Jimmy Fallon Explains Lack of ‘Tonight Show’ Opening Credits

Jimmy Fallon, the new host of "The Tonight Show."
Jimmy Fallon, the new host of “The Tonight Show.” Photo credit: Nathaniel Chadwick/NBC

Fans of Sagaponack’s Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show have likely realized that the show recently dropped its opening credits. Fallon spoke to Variety about the change to the late night program, which now opens with an introduction by announcer Steve Higgins, a short musical sequence by house band The Roots and right into Fallon’s opening monologue.

According to Fallon, the change came about as a response to the kind of of “skip intro” culture viewers have become used to on streaming services. “You don’t have [the ‘skip intro’ button] on network TV,” Fallon told Variety. “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.” He elaborated, “Get to the funny, get to the comedy. Viewers are going to tune in at 11:35 and want to see you be funny. ‘Gimme the jokes, what’s happening in the world. Gimme the headlines. What is the president doing? What’s the new pop culture thing people are talking about? Show me a viral video and let’s go! Entertain me, I’m tired. I worked all day! I don’t need to see you walking through New York! I get it!’”

The Tonight Show’s opening sequence, which had been a part of the series since it premiered with Fallon in 2014, was directed by storied director Spike Lee and showed Fallon at several New York landmarks. Dropping the credits could be attributed to Executive Producer Jim Bell, who took over as showrunner in October, 2018.

See The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon weeknights on NBC.

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