Hatred is not the concept of Please Explain, as it's just about me trying to find out why someone/something has greater popularity than I can understand. Now Jimmy Fallon... it's all about the hate.
A lot of comics hate Pauly Shore because of the amount of success he has had in life and while I do think he's enjoyed a much longer career than he has deserved, I think the guy has had moments. Shore created an original character in the Weasel that fit the times of the early 90's. Sure he often looked like a straight version of Richard Simmons, but the movie Son-in-Law had its moments. Like Carrot Top, Shore has been self-deprecating enough about his talent that I give him pass, despite not being a fan.
Jimmy Fallon did one character on SNL that I thought was consistently funny, Nic Burns. Burns was a computer technician who had the proper mix of sarcastic nerdiness and technical intelligence that made the character very real. His other characters were often showy, but only worked if the other people in the sketch did the heavy lifting. Fallon was billed as an impressionist, but his mimicry was on the level of an opening act at a Comedy Club B-room.
One of the most influential elements in SNL history has been the Weekend Update Segments. Just think about the talented comedians who have sat behind the desk. Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon, and Norm Macdonald are just some of the names who done the gig. Weekend Update was the blueprint for The Daily Show and Colbert Report. Even lesser names who held the anchor job like Charles Rocket, Brad Hall, and Colin Quinn were intelligent guys who delivered the fake news like they understood what they were reading.
The first time this changed in SNL history was when the show paired the bright Tina Fey, with the air-headed Fallon. Fallon was fine when he did jokes on celebrities, but when he got one of a political nature, it came off flat. This was the most coveted job for a topical comic and they gave it to a dumbass. It kind of reminds me of a certain political election that was going on at the time...
Jimmy Fallon was the worst male Weekend Update anchor in SNL history. He was the male Mary Gross.
I'm guessing Lorne Michaels hired Fallon to fill the demographic niche that had been absent since Adam Sandler left. While Sandler is not high-brow, he has created a lot of hilarious, dim-witted characters. It might seem easy to accomplish, but think about how many bad comedies have been produced trying to fit the Sandler/JerryLewis/Steve Martin/Will Ferrell/Jim Carrey mold. Fallon definitely didn't have the chops to perform on these guys level. .
So what created Fallon's success on SNL. Young girls. Fallon was the first SNL cast member I can recall that was a good fit for Tiger Beat magazine. He was the kind of guy that young girls go for, as he had good hair, good teeth, and didn't seem like he had a brain in his head. Hollywood treasures above all, celebrities who test well with young girls, as this demographic has disposable income and is willing to try the newest product. Talent is always secondary to what Hollywood thinks is marketable. I'm sure in the vapid world of Hollywood, many thought Fallon would be the bigger star, instead of Will Ferrell.
In comedy, it helps to have quirky good looks, but not past that. Fallon was chosen by People Magazine as one of its 50 Most Beautiful People for 2004. Comedy is best when it puts a looking glass up to the struggles we try to overcome in our daily life. If you look like you are a member of a boy band, it really is hard to persuade your audience you understand this type of pain.
Tradiing on your looks, instead of your talent is not unique in the entertainment world. I don't have hatred for Fallon because of it. What made me grow to despise the guy was his constant breaking character during sketches. In the days of the Carol Burnett show, few things would make me laugh harder than when Tim Conway would cause Harvey Korman to lose it during a sketch. It always seemed genuine, especially since Conway was so funny. Fallon seemed to do this indiscriminately, as it was generally the only thing that he could do that would make a live audience laugh, since he lacked real talent. As much as I hated it, I have to guess that real Improv actors (Second City, Groundlings, etc) must have wanted to puke everytime they saw him do it.
Fallon has had a few film flops, so his career seems to be sitting more in the place it deserves. What concerns me though, was to see a piece in the February 22 edition of the New York Times which said NBC was looking to sign him to a deal which might have him replace Conan O'Brien, when he takes over TheTonight Show. When Conan was hired, it was quite a leap of faith decision by NBC, as he had never been a television performer. They knew that he was a brilliant comedy writer and believed this ability would evolve into being a great host. Major kudos to NBC, as his show has been the best of its kind, since the early years of David Letterman. The idea of taking this great show and giving it to Jimmy Fallon makes me feel violent inside.
So with my hands shaking as I finish this piece, PLEASE EXPLAIN Jimmy Fallon.