As somebody who could not watch a second of Jay Leno, ever, I was charmed by Jimmy Fallon’s first show Monday night.
I’m a total Letterman fan, attuned to his twitchy moods, his dark history, his world view, his infatuations – Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett. But Fallon can be an outlet during reruns, commercials, stupid pet tricks.
I love that Fallon is young (39), agile and musical. I love the brothers in the shades in his band (The Roots) and hope they get more of a chance to play whole riffs than Letterman allows Paul’s talented band to do, on air.
My one question about the Fallon show is the presence of his announcer pal Steve Higgins. As an old guy, I kept saying, “Why is Steve Allen standing there? Is he a ghost who materializes from the walls of the ancient studio?”
I also love the Spike Lee intro for Fallon – need to catch more of the references – and love the ‘30’s set, so New York, so Rockefeller Plaza. Two shows from The Greatest City in the World, as Letterman’s announcer used to call it.
Welcome to Big Town. It may be time to learn how to download TV shows.
“They may hate the cultural context they now find themselves teaching in, but they love their work. The Achilles’ heel of schoolteachers, one all too easily exploited by politicians, is that they love their students.”
(One of the best reads in the NYT these days is Margaret Renkl, in Nashville. In her latest post, Renkl describes the dedicated core of “born teachers” – the majority, she submits.)
(From Madeleine Albright in one of her final interviews in February):
“Putin is small and pale,” I wrote, “so cold as to be almost reptilian.” He claimed to understand why the Berlin Wall had to fall but had not expected the whole Soviet Union to collapse. “Putin is embarrassed by what happened to his country and determined to restore its greatness.” – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recalling her first meeting with the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin in 2000. – The New York Times, Feb. 23, 2022.