A new era in The Tonight Show arrives tonight, as Jimmy Fallon finally takes over the throne that reigning host Jay Leno has taken so long to give up. The legendary program is also returning to New York for the first time since Johnny Carson moved it to Los Angeles in 1972.
A lot of people will probably be tuning in as Jimmy Fallon makes his debut–even if The Tonight Show is getting pushed back to a midnight debut to make room for NBC’s Olympics coverage. That means people will have to stay up later for the impressive opening line-up of Will Smith and musical guest, U2.
Will Smith’s appearance should be pretty interesting, too, since the movie star doesn’t really have anything to promote. Except that he’s playing a sewer-dwelling Satan in the new terrible mess of a movie called Winter’s Tale. That’s right, Will Smith plays the Devil in the new film that opened this weekend to a spectacularly lousy $10 million.
Our guess is that Smith owed writer/director Akiva Goldsman a few favors. (Goldsman wrote both i, Robot and I Am Legend, which were both huge hits for Smith.) Smith’s role in the film is actually uncredited, so we’ll be curious to see if he even brings up the embarrassing role. It doesn’t seem likely now. That would’ve been a fun thing to bring up if Winter’s Tale was a big hit. Now, we’re thinking that it’s more likely that Jimmy Fallon will be asking Will about that uncredited cameo in Anchorman 2.
In any case, we’ll be tuning in to see how Jimmy’s first night on the job pans out. And don’t forget that the amazing Roots are still his house band, so that’s reason enough to be home by midnight…