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Jimmy Fallon To Replace Jay Leno On 'Tonight Show' - Who Might Take Over Fallon's Slot?

by Tambay A. Obenson
April 3, 2013 2:11 PM
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It was announced this morning that Jay Leno, longtime host of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, will wrap up what will be 22 years of headlining the iconic late-night show in Spring 2014. 

And replacing Leno, NBC revealed today, will be Jimmy Fallon, who currently hosts his own show on NBC, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Fallon will transition into new hosting duties on The Tonight Show franchise after Leno concludes his run a year from now.

So, the obvious question on many minds (in addition to whether Fallon will take The Roots with him) is, who will take over Fallon's Late Night slot?

According to the NBC press release, programming plans for the 12:35 am time period are currently in development and will be announced soon.

Of course, the major trades are tossing around a few names of potential comedians who might be candidates for that late night slot, and, not surprisingly, just about every name I've read has belonged to a candidate who is white and male, including Saturday Night Live cast member Seth Meyers. Fallon also began his TV career with Saturday Night Live in 1998, and, like Meyers, he also anchored SNL's Weekend Update (with Tina Fey), before getting his own late night show on NBC in March 2009.

Meyers seems to be THE favorite candidate right now, given all the reports I read this morning.

But I thought I'd take a quick survey to see what black comedians (male and female) you guys think should be given the opportunity, in light of the fact that the late night talk-show circuit (on broadcast network TV specifically - CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX primarily) isn't exactly swimming with black (or female) hosts.

Yes, Arsenio Hall is coming to CBS this fall, although his show will air at 10pm. But he's just one addition. NBC could do something *shocking* and actually announce that the next Late Night host, taking over for Fallon, will be of African descent.

So who would be on your short list?

To get you started, I'll throw out a few possible names: Chris Rock, Damon Wayans, Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes, D.L. Hughley, Chris Tucker, Aisha Tyler, Affion Crockett, Wayne Brady, W. Kamau Bell...

It'll likely have to be someone with some name recognition (no matter what skin color or gender they are), so I don't think any younger up-and-comers paying their dues currently will be up for the job. Although in an age when YouTube is creating stars practically overnight, some with huge followings (in the millions), about as much as a TV late night talk show would draw, anything is possible.

But don't just look at the names I mentioned; feel free to list any others who you think qualify for the job. 

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  • dr.laker | August 17, 2013 3:53 PMReply

    i cannnot laugh so my doctor told me to watch jay leno- incredible i feeel healthy. i saw jimmmy falllon tooo. the most boring comic in america. brian roberts of comcast must be mentallly illl. he neeeds to seee a psychiatrist. for a bright guy, a totAL SCHMUCK. WHY LENO CAN MAKE ME LAUGH AND KIMMMEL AND FALLLON ARE HOPELESS IS BEYOND ME. I THINK MASNY YOUNGER PEOPLE LAUGH AT ANYTHING-GO FIGURE

  • Amanda | April 10, 2013 2:16 PMReply

    Wow, the choices are so vanilla and dry, why must a host be a boring person? Aisha Tyler is the blackest white lady on television ditto for Maya Rudolph they are very safe blacks.
    Maya Rudolph is not funny, Aisha Tyler is lame, why not Sarah Silverman? If they really want a woman who is funny, controversial, and doesn't care what people think I say Sarah Silverman or Kathy Griffin. Kathy Griffin is very funny, very edgy and not afraid to make fun of her guests.

  • sergio | April 10, 2013 2:39 PM

    However Griffin's talk show on Bravo just got cancelled

  • Jayson | April 4, 2013 5:11 PMReply

    I would vote for Maya Rudolph Wayne Brady or Affion Crockett to be the new host but Lorne Michaels doesn't seem to know how to let black men do anything on his shows but wear dresses and coon like Tracey Morgan so I wont be getting my hopes up...

  • SARAH | April 4, 2013 7:34 AMReply


  • jay j | April 4, 2013 2:26 AMReply

    ANYBODY but D.L Hugley!

  • LOL | April 4, 2013 7:22 AM


  • Alisa | April 3, 2013 11:29 PMReply

    How about Maya Rudolph? She's free now that Up All Night is (basically) cancelled, she's an SNL alum so it would work for Lorne Michaels, she's a black woman, and she's often hilarious.

  • Rawknee | April 3, 2013 11:01 PMReply

    The woman in the picture is too attractive; also have no idea who she is.

  • TAZ | April 3, 2013 9:54 PMReply

    No to Aisha Tyler. I have yet to crack a smile, must less laugh, at anything she says.

