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Talk-Show . Music . Talk . Comedy

Emmy Award and Grammy Award winner Jimmy Fallon brought NBC's "The Tonight Show" back to its New York origins when he launched The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon from Rockefeller Center. Fallon puts his own stamp on the storied NBC late-night franchise with his unique comedic wit, on-point pop culture awareness, welcoming style and impeccable taste in music with the award-winning house band, The Roots.

Episode Title: James McAvoy, Sam Smith, Kurt Braunohler
Airs: 2015-11-11 at 11:35 PM
  • Darren Franich

    Even though Fallon is a big fan of The Tonight Show, you get the pleasant vibe that he is unencumbered by any extraneous anxiety of influence.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Michael Starr

    Fallon made it clear that he’s fashioned The Tonight Show in his own image--so fasten your seat belts for what promises to be a fun, fresh late-night ride.

    New York Post Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    While [Will] Smith is an easy interview because of his star wattage and engaging personality, the conversation between the two men was just that. A conversation. The kind of conversational interview Johnny Carson used to do, where the host in genuinely interested in listening to his guest as well as being funny.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    This performance was the spectacular centerpiece of a confident opening night for the boyish Fallon. He quickly reminded us how different of a host he'll be from his immediate predecessor, Jay Leno.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Kristi Turnquist

    Even with its first-night caution issues, his inaugural Tonight Show makes me think that Fallon is the perfect choice to take over a TV institution, giving it both tender loving care and a much-needed shake-up.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Fallon complies, respectfully and skillfully, with The Tonight Show's apparently inviolable formats (the opening monologue of jokes; the fact that at least part of the show must be conducted from his desk) as a bridge to the more goofy and innovative sketch comedy he prefers. He keeps looking for ways to delight us, surprise us. It can so easily stray into irritation--and the yawning brought on by all the fawning--but you can’t really fault the guy for trying to send people to bed happy.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mark Dawidziak

    Fallon, 39, made an energetic and charming debut Monday night as the Tonight Show host. But providing the real rocket fuel for this high-profile launch were the many stars dropping by to wish him luck.

    Cleveland Plain Dealer Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Just about everything worked, and worked well, from the opening credits to the final ones. The energy and beauty of New York City was incorporated in a way that exceeded even my expectations--happily exceeded them. Meanwhile, The host: A bit nervous, understandably, he nonetheless reminded fans and people who have never heard of him why he's here.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    Jimmy Fallon welcomed viewers to his Tonight Show Monday, introducing himself as "your host--for now." That was about as edgy as Fallon got on his first show, which seemed designed to reassure fans of Jay Leno that Tonight wouldn't change too much, while also giving "Late Night" followers some of the bits they enjoyed on Fallon's old show.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    A lot worked from this first show. The set looks great, and legendary house band the Roots were, as usual, flawless. When U2 asked them, impromptu, to join in their acoustic jam from the couch, they didn't miss a beat, and the up-tempo atmosphere told the audience one clear thing: Hey, this is fun. You might want to come back and check it out again.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    While gratitude and humility are admirable traits, there were times in Monday's opening moments when Fallon risked taking them to uncomfortable extremes.... Luckily, he rescued the moment with one of the show's better bits. A seemingly offhand remark about an unnamed star owing him money for betting him he'd never get the Tonight Show job led to a surprise-guest parade.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    A very far cry from O’Brien’s lanky swagger or Leno’s self-confident poise and, to be frank, the whole "who, me? host 'The Tonight Show?'" seemed laid on a bit thick in parts.... Once Fallon moved behind the desk, and in front of a truly fabulous wooden miniature of New York, he seemed more comfortable.... After presenting Fallon with his own (red) guitar, [U2] sang an acoustic version of their Oscar-nominated “Ordinary Love,” which sounded, as so few late-night performances do, just fabulous. And that is where Fallon will make his mark on the show.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    For whatever reason, probably no more complex than plain old first-night jitters, Fallon didn’t bring his A-game to go with his A-list of guests.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Todd VanDerWerff

    Fallon fits into that dichotomy as a sort of older brother who’d really like to get everybody together just this once, because it would make mom and dad happy. There’s a way to make that work within the more stringent requirements of The Tonight Show, but Fallon hasn’t found it just yet.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Buoyed by two blow-away performances by U2, Fallon got past a rather obsequious start in which he walked viewers through the basic mechanics of a monologue and said he’d be doing 10 minutes worth every night in case the Jay Leno faithful might have thought otherwise.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Margaret Lyons

    That lack of originality pervaded the episode--even though, generally speaking, I found Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to be original and exuberant.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Bruce Miller

    It's a safe bet he’ll get his legs here in a matter of weeks. Now, though, it’s very much a shake-down cruise. The boat is loaded. It just needs to get up to speed.

    Sioux City Journal Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    Mr. Fallon is a charming and gifted comedian who on his first night chose to be subdued and at times even serious. That said as much about the uncertain future of Tonight as it did about its new host.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    For all his skills as a performer, though, Fallon is still a question mark in terms of his ability to make magic out of nothing at the desk, the place where Johnny Carson and David Letterman thrived--and endured. And frankly, his “Aw shucks, I’m just so happy to be here” posture in Monday’s maiden interviews with Smith and U2 got a little tedious even before the night was over.

    Variety Full Review

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