Jimmy Fallon Is the Least Talky Late Night Host, According to Study
Jimmy Fallon has put much emphasis on sketch comedy and viral videos since taking over The Tonight Show earlier this year, so it comes as no surprise that he’s been confirmed as the late night host currently on the air who spends the least time talking with guests. According to a study by communications professor Stephen Winzenburg, Fallon spends only 37% of the time chatting with guests on his show — down dramatically from his predecessors Jay Leno and Johnny Carson, who both scored 51%. Elsewhere in late night guest chattiness levels, Craig Ferguson came in at 43%, Jimmy Kimmel at 48%, Seth Meyers and David Letterman at 51%, and Conan O’Brien scoring the highest percentage with 53%.
“Fallon has overhauled the format to the point that Tonight may no longer be able to be called a talk show,” Winzenburg said in his study. “His relatively small amount of talk time is closer to that used by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert … The Tonight Show has become successful by looking more like a comedy variety series than a traditional talk show.” As for the rest of the Tonight Show breakdown, Winzenburg found that Fallon typically spends 21% on his monologue, 23% on comedy bits, and 14% on music.