The other day, Wes Clark came to the conclusion that Jimmy Fallon became a talk show host for the same reason that Wes joined a bowling league: neither one of them really enjoys talking to people.
Wes would totally understand if you didn’t share his opinion, but here’s his theory…
Have you ever really watched The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? Wes has, a lot, and he’s noticed a few things. Over the course of the hour, Jimmy devotes very little time to an actual one-on-one conversation with anyone. His sidekick spends a good three to four minutes introducing the show itself, the names of the guests, and then saying goodnight to everyone at the end. Another fifteen minutes are ate up by commercials. Then there’s the monologue – a solid ten to twelve minutes right there. Obviously, Jimmy does all the speaking, but it’s to a camera and it’s all read from a cue card. Technically, that’s just reading out loud, not talking. You can kiss another ten to twelve minutes goodbye courtesy of skits or games. The musical guest chews up three to five minutes, leaving Jimmy only about twelve to fifteen minutes to talk to a couple of guests. If they’re good guests, they’ll do most of the talking. All Jimmy has to do to come across as Mr. Outgoing Chatty Pants is smile a lot and act happy to be there.
Being a talk show host is the perfect gig for an introvert, just as bowling is the perfect activity for one.
It was Wes’ therapist who suggested that Wes needed to get himself out there, meet people, and become involved in something. Only telling someone like Wes to put himself out there is like telling Kim Kardashian that all the cameras in the world are broken and that every social media site is down. It’s terrifying. But if Wes didn’t join something then his therapist would think he wasn’t trying. So he went the bowling league route.
Not much gets said at a bowling alley. “Who’s up?” and “Nice gutter ball!” and “Wanna beer?” and “See you next week” are more or less the extent of things. High-five someone when they get a strike, wince when they miss a spare, take turns carpooling and everyone will think you’re a good guy.
All that Wes has to do now is make sure that he never wins some sort of World Bowling trophy because if he does, Jimmy Fallon might invite him onto The Tonight Show. An introvert sitting across from another introvert does not make for good television.