Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Product Placement? Entertainment Replacement!

I am not familiar enough with Jimmy Fallon to have formed an opinion about him before tonight. Talk shows haven't been my cuppa since they stopped being about conversation and started being about cheap shots and cheap laughs (which these days translate to the same thing). However, tonight's show's first guest is Dick Cavett, a person who actually knows how to carry on an interesting -- even fascinating, even intelligent, even enlightening --conversation without shouting down his guest, promoting homophobia or making fools out of random street people or audience members. Therefore I tuned in to Fallon's show and suffered through a fairly lame but only mildly offensive (and old! who pokes fun at Bill Clinton's sex drive anymore? who cares?) monologue, a silly but totally inoffensive "finger skating" segment and a horrible bit of business in which a "preacher" (perhaps meant to bear a vague resemblance to James Brown, or perhaps I missed the real reference?) "preached" an endless Subway commercial (there was a real one in the next break). Now what is the purpose of presenting a commercial (pretty straight after all, despite the obvious conviction of the participants that there was some humor involved) right before a commercial? Everyone knows, and perhaps groaningly accepts, that these late night talk shows have more commercial time than show time to start with. The only justification I can imagine for this stupidity is that the alternative may have been more of the same crap, or worse, that passed for a monologue.

And to think I actually LIKE Subway. At this point I'd rather see a real Subway commercial (and they're not all that amusing) than Jimmy Fallon.

Then Cavett came out and although the conversation could not be called cohesive, it was at least coherent, because Cavett took control of it, told stories without being interrupted, joked without being trumped and actually wowed everyone with a rope trick.

When Cavett was done, I was also done, and I assure you, it will take someone of Cavett's presence to woo me back.

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