Imitation is the fondest form of flattery, right? Jimmy Fallon must think so, since his way of paying tribute to David Letterman on Friday night’s edition of “The Tonight Show” was reading his own version of a classic “Late Show” Top Ten List all about reasons that Dave could be stepping down.
Overall, this list was pretty fun, especially for those of you who love looking at late-night TV from a structural standpoint. This list was almost a microcosm of the differences between Fallon and Letterman’s brand of comedy. So much of what Jimmy does well lies within the realm of sketches, light-hearted humor, and spontaneity. Meanwhile, Dave is often much more biting, and often his humor lies in his delivery more so than the writing itself. There’s a great example of that in Item #6 on this list: “Stop, hammock time!” On “The Late Show,” this bit would’ve killed, since this is the sort of thing that would be randomly inserted in the top ten list from time to time and Dave would make some sort of “how did that get in there?” crack. Meanwhile, the joked more or less bombed on Fallon, and he admitted it seconds later.
All in all, this was still yet another nice tribute to a guy who is probably going to get a number of these in the months ahead. Rumors are already beginning about his successor, and we actually hope that CBS figures this part out in enough time to really allow Dave to enjoy his farewell. There’s nothing worse than the possibility of him having to subject himself to this talk the entire time he is getting ready to take his last bow.
What do you think of Fallon’s tribute: A funny idea, a kind gesture, or both? Share below, and to get more updates from us from the late-night world and beyond, sign up for our CarterMatt Newsletter today.