Funny: The Tonight Show
Part of The Tonight Show's reputation was built from just having fun.
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Steve Allen (1953-57)
- (Nothing as of yet, but here just in case.)
Jack Paar (1957-62)
- (Nothing as of yet, but here just in case.)
Johnny Carson (1962-92)
- 1965: Supposedly, the longest continual laughter in live TV goes to a Carson Tonight episode. His guest was actor/singer Ed Ames, who claimed that in the course of his work he had learned how to throw a tomahawk. Carson produced a human outline on a board, and Ames lobbed the tomahawk at it. It hit the board successfully, but slammed in right at the figure's crotch, starting the thunderous laughter. When the laughter started to die down, Carson quipped "I didn't even know you were Jewish!" starting it all up again. (Even funnier still was Carson's followup remark: "Welcome to Frontier Bris!")
- 1968: The Dragnet parody with Carson and Jack Webb. "Clean copper clappers."
- 1969: George Gobel's appearance, put in the impossible position of having to follow Bob Hope and Dean Martin. "Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?"
- Of course, the best part of that interview was how Dean Martin kept discreetly tapping his cigarette ashes into Gobel's drink!
- November 1979: Prior to Thanksgiving, Johnny talked with Doc Severinsen about their respective plans for the holiday. Before long the two of them had each other, and the audience, in stitches.
- 1981: Johnny acting out how Walter Cronkite should have done his final newscast, ranging from asking to stop the "tickety-tickety" noise after 19 years to reading a story as Porky Pig.
Mount St. Helens erupted again. Blew the top clean off. Th-th-th-th-that's all folks!
- "I have certain guidelines, but I would give about a year's pay to peek under there." (...Which added fuel to the fire of the Zsa Zsa Gabor Pussy Cat Urban Legend.)
- All of his pie skits, particularly this one:
Johnny: (in a commercial parody) Hi. Do you mind if I talk to you for just a minute? I just want to say a few words about Diarrhea - *SPLAT* *SPLAT* *SPLAT*
- "Come on, I dare ya. I dare ya to knock this battery off my shoulder." (hit with pie) "Come on, I double dare ya." (hit with two more pies)
- "You're away from home and your wallet is stolen. All your cash is gone. What WILL you do. What WILL you-" (hit with pie)
- 3 words: Sis Boom Bah.
Jay Leno (1992-2009/2010-2014)
- The fake interview with the characters from Brokeback Mountain.
- Chris Evans appears to talk about his character in The Iceman, and eventually discuss his '70s wardrobe in his role. A picture of Jay from the '70s is then brought up - cue Chris laughing hysterically and mimicking his ridiculous pose.
- "Does This Impress Ed Asner"
Conan O'Brien (2009-10)
- The foreign news report describing the whole mess.
- Robin Williams singing an Irish jig that told NBC to go fuck themselves many times over, and Conan jumping up to dance along to it.
- January 20, 2010: Bugatti Veyron Mouse!
- "Before Photoshop", but particularly when Conan showed a photo of Larry King at his desk, and the audience laughed. Conan found it amusing that they were laughing at an untouched photo and not the punchline.
- Pretty much every moment when Triumph visited the L.A. dog hotel:
Triumph: Here at the "D Pet Hotel", where the "d", of course, stands for "dog-owning douchebag". (...) Not since the bank bailout has money been so wisely spent, proving that the "idle rich" are not idle at all. They are busy, 24-7, constantly looking for new ways to piss away their money.
Triumph: I'm just letting the audience get a good look at you so they can hate you.
- A dog pukes on the floor (likely out of nervousness), and Triumph offers to clean it up by eating it.
- The rich woman with a French accent who brought in her dog.
Triumph: I'm sorry, mother! I'm sorry to have disappointed you!
- Triumph comes across a dog who looks like him, and proclaims it to be his long-lost mother.
Triumph: Look at him love it!
- The dog on the treadmill, who quickly is freaked out by it.
Triumph: You've got a lot of portraits up here of various dogs that all look moderately embarrassed.
- Portraits of various dogs are on the wall, and of course Triumph comments on them. He calls it the "Gallery of Shame".
Woman employee: Aw, he's cute.
Triumph: No, he's re-thinking his whole life.
Triumph: By the way, do you still provide that service?
- Triumph wants clarification if the Taco Bell dog ever was a regular at the hotel. He heard he took amyl nitrate and have a St. Bernard choke him.
