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig, and Lady Gaga, so there’s pretty much every reason to watch. I am rooting for Jimmy Fallon.