If you’ve noticed something different about The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon can explain.
There may be more late night options than ever these days. However, they all follow the same format save for a few minor differences. But one big change was recently brought to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
As the crown jewel of late night, one wouldn’t expect many changes to The Tonight Show. While Jimmy Fallon may have shifted the tone since taking over from Conan O’Brien (or was it Jay Leno?), the basic skeleton of the show hasn’t changed much over the years.
However, if you’re a dedicated nightly fan of The Tonight Show then you probably noticed the changes that Fallon and company implemented. Speaking to Variety, Fallon explained how Netflix influenced the decision to drop the opening credits:
"You don’t have [the ‘skip intro’ button] on network TV. So you’re forced to watch this, every night. And you go, ‘I get it, Jimmy Fallon’s going to walk out. We get it, you’re in New York City and you’re ordering a hot dog. Get to the funny, get to the comedy. I don’t need to see you walking through New York! I get it!’"
If timing is everything in comedy then clearly Jimmy Fallon doesn’t want to waste any of it on The Tonight Show. It is a shame to cut out any time that showcases The Roots as Fallon’s house band. But the band is put to good use in so many other ways that playing the same opening theme song each night isn’t necessary.
This is a smart decision by Fallon and the rest of the team at The Tonight Show. Will it fix all the issues and reclaim the late night throne from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert? No, not on its own. However it will, as Fallon said, get things moving right away.
Dropping the opening credits reduces the chances that a viewer will turn the television off after their local news or skip around to find something else in progress. The quicker Fallon can get to his spot, the quicker he can deliver his monologue and hook in a bigger audience.
Since taking over The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon has been influential on how other shows are produced. Don’t be surprised if this is another example of Fallon setting the standard and other late night shows drop their opening credits.