Jimmy Fallon welcomes an audience back to The Tonight Show

Jimmy Fallon (Photo by Gerardo Mora/FilmMagic)
Jimmy Fallon (Photo by Gerardo Mora/FilmMagic) /

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon looked and sounded a little bit more like itself on Monday night. Not only did the show return to its home in Studio 6B at 30 Rock, but it did so in front of a live studio audience.

The road back to a live audience for late night TV has been a long and winding one. At the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, every show went remote as viewers were taken inside the homes of Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, and more.

Slowly but surely, shows began to return to a studio. Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Late Night with Seth Meyers were able to broadcast from their normal settings. The Tonight ShowThe Late Show, and Conan have used makeshift stages and a theater as their new homes.

Crowds have been made up of staff members from the show or in the case of Conan, cardboard cutouts of fans. But The Tonight Show changed that on Monday night, welcoming a crowd of just under 60 people as it returned to Studio 6B. Check out the opening moments of Jimmy Fallon’s monologue below:

The energy was back at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

One of the biggest things that The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has going for it is the energy it brings every night. Rarely, if ever, will you see Jimmy Fallon have an off night when it comes to his enthusiasm or excitement when he’s on stage.

The audience is the same way at The Tonight Show, feeding off the energy from Fallon, The Roots, and whatever celebrity guest is in the building that night. That reliance on atmosphere is a major reason why The Tonight Show has struggled a bit more than other late night shows during these at-home and audience-free episodes. But Fallon has made the most of it and his resilience paid off on Monday night.

An audience comprised of frontline workers helped Fallon kick off his return to Studio 6B. It was also the return of announcer Steve Higgins who fans haven’t seen with Fallon in months. The applause, laughter, and even silence after a bad joke from the audience made for a better viewing experience. Fallon and his guest Andy Cohen also looked to be having a better time in front of a crowd.

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Did you notice a difference watching The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with a studio audience? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.