Jimmy Fallon: Host caters to late-night and next-day viewers

Comedy Impact Report 2010: Tube Titans

Even celebrities go a little crazy for their idols. That’s the reason Jimmy Fallon devoted an entire episode of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” to Bruce Springsteen, who chose it as the only nighttime show he’d do to promote the release of his “The Promise” box set. The Boss’ choice is a testament to Fallon’s success in 2010, which includes two Emmys for the show as well as hosting the Emmycast itself. Fallon drew 13.5 million viewers — its biggest audience since 2006.

Fallon has also grown “Late Night” in the relatively short time since its March 2009 debut. The first week of November, ratings were up 16% from the year before. “It’s fun to see someone in the audience wearing a ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ T-shirt,” he says. “Two years ago there was no such thing.”

Fallon says the Internet is a big help, especially because he’s able to chunk the show into short clips that can be successful online. Segments such as his “History of Hip-Hop” with Justin Timberlake and “Hedgehog Doing Karate” with Jake Gyllenhaal have proved popular. “I could just come out, do a monologue, interview a guest and call it a night,” he says. “Or you can do games with the audience and interact. We love to work.”

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