  • Akimbo | April 4, 2013 3:00 PM

    I like "white people" humor (love comedy across the board, really) and I still don't find her funny in the least. Regardless, and sadly, no way in hell does a black woman have a shot at the gig.

  • willie dynamite | April 4, 2013 2:40 PM

    Saw her perform once, her comedy appeals strictly to a lighter shaded audience. So she may have a legitimate shot

  • LOL | April 4, 2013 7:20 AM

    I ain't got shit to add to the conversation either but please pay attention to me.

  • CC | April 4, 2013 5:42 AM

    I can't crack a smile 'cause I have no idea who she is.

  • Akimbo | April 4, 2013 12:11 AM

    Yeah, I've never found her funny. I'm amazed at all the hilarious people who co-sign her. Just don't get it.

  • Ava | April 3, 2013 9:46 PMReply

    Aisha Tyler would be great! Just to throw out two names that haven't been mentioned (for the hell of it): Robert Townsend and Keenan Ivory Wayans?

  • Carbos | April 3, 2013 8:21 PMReply

    Aisha would be amazing but sadly I'm quite sure that scenario is only plausible in my dreams. If I had to go with woman who has a legitimate shot, I'd go with Wanda Sykes (she definitely has a great resume`). If NBC was confident enough to go with a male person of color, I'm betting on Chris Rock, though it would take a lot of money to lure him in.

    P.S. No love for a George Lopez late night career resurrection?? lol

  • ALM | April 3, 2013 6:14 PMReply

    Aisha is really pretty and really funny. Can you burn the picture you used above, because that's not the best shot of her.

    Chris Rock would be great, and he has previously proven to be successful in the talk show realm.

    One hour of Seth Meyers five days a week? I just can't see it unless Seth has some cards up his sleeve that we didn't see on "SNL".

    I wonder if Tina Fey is in the running? She makes more sense than Seth Meyers does. I think that Whoopi would be a good choice also. If she is able to do "The View" in the daytime and another show in the evening. I doubt they will allow her to cross major networks simultaneously, though.

  • ScriptTease | April 3, 2013 3:18 PMReply

    I think Wanda Sykes would be the perfect host.

  • Anti-believer | April 3, 2013 8:57 PM

    Wanda already had her late night show on Fox. She's not likely to return. Her first show wasn't funny, surprisingly.

  • ChgoSista | April 3, 2013 3:02 PMReply

    Jimmy Fallon is the unfunniest mofo EVER. Goodness he's awful. Well, I guess I should be happy for The Roots, assuming he keeps them on.. **shrug**

  • Sergio | April 3, 2013 2:41 PMReply

    Sorry it will be Seth Meyers. The late night slot on NBC is now controlled by Lorne Michaels and he's going to make sure that his boys like Fallon (who has yet to do anything remotely funny) and Meyers are taken care of. Besides when was the last time you saw a black woman on the cast of SNL in the last decade? (More like decade and a half since Ellen Cleghorne and what ever happened to her?) Why get a woman when you can always find a black guy to put on a dress for the show?

  • sergio | April 4, 2013 1:27 PM

    Completely forgot about her, as most people. And by the time she was on I had practically stopped watching SNL

  • Donella | April 4, 2013 1:00 PM

    Do you count Maya Rudolf? Otherwise, like you said, they just put dresses on the boys.

  • ALM | April 3, 2013 6:16 PM

    It probably will be Seth, at least until the ratings pour in. Hollywood does not know how to function without playing politics. *Sigh*

  • Bee | April 3, 2013 3:11 PM

    I agree with you. Although I think Jimmy Fallon is flipping hilarious. Maybe it's just me, but he has me cracking up half the time (ever since he was on SNL). But year, look at SNL. It's the whitest (white male, in fact) comedy show ever, and that's one of the reasons I never watch it anymore. This guy will pick Seth Meyers for sure (and Seth Meyers has NEVER been funny, ever). Sad, cause I think Aisha Tyler would make a good host.

  • Rhonda | April 3, 2013 2:56 PM

    Sergio you hit the nail on the head! I don't think Seth Meyers has any comedic talent whatsoever! I like some of Jimmy Fallon's skits, but think he may be a little risque for that time slot. We shall see.

  • Hassan Fvckry (@DLYDJ) | April 3, 2013 2:30 PMReply

    Agreed @PhredG... Aisha should get a shot.

  • Phred G | April 3, 2013 2:28 PMReply

    Aisha gets MY vote. Edgy. Fine. Dues Paid.

  • EP | April 3, 2013 4:10 PM

    Agreed...make it happen.

  • Bee | April 3, 2013 3:09 PM


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