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Pat McMahon

Jimmy

I liked Jay Leno. (Come on, is there anyone who honestly disliked Jay Leno?) But I loved Johnny Carson! If I had lived closer to his house, I could have been a stalker.

And I’m also a fan of Jimmy Fallon. So much so, that it will be personally pleasing to me if he’s successful as the new host of “The Tonight Show,” and I’ll be sad if he fails.

I’m not about to do an official review of this first week; I don’t write a television column. I’m a viewer, like you, and it’s unfair to judge anyone’s efforts too soon. “M*A*S*H” started out badly and Dick Van Dyke was almost cancelled. But since “The Tonight Show” is an American institution, let’s at least take a look at some of the highs and lows of this new era of watching TV.

The set and the studio are spectacular. The Roots, Fallon’s house band, is perfect to move the show musically into the 21st century. The music moment, however, belonged to U2 on top of Rockefeller Center, playing with the Rutgers Drumline against the Manhattan skyline. Surprise drop-ins by superstars keep everybody’s interest.

But while Fallon dances and sings and does comedy, I hope all his interviews aren’t going to continue to be love fests. I just don’t want to spend my late nights in bed with Katie Couric.

I’m Pat McMahon.

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