DETROIT -

You never know what quite to expect when one of the stars of the network makes the round at the affiliates.

The day before Jimmy Fallon’s visit, there was a fair amount of planning and primping going on around our studios, hoping to make the most of the time we were going to have with Jimmy.

The worries, I’m happy to report, were a waste of our time.

I’m not sure we’ve had a lower maintenance guest than Jimmy. He was up for just about anything, and all of it with a genuine warmth and friendliness that erased any sense that this was just the perfunctory, obligatory dance with the local stations.

Jimmy has a wide-eyed sense of wonder that makes him seem even more youthful than he is. And it helped me quickly realize how his show has been so successful.

Because he’s so darn friendly and likeable, he’s able to talk his guests into all kinds of wonderful (and goofy) things.

I can just imagine someone trying to talk Kate Upton’s “people” into her playing beer pong on Jimmy’s show. Or getting Tom Cruise to play Russian roulette with eggs. For most, the answer would be a quick and certain “no.” But with Jimmy? They just know he’s going to take good care of them and that in the end it will be good for a great laugh.

He’s like your best friend from childhood, the one who would say, “Hey, want to see if we can jump to the other side of the creek without getting wet?” And then, there you are, soaking wet but laughing your fool head off.


He left WDIV having put a smile on every face in the building. And isn’t that all he wants to do as host of The Tonight Show?

It feels like one of the great treasures of the history of television is going to be in very good hands.