Jimmy Fallon Talks About Late Night’s Video Game Week

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Getting back to the show, you’ve given a lot of airtime to gaming, gadgets and technology on Late Night. Was there any resistance when deciding to take the show in that direction?

When we first started that show, I knew that we had to do that kind of stuff because that would make our show different. I was like, we have to embrace what’s happening in the world. No one’s talking about anything [technological]. No one’s talking about computers; no one’s even talking about an iPod! That [mentality] just seems like it’s from space.

You’ve got a point. If you were to go by the late night TV universe, none of that stuff even exists…

Yeah, they hold it and go, “What the heck is this thing?!” For us, right from the start, we’ve had a lot of gadgets on the show. We’ve had Joshua Topolsky from Engadget as a guest. I think he was even a first-week guest. So we’ve tried to do tech and we’ve had game designers on, too. We had Tim Shafer; we’ve had Cliff Bleszinkski…

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I actually interviewed Cliff before he did the taping with you guys. [Note: Bleszinski was bumped to make room for Justin Bieber.] And he told me, “I didn’t even know who Justin Bieber was before all this s**t!”

[Laughter] That’s awesome! I love it. We like mixing stuff from different worlds, though. The game stuff, Bieber, none of it’s fake. We love it and it comes from a true place. It’s stuff that happening in the real world and we should talk about it.

You know, the more cynical view would be that you’re just doing it to grab at advertising or something. But it’s a risky because gaming and tech–poking around with a new phone or trying out a new game–don’t necessarily come off as sexy on TV.

No, they’d rather you talk about somebody where their clothes came off and they went skinny-dipping and couldn’t get back into their hotel room. Or something like that. We don’t do that on our show. We try to keep the intelligence level up. We can be as silly as we want but we try to keep viewers’ brains moving a little bit.

It’s funny. We were on Twitter back when the show first started and everybody was like [teasingly] “Oh, look at Mr. Computer Guy on Twitter.” Now everybody’s on Twitter and they’re all tweeting out their monologue jokes, doing what we were doing a year ago. I just love that, because it’s like the new kid has to come in and show you how’s it gonna go. That’s fine with us.

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That was very forward-looking on your part.

We lucked out on that one.

So what’s in your pocket now, in terms of phones and gadgets?

iPhone, for me, is above and beyond, I think, everything. Android, I can’t get it. It’s not easy. I don’t get it. If I want to send a tweet, it’s a green robot. If I want to put something on Facebook, it’s a red robot. It’s like, “Wait, why doesn’t it just say ‘tweet’?”

Which Android app we talking about here?

To be honest, I just stopped using it. I’m back to the iPhone. It’s just so simple. At least the icon pictures look like something, so if you understand the picture, you understand what the app does. It’s a picture of a bird so that means Twitter. On Android, it feels like they’re all robots. I’m pressing a blue robot and, oh, that’s for recipes. This makes no sense! Who is doing this? Put a picture of food to denote recipes! Make it idiot-proof. But, seriously, I haven’t checked out Droid X but I think it’s gonna go down with that one.

Surely, you don’t really need the idiot-proof stuff…

Actually, I used to be a computer science major. I switched majors when it got too hard. I knew COBAL pretty well but C++, that’s when it got hard for me. So I decided to be come a comedian after that. PC was my thing so I resisted Macs. I didn’t want t do Macs; I’m not an artist. I’m not making pictures; I thought it was an art thing. Then I just tried one and was like, “Oh my gosh! Can it really be just this easy?” Works great, no viruses. I mean, I was all back up into DOS and the de-frag. What?! De-frag? I’m so away from that stuff now. I don’t do any of that stuff.

Do you do any gaming on the PC still?

Not really, since switching to the Mac. Last thing I remember getting was Spore but I didn’t get into it that much. It’s harder for me to find time for gaming so I do it mostly on the phone and the DS. I do have an Xbox 360 and a PS3, too. The Wii, I kinda walked away from. I haven’t touched that in a while.

Coming off of E3, I feel like the Wii games to watch out for is the new Zelda, of course, and the new Metroid game looks like it’s gonna be pretty good.

Yeah, we got Donkey Kong Country [Returns] coming on Friday.

Saw that! You’ve got Reggie coming on. But, man, based off what I’ve seen, Epic Mickey is going to be freakin’ great.

Now what is that? Is that like the other one with the keys?

You mean Kingdom Hearts? No, nothing to do with those.

[Brief pause as I explain Epic Mickey to Jimmy. His words: “That sounds awesome!”]

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