... because five of your friends are going to email you that video the next morning. That's all we need these days. That (and the greatest band on earth) is why Jimmy Fallon is popular right now.
If NBC executives think a massive Internet following is going to translate to improved ratings, it's just another sign that they're out of touch. Remember Snakes On a Plane? If you do, it's certainly not because you beat down a theater door to see it on opening weekend. Hell, remember Conan O'Brien? His show is still on, in case any of you Internet soldiers are curious. It's just that you don't have to watch it anymore because we can see the good parts in brief clips and bypass all of the boring celebrity interviews and commercials, just like we can right now with Jimmy Fallon. If you can blame it on one thing, it's probably Leno's lack of viral marketability that renders him so irrelevant to the younger crowd.
Even if you're excited for Jimmy Fallon from a career standpoint, you probably shouldn't be. Beyond the ratings concerns (that NBC has shown a willingness to address in the harshest manner possible), don't expect a move to a more advertiser-friendly spot to mean good things for the quality of his work. It's generally accepted that Conan's best moments on NBC came after he knew he was going to be fired and stopped caring what the higher-ups thought. Translation: Something about keeping that job made Conan O'Brien feel like he had to hold back.
If you think that's a situation exclusive to him, consider the fact that, once upon a time, Jay Leno was pretty damn funny himself. His act didn't start out as an endless stream of "Jaywalking" skits and wacky headlines. Answering to the NBC machine for so many years just made it that way.
In short, fans of Jimmy Fallon the talk show host should be over the moon if these rumors are true. Fans of Jimmy Fallon the Comic should be a lot less interested.
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