Jimmy Fallon to take over for Conan O'Brien in '09

Jimmy Fallon, as previously reported, will take over for Conan O’Brien when the red-headed comedian makes his long-planned move into Jay Leno’s seat at The Tonight Show. NBC made the deal official at a press conference today with Fallon and exec producer Lorne Michaels. Further details were in short supply, from Fallon’s contract length and salary ("I keep asking Lorne, and he keeps telling me not to worry about it," Fallon cracked) to show specifics and the key question of when the transition will take place.  "Sometime in ’09," hedged Michaels, who’ll produce both O’Brien’s and Fallon’s shows. "Probably the first six months. Maybe the second six."

Why so cagey about the exact date? The net’s still negotiating to keep Leno in the family and avoid having late-night’s most-successful host be most-successful at another net. Co-chairman of NBC Entertainment Ben Silverman told EW.com that doing so could involve primetime, cable, syndication, or some combination thereof. "We love Jay and want to keep him around," Silverman reiterated.

Fallon, meanwhile, promised to make his "the best show for everyone to fall asleep during" and said he’s been doing standup lately to get into practice. "We’re not going to reinvent the wheel," he said of the show’s format. "But when Conan took over for Letterman, he wasn’t Letterman. Oh, and all the furniture will be suspended six feet in the air."


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  • Los

    It’s pretty awesome that I won’t have to stay up late to watch Conan anymore, but how will this affect the vibe he had going before w/ ‘Late Night’? Is the Max Weinberg 7 coming with him? (Conan & Max’s awkward exchanges & the rips towards La Bamba are priceless) Does this mean no more ‘In the Year 2000′ or any other of Conan’s bits? What about the writing staff? Considering how much I dislike Leno’s show, I dunno if Conan will be in good hands without at least Robert Smigel in tow. However Conan managed nicely during the strike episodes, so we probably won’t have that much to worry about. Either way, congrats to him & Fallon.

  • dan jones

    I can’t believe they’re actually giving this talentless hack a show. Seriously, who at NBC thinks this is a good idea and why? Cause every movie he’s ever been in has bombed? Because it made it serveral season on SNL without creating even one single memorable character or sketch? Because he’s never been funny for even a single second, ever, not once? I seriously predict this will be worse the Chevy Chase’s show. NBC needs to have their collective heads examined for this. Jimmy Fallon? Really? Are they on drugs?

  • elbownito

    Lame. Jimmy Fallon is lame.
    Amy Sedaris would have been my pick.

  • Elizabeth

    Here’s hoping Conan continues to be “Conan”… And Dan, two words: Carson. Daly.

  • cady

    I’m wondering if Conan will be as edgy when he switches over. There’s something special about his current timeslot. I rather enjoyed Conan not being the mainstream. Only special people truly appreciate him. Jay Leno has never been my favorite and I don’t want Conan to change anything. It’s depressing enough that he’ll be in LA but I really like the show being sorta cultish. I like that the show doesn’t currently revolve around celebrities. I like that the format is based on the brilliant segments written by the brillian writers.

  • Brian

    I am happy that Conan is moving up. I have been a fan of his since his debut. Never liked Leno. And I hope he doesn’t stick around and O’Brien get screwed like Letterman did in 93. As far as Fallon is concerned, I am surprised he would be given such a popular show. He is a no talent A__ Clown. Hated him on SNL and I avoided his movies like the Plague.

    • Mel

      Brian, you predicted the future. “Never liked Leno. And I hope he doesn’t stick around and O’Brien get screwed like Letterman did in 93.”

  • Kim

    Jimmy Fallon is hilarious. I used to work for Conan and I think Jimmy will soar in his spot. Now I’m just waiting for Seth Meyers to get a show…that would take me out of retirement!



  • adamrich81

    Ugh. Even the cracks in the article weren’t funny. Also, I don’t know where you commentors come from, but Amy Sedaris? Seth Meyers? THOSE would be your picks? At least Carson Daly knows how to kiss a celeb’s butt, which is the point of the show, and he knows better than to try and be funny. The people these shows appeal to, I would think, would have quite a few years to draw from in choosing their late night bedtime company, anyone but Jimmy Fallon or Seth Meyers. Also I hope Lorne Michaels quits doing…everything…Take a page from Uwe Boll, start a petition.

  • suibne

    Conan? Just another nail in what used to be free TV’s coffin.

  • Mei

    I like Fallon in small bits but don’t believe he can carry the weight of a show by himself. I like Conan and, as other posters here, hope he isn’t forced to lose too much ‘edge’ in the move to the very ‘bland’ Tonight Show slot. ‘Bland’ is exactly how I’ve always felt about Leno’s humor (though I think the man himself seems nice) so I wan’t surprised by his being picked to replace Carson. Amy Sedaris is great even though I don’t enjoy her ‘Candy’ character (Have you read her cookbook? It’s really funny, especially for a -real- cookbook). She is also extremely nice and humble in-person. I’m not sure she could pull off a talk show but I’d give her better odds than Fallon. Seth Meyers? He’s now head writer at SNL but I can’t tell if any of the funny bits are his or not. That’s scary since the bulk of the show is still non-funny. Seth is still largely an unknown quantity. In short, I’m glad I’m not the guy at NBC having to pick Conan’s replacement…

  • thomps222

    What is NBC thinking? I predict that Fallon won’t last too long and they’ll end up promoting Carson Daly into that time slot. Jimmy Fallon is just not that funny, just watch that episode of family guy where Peter Griffin picks him apart and kicks his ass.

  • PatW

    So, it takes about 15 yrs to forget what happens when you put an unfunny person into the hosting position at a talk show … Chevy Chase Show, anyone?

  • Ed Weirdness

    Must be a rule at NBC. You have to make a movie that sucks, and then you move into one of the late night chairs!

  • Deborah B.

    I have never cared for Conan. Craig Ferguson is much better. I also like Jimmy Kimmel.

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