Woman employee: No.
Man employee: Not anymore.
- Triumph comes across an "uber suite" with one female dog in it, and wants to put the moves on her by showing a variety of Parallel Porn Titles of famous Hollywood movies (see main entry).
- During the final week, Conan showed a classic Tonight Show moment each night. On the first three nights, the opening montage contained the clip of Conan sliding and hitting his head on the studio floor. Conan eventually called them out on it: "STOP showing my concussion! CUT IT OUT! My wife hates that! "You almost died!""
- Early on, Conan visited various shops near the studio. One of them was a place called "FastSigns", where he got a banner made to advertise the show. It had two tigers on it, and the text "Every night is ladies' night" and "Free salad with every purchase". Andy exclaimed, "We're gonna have to start making salads!"
Jimmy Fallon (2014-)
- Jimmy's first night started with a bang. Besides him and Will Smith chronicling a history of hip-hop dances (ala Justin Timberlake and his and Jimmy's "History of Rap"), and U2 performing on the roof of 30 Rock, we have a moment where Jimmy mentions a "friend" who says he'd never host the Tonight Show, saying they owe him $100. Cue Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Joe Namath, Rudy Giuliani, Mariah Carey, Tracy Morgan, Joan Rivers (in her 1st Tonight Show appearance, of any kind, since being banned from the show in 1986; the ban was kept by Leno out of respect to Johnny Carson), Kim Kardashian, Seth Rogen, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Tyson, and Lady Gaga all throwing crumpled C-Notes on the desk, culminating with Stephen Colbert pouring a bucket of 10,000 pennies on Jimmy's head, ending with "WELCOME TO 11:30, BITCH".
- Brian Williams raps (transplanted from Late Night)
- Whenever Hashtag the Panda is brought out, a hilarious Overly Long Gag is in the cards as Jimmy and the band make the "bear" dance again...and again...and again.
- This bit after one "Thank You Note" about protein bars just being glorified chocolate bars:
Fallon: (in jock tone) All I eat is protein bars!
Higgins: (also in jock tone) That's it, man. I eat Monkey Milk protein bars.
Fallon: Nothing but Monkey Milk protein bars. They're the best ones. You get Monkey Milk, that's the best protein bar.
Higgins: If you don't get it, you're a fool. You're a damn fool if you don't get Monkey Milk. You're a fool.
Fallon: Don't call me a fool! I'm just saying-
Higgins: What do you get?? Do you get Monkey Milk?
Fallon: I don't know what kind of protein bar I got.
Higgins: Ehhh, you should, if you don't know what's going in your body, then you're some kind of fool. I went to Cinnabon the other day, I got the tiny little ones.
Fallon: You do?
Higgins: Yeah, about eight, nine of 'em, squeeze them up in the tube, shove them down my throat, two- (cracks up) I figured I'd down the Monkey Milk!
- A spectacular Brick Joke: Hugh Jackman mentions in an interview that you should never let Aussies stay at your house, as "they will never leave," and he demonstrates by crashing on Jimmy's couch for a few minutes. The next night, Jimmy comes out for his monologue, and casually looks over to the couch. Sure enough...
- A truly spectacular Epic Fail on Jimmy's part: when he had Nicole Kidman on as a guest, she tells him the story of their disastrous blind date...in that he didn't realize that it was a date and had spent the night playing video games and eating snacks, accidentally ignoring her. He literally fell out of his chair as everyone cracked up. Both Patton Oswalt (the next guest after her) and Jude Law spent part of their appearances reminding him.
- One "In Reply To" had a joke about Chipotle. Steve asked Jimmy if he eats Chipotle in his new truck, and Jimmy got confused how you could eat a burrito one-handed while driving. Then he took the joke one step further by saying he gets a wearable trough and tells the cashier to "load it up". And he also pays without using his hands, by swiping his Google Glass. The absurd visual it puts in your head is hilarious.
- Wheel of Impressions with Kevin Spacey. Among some of the best highlights are Spacey's spot-on impression of Johnny Carson:
Kevin Spacey: [as Carson] A lot of people are dressing up as ghosts and witches, goblins and vampires. But this year, Iíve decided Iím going as the scariest creature in the world: my ex-wife. [raucous laughter from everyone, including Fallon] Oh, and I scare the kids, too.
- ...or Spacey outdoing Jimmy in Michael Caine impressions.