Jimmy Fallon was on the cover of Parade magazine this past weekend. (Yes, I’m the old guy who still gets a Sunday newspaper… now get off my lawn!)

He’s a funny dude, and quite talented. The Parade article sums up his appeal nicely:

This combination of unfailing humor and heart has endeared Fallon, 47, to millions of fans. More than seven years into his plum Tonight Show job, the SNL alum has made his mark by eschewing smart-alecky barbs in favor of old-school variety-show-style entertainment. “I like that we mix it up so I can go out and sing a song with someone or dance and do sketches,” he says.

from the Parade profile by Mara Reinstein

That said, Jimmy can be… how can I put this gently? He can be a bit too much. “Extra” as the kids say (or used to a couple of months ago – I can’t keep up). This clip is a perfect example of how to NOT be a good host:

Instead of letting Fred Armisen do HIS bit, Jimmy tries to sing along… when he doesn’t even know the bit. And he practically ruins the enjoyment of it for the audience.

It’s not just me saying this – check out the YouTube comments:

It’s your show, Jimmy. Your name is on the marquee. So it doesn’t always have to be about you. It’s perfectly fine to let your guest have a couple of minutes in the spotlight. Follow the Jack Benny rule:

Benny knew he could be funny by following one simple rule: Let others deliver the punchlines. He discovered early that it didn’t matter who got the laughs on The Jack Benny Program as long as people were talking about how funny it was.

From this Oct. 23 Montreal Gazette article

Did Johnny Carson try to work his own punchlines into a Rodney Dangerfield rant? No. He just sat back and let Rodney roll. It’s funnier that way. Be a gracious host, not a grubby one.