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Jack Paar

Fallon a gracious host in 'Tonight Show' debut

Fallon a gracious host in 'Tonight Show' debut

Starting his “Tonight Show” hosting tenure Monday, Jimmy Fallon proved he can snag A-listers and, in the early going, ratings. The numbers that came out Tuesday showed him crushing the competition, at least for now. 

But his moments of real, almost awkward humility during a scattershot hour of television made you wonder if he will rise to the occasion of taking over one of television’s most storied franchises or be stifled by it.

Welcoming guests Will Smith and U2 — and starting 30 minutes later than the show’s usual time because of NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage — Fallon carefully introduced himself to the older folks who were, presumably, watching.