The “Tonight Show” host talks about the challenges of rallying the “controlled chaos” of his house to create a late-night show, and why it’s so important to him to do it.
As late-night transitions into its new (temporary) normal amid self-isolation protocols put in place as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the new breakout stars of "The Tonight Show" have quickly become Jimmy Fallon’s two young daughters, Winnie (6) and Franny (5).
For Thursday’s show, Jimmy performed his monologue from what looked like a makeshift play area beneath a set of stairs, with both girls positioned behind him. He set them up as his official joke critics. Unfortunately, he also gave them a really fun way to share their dislike of any particular joke.
For a joke they approved of, he asked the girls to give him a thumbs up. If they didn’t like it, he offered them to stick their tongues out and give him a raspberry. Can you guess how many thumbs up he got throughout his entire monologue?
Luckily, they’re absolutely adorable and even when they’re telling him that all of his jokes are terrible, they were winning our hearts over. In fact, filming his show at home — as are most of the other late-night hosts — has invigorated new life into the stale late-night formula.
With its looser format, varied on-site locations throughout Jimmy’s house and the constant presence of his rambunctious daughters, there’s an element of unpredictability that has long been missing from the variety/talk format on television, and it is so refreshing to see.
"It’s chaos, controlled chaos," Jimmy told People Thursday about this new unorthodox way to create a television show. Hilariously, it seems like the near-constant intrusion of his daughters into his "At Home" show may have even happened as a very happy accident.
"I’ve realized that I don’t have a quiet room in my house," the comedian told the outlet. "Maybe I’ll have to do one episode from inside my bathroom and keep the door locked!"
Part of the reason that Jimmy brought his show back on the air — at first online only, and now as part of a hybrid-rerun format on NBC — was to raise money for various charities. Each installment spotlights a different worthy cause. With the ongoing public health crisis, these organizations are in more need of support than ever before.
"The last time I felt something like this was after 9/11, and I was on SNL and I remember looking to my late-night comedians for guidance," Jimmy said. "It’s the time to put our problems aside and come together, then big things can be accomplished."
"I’m doing it from my house and loosely editing it in my brain," he said of this strange new way of crafting something different, yet familiar. "The writers are all quarantined and sending jokes. We’re all coming together to give the country a little bit of normalcy."
Well, we’re not sure how normal these shows have been, with "controlled chaos" the new rule of thumb, but we are here for it. In fact, we’ll honestly be a little disappointed when true normalcy returns and Jimmy returns to taping his show from a studio … without any screaming, giggling, climbing interruptions from late-night’s most adorable sidekicks.
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