Why we can’t resist sharing Jimmy Fallon’s videos

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Originally published in The Daily Dot 2.10.2015

Can you remember a single guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show last week, someone who sat in the armchair to the right of Jimmy Fallon? For me, only one comes to mind: Will Smith. That’s probably because my Facebook feed was atwitter with news that Smith and Fallon, the show’s host, both beatboxed “It Takes Two,” the Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock hit from 1988. The performance itself overshadowed why Smith was even on the show—presumably to promote the Smith Family Empire—capping off a monumental week of viral, shareable nostalgia on The Tonight Show.

As fewer eyes focus on actual TVs and more on computer, tablet, and phone screens, the nature of television must adapt. The fact that you’re seeing more and more of Fallon’s lighthearted stunts in your social media indicates that he and the producers of The Tonight Show are well aware of the need to feed the beast, and the public is eating it right up. Of course, Fallon’s certainly not the first of the contemporary late night hosts to hop aboard the viral train. Jimmy Kimmel, host of Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC, has proven time and time again that he’s got the chops to create viral hysteria. How can we forget “Worst Twerk Fail EVER – Girl Catches Fire!”? I would also argue that Kimmel was well ahead of the times in 2009, when Sarah Silverman, his girlfriend at the time, performed “I’m F**king Matt Damon” on the show. But where Kimmel excels in pranks and mild trolling, Fallon surpasses in nostalgia and overall mass appeal.

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