So, I thought Monday night’s dating service videos might’ve just been a Tim & Eric anomaly great job, but tonight’s Bunk-like game of “Name That Guy” is making me think there might be a new writer in the mix? Both of these sketches are certainly a touch less surreal if you just compare the clips to any Bunk or Awesome Show clips out of context, but within the Fallon universe they’ve got something special.
His Late Night holds to a pretty exceptional standard of natural goofiness—this is the Fallon trick: it’s as fun as a game show, but his joy is so real that, in a modern context, it nearly rounds back around to something surreal if you’re still in the clutches of pomo jadedness. Yet it rarely rivals Conan’s overt near-Dadaism.
This bit, I think, demonstrates what Bunk would look like if it weren’t trying so hard; same goes for the dating service bit versus Awesome Show. I imagine the crew made a few decisions on how to weird things up, but then just let them happen and play out naturally. It comes across as much more genuinely strange, and I think much more successfully funny. They aren’t quite prepared to let Chris Elliott out into the wild yet—I think some of the audience still might riot at the sight of Kristen Schall as a horse—but I think they’re warming up to it.