The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon TV Poster Image
Fallon brings a younger vibe to classic talk-show format.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Most everything is up for mockery -- from celebrities and pop culture to politicians -- but Fallon's jokes rarely have any real bite. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Fallon is an incredibly sweet host who seems to genuinely enjoy his job. He's musical, funny, and creative and has real chemistry with his guests, whom he treats with respect and flattery. Jokes usually have a gently absurd, rather than unkind, edge. Guests include actors, politicians, athletes, and comedians.


Some skits and segments feature slapstick humor. Jokes might refer to violent acts, though it's mostly done with levity.


Fallon and his guests sometimes make suggestive comments, some less subtle than others.


The language stays pretty mild overall, though some jokes can be slightly racy.


Guests include actors, musicians, politicians, and other well-known people, most of whom are promoting something.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some jokes and interviews include references to drinking and drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Tonight Show, like most late-night talk shows, is aimed at adults rather than kids. Though there's no explicit sex, violence, swearing, or drugs, there are plenty of jokes and stories about all of the above. The host and his guests are adults talking to adults, and kids are unlikely to understand many of the comments -- and, given the show's late-night time slot, they should probably be asleep anyway (though that doesn't mean they won't catch up via DVR or online clips, of course). Each show's appropriateness largely depends on the guests being featured that night, and, though Fallon is a sweet and silly host, topics may veer into areas parents would rather kids not explore, though his antics give his show more kid and teen appeal than most gabfests.

Wondering if The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bynuenjins September 12, 2017

Lighthearted show sells out to avoid criticism.

We all know that not 'everyone enjoys everything' and if you see Fallons SNL work you can see his heavy, and even sometimes cynical skits so that you... Continue reading
Adult Written byrandymarsh March 1, 2020


God... This guy is disgusting. He said the N WORD in front of m,y WHITE little kids and now they say it
Teen, 14 years old Written byDogcat May 27, 2020


Kid, 12 years old December 30, 2019

Super funny!

Jimmy Fallon is super funny, and nice to the audience members. I love to watch his thank you notes on Thursday night. Overall, one of my favorite shows.

What's the story?

With Jay Leno retiring in 2014, the former host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon sits down in the host's chair on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON. In many ways, Fallon maintains the same time-tested formula as his long line of illustrious predecessors, starting with a nightly monologue poking fun at the news of the day, moving on to a goofy skit or two, and then introducing a celebrity guest with a product to plug. Fallon also imports some of his old show's features, such as announcer Steve Higgins and groovy house band, The Roots with bandleader Questlove. The Tonight Show has been on the air for more than five decades.

Is it any good?

Jay Leno maintained impressive ratings throughout his late-night tenure, but his gentle jibes about the topical matters and celebrity foibles were always more popular with Baby Boomers than younger viewers. Thus NBC seems to be courting a younger crowd by replacing Leno with Fallon, whose stock in trade on his own late-night show were what became viral video phenoms, such as the History of Rap series with Justin Timberlake or the hard-hitting look at the Evolution of Mom Dancing with Michelle Obama.

Fallon's showman's razzle-dazzle zeal is also unique among talk-show hosts and is evident in his sit-ins with The Roots, as well as long-running gags such as dance contests with celebs including Sam Rockwell and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But all in all, his show is largely a continuation of The Tonight Show that came before: a comfortable digestion of the day's events that's there when you need it, missable when you gotta get to bed early, but always a reliable source of at least a few chuckles.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about celebrity culture. The show's guests include lots of celebrities, who are usually promoting their latest projects. Do you think these interviews make stars seem more human? Does the host ever seem to be fawning over his famous guests?

  • Why have silly and outrageous antics become standard fare on late-night TV? Do you think these bits are ever so silly that they're no longer funny? Which ones make you laugh, which ones make you groan, and why?

  • The Tonight Show has had some infamous staffing conflicts over the years, including the most recent, when NBC ousted Conan O'Brien from The Tonight Show and replaced him in 2010 with Jay Leno. Did that scandal hang heavy over Leno's show? Will it affect Fallon's version?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate