Typically, I like the way Jimmy Fallon interviews guests during “The Tonight Show.” On normal nights, he’s just like the rest of us– a fan. He treats guests with respect and usually goes for a more casual, fun interview like a fan would versus a hard-hitting newsy interview.
Fallon’s most recent interview with Blake Shelton was a combination of an upper, a downer, a seemingly unprepared 7th grader getting ready to take a math test and a character from “Mean Girls.” And Fallon encompassed all of those things. Shelton was just there trying to promote his album, Texoma Shore.
What’s ironic is that, usually, Shelton is the one delivering backhanded compliments to his friends. His schtick is calling people dumb before kissing them on the cheek and smothering them in actual compliments. When Fallon tried to take on the role of Shelton it turned into the most awkward interview on late night TV since Joaquin Phoenix and David Letterman met up for a casual chat one night.
First, Fallon made fun of Shelton’s new album cover. I get it– album covers are usually pretty awkward. When Fallon asked Shelton what he was thinking about in the photo, he launched into a conversation that ended in Fallon mimicking Shelton’s dad saying, “Blakey, get me a whiskey…” and Fallon mimicking a young Blake saying, “dad, you never loved me!” It last about 40 seconds too long and all Shelton could do was stare at Fallon as he mocked Shelton’s family and home state of Oklahoma.
After Shelton failed at trying to explain where Lake Texoma is to Fallon, he stopped and said, “will you please interview me, man?”
Shelton got about 25 seconds to talk about his brand new tour with Brett Eldredge and Trace Adkins before Fallon started in on Shelton’s web site. But, that was nothing compared to Fallon talking about Shelton’s new restaurant.
Fallon: I know that you have a restaurant called Ole Red.
Fallon: You do, you opened a restaurant.
Shelton: You’re teeing me up here now. You don’t ask a question like a normal interviewer. Ask me a question. You just say it and I don’t even get a chance to say it.
Fallon: Ole Red is the name of the restaurant.
Shelton: Ole Red is the name of the new restaurant in Tishomingo.
Fallon: The NEW restaurant is called Ole Red.
Shelton: This is unbelievable.
Fallon: No, it’s just an ironic name for a new restaurant. Here it is. Here’s an old, new restaurant. Already my mind is boggled. I go in, I don’t know what to expect. What do I do when I go in to Ole Red?
After Shelton gave up on trying to explain his restaurant, Fallon went back to making fun of Shelton’s album before saying, “What do you know about running a restaurant? Why would you do something like this? … Well, it’s a bad investment. It’s really hard to run and maintain restaurants. I don’t know why you would do this. Everyone in Tishy-wanga should go in to Ole Red.”
Literally, the restaurant talk seemed like it was going to go on forever. Even when Fallon kept referring to Ole Red as the Olive Garden.
For maybe 30 seconds, Shelton discussed “The Voice” before Fallon returned to mocking Shelton’s album. This was about the time Fallon decided to don a cowboy hat and sing “I’ll Name The Dogs.”
And that was it.
Probably the worst 10 minutes and 40 seconds of Fallon’s 2017 and maybe Shelton’s too, just because he was there.