The Late-Night TV Monologue is Dull and Anachronistic—And Should Retire With Jay Leno
February 06, 2014
Jay Leno told Jimmy Fallon to make his monologue longer. Jimmy would be a fool to listen.
Late-Night Comedy, All Day Long
March 05, 2013
How Fallon, Kimmel and other shows are adapting to the viral age.
The Best TV of 2012
December 27, 2012
A round-up of the best of television of 2012.
"You Might Even Say It Blows!"
December 21, 2012
Have we reached the end of the pop Christmas canon?
Fallon and Letterman and the Invisible Late Show Audience
October 30, 2012
Both "Late Night" and "The Late Show" highlighted just how much the studio audience has become ingrained in the format.
How Liberals Learned to Love Honey Boo Boo
October 03, 2012
What began as a classic "thank God we're not those people" show for liberals and other cosmopolitans turned out to be weirdly inspirational.
Lykke Li and the Rise of Porn Pop
March 12, 2011
There’s always a strain of porn in pop music—not just sexiness or sensuality, which are different things, of course, but an industrially strategic manipulation of words, music, and images to manufacture desire. Clever performers have exploited this, sometimes upending it to comment upon or to subvert that desire, since Josephine Baker petitioned for African American equity in a snake dance. I grew up with disco and “Push, Push in the Bush” on top-40 radio.
The Ballads of Steven Slater
August 20, 2010
Among the more rational propositions blurted forth by John Lennon in the early 1970s was a notion to release his new songs on cardboard 45-RPM singles. Lennon had just relocated from London to New York, and he seemed to be following the tracks of Bob Dylan's bootheels from Dylan's first days in the city a decade earlier, when he had fashioned himself after Woody Guthrie as a leftie newshound with an acoustic guitar.
Jimmy Fallon, Still Not Funny
December 12, 2008
Four years ago, I couldn't help but write a TNR piece about why Jimmy Fallon wasn't funny, isn't funny, and could never be funny. It ran in the wake of his "SNL" departure as he tried to carry a flop of a feature film called Taxi, co-starring Queen Latifah.
The Late Shift
July 21, 2008
Though I am a huge fan of “Saturday Night Live,” I have never understood just why Lorne Michaels seems to think that Jimmy Fallon is the Next. Big. Thing. I mean, he seems kind of sheepishly funny and all, but Fallon’s work on SNL mainly consisted of him cracking himself up. I don’t mean he did skits that he personally thought were funny; I mean he spent his time on air giggling. There is a certain amount of charm in this: Watching Jane Curtain try not to lose it after the “Jane, you ignorant slut” moment was priceless.