Fallon Goes Off-Script At The Globes

Jimmy Fallon at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007. Photo via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Contributing Critic

“Tonight Show” host and Saint Rose graduate Jimmy Fallon hosted The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards on NBC on Jan. 8. He followed four-time host Ricky Gervais (2010-’12, ‘16) and pals Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (2013-’15).

The pre-taped opening number was fantastic – a spoof, tribute and homage to “La La Land,” the dazzling musical that would earn a record-breaking seven Globes that night, winning all of the categories it was nominated in. Fallon’s song and dance sequence featured friend Justin Timberlake, along with nominees Amy Adams, Ryan Reynolds, Nicole Kidman and the cast of “Stranger Things.”

Fallon then entered the stage in the Beverly Hilton hotel to a ballroom filled with stars—and a big surprise. His opening line?

“Welcome to the Golden Globes. Already the teleprompter’s down, so this is a great way to start the show.” Forty-five seconds later (though it felt longer for viewers at home—and likely even longer for Fallon up on stage), a new prompter was brought in and Fallon began his monologue. Every third joke was political. My favorite part was when he did an impression of two-time Oscar host Chris Rock commenting on the success of miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

Fallon returned on stage at the start of the second segment. “I just got off the phone with Mariah Carey, and she thinks Dick Clark Productions sabotaged my monologue.” (Besides “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” Dick Clark Productions also produces The Globes.) This Fallon appearance, along with a few others during the first hour, likely weren’t planned, as the show’s announcer and production team noticeably had to make adjustments on the fly.

A trend of Gervais, Fey and Poehler during their stints, Fallon disappeared for more than an hour during the middle of the Globes, during which numerous awards were given out and Meryl Streep received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. Many people online were wondering if Fallon had left the show for good, but he did come back a few times during the final segments.

For me, the biggest laughs of the night actually belonged to presenter Matt Damon, who joked about winning Best Actor in a Comedy last year for “The Martian,” seeing as how that fact alone is funnier, literally, than anything in “The Martian.” In addition, Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig did a bit on the first animated films they ever saw. It was absolutely hysterical. There has been some clamor online from those who want the pair to host the 2018 Globes.

As for Fallon, the teleprompter not working got him off to a rocky start, and other than the clean sweep by “La La Land,” this is what the night will be most remembered for. Could Fallon come back next year? Yes. Twenty million viewers tuned in, up eight percent from last year, which NBC is certainly pleased with. But Fallon may choose to opt out, instead simply continuing to cruise along in late night—he’s a comfortable first place at 11:35—a gig he has through at least Fall 2021.

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