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Hit or miss?: Fallon's 'Tonight' gets mixed reviews

NEED TO KNOW
  • Twitter exploded during Jimmy Fallon's debut on 'Tonight Show' Monday night
  • Many criticized Fallon's small army of celebrity guests and new format
Hit or miss?: Fallon's 'Tonight' gets mixed reviews

Jimmy Fallon made his debut Monday night as the new host of NBC's "Tonight Show," and with a little help from a lot of his very famous celebrity friends, it's what everyone is talking about.

Read more: Jimmy or Jay? Rate your favorite late-night hosts!

But the talk wasn't all as positive as Fallon had probably hoped. Twitter exploded during Monday's premiere with mixed reviews of Fallon's two opening monologues -- and many indicated he should thank his small army of celebrity guests for the inaugural show's success. But there's one thing critics can't deny: People were interacting in massive numbers online before, during and after the long-awaited debut.

Fallon, 39, has some big shoes to fill, as he takes on a job that's been held for a majority of the show's 50+ years on air by only two other men. Johnny Carson and Jay Leno have become American icons; will Fallon be able to accomplish the same? After about four decades on the West Coast, Fallon's premiere brought the show from L.A. back to New York, and the move is already being called a great decision, especially as the skyline created a perfect backdrop during U2's rooftop performance Monday night.

Fallon opened the show with a traditional late-night monologue, but much of what happened after that wasn't quite so "traditional" for the "Tonight Show." Fallon acknowledged his new gig with jokes like, “I’m Jimmy Fallon and I’ll be your host… for now,” thanked his "Tonight" predecessors and told viewers his goal is to have fun and make people smile as they head off to bed.

Fallon's first big stunt came at the end of his second monologue of the night, when he facetiously invited his "friend" who bet him $100 he wouldn't become the host of "Tonight" to pay up. What followed was a parade of celebrity cameos, including Lady Gaga, Mike Tyson, Tina Fey, Mariah Carey, Robert De Niro, Stephen Colbert, Joan Rivers, Seth Rogen, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian and others.

Here's a round-up of highlights, reviews and thoughts in general on the new "Tonight Show."

Follow Alexandra Thomas on Twitter @AlexThomasHLN.

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