jimmy fallon’s probable millennial wizardry

It’s actually big news, and NBC is using the Olympics to push it all the harder: Jimmy Fallon is the sixth host of the Tonight Show, and it’s (back) in New York. He’s the guy who could never quite keep from giggling on SNL, the one who does some pretty amazing impressions, the one who has a really successful comedy bromance with Justin Timberlake, the one who occasionally tells stories about growing up wanting to be on SNL and who makes it very clear he has no problem with the fact that he’s out of his depth on all these big stages.

And maybe he’s the greatest example of Millennial impact out there.

I haven’t gotten to watch last night’s first episode yet (actually, it’s playing as I’m writing this). I’ll DVR it all week… and I hope you will, too. He has spent the first ten minutes introducing himself – not snarkily, not joking (much). Introducing his mom and dad (who are in the audience). His biography. His band, announcer, the spot on the stage where he’ll stand to do the monologue (it’s a four-leaf clover). You know that’s reaching Millennials well, right?

I spent seven posts way back in 2009 writing about Jimmy Fallon’s clear “Millennial wizardry”; one of the biggest moments of writing this blog was when a producer reached out to me via the comments. I’m sure those old posts could use some editing, and it’s possible some of the links have long since died, but I encourage you to take a look.

And then start taking a look this week. We’ll see together whether Jimmy is still Millennial-slanted in his new digs and his new time-slot. My guess is Yes. We’ll also see whether this works out better than the last attempt at passing the baton from the very Baby Boomer-friendly Jay Leno to the next guy.

And if it does work out, and if Jimmy still reaches Millennials like he did five years ago, then we’ve got a great fellow brainstormer on what a new era in Collegiate Ministry could look like. Collaborating with us every night at 11:30 (10:30 Central).


  1. Justin Lewis

    Thanks, Benson. Couldn’t agree more. I think he has a great staff and perspective that works well. One small thing though… My students don’t watch late night comedy. (Maybe others’ do)

    I tried to pull off a “thank you note” spoof and it when I ran through it with some students before our gathering, it fell flat. We pulled it. (Maybe I need to hire the Roots to help…?)

  2. Pingback: “fantasy life of a millennial”: more on jimmy fallon’s debut | Exploring College Ministry blog (daily notes on our field)

Leave a Reply