Virality is the new currency of the internet. Whether it be a pop culture meme, an unintentionally hilarious hashtag or an adorable video clip, no one has yet been able to capture virality in a bottle and work out the perfect formula – and therein lies the magic. However, that is not for lack of trying. A growing trend has seen traditional media crossing over to online channels to spread their reach and connect with younger audiences. Thus, online personalities’ desire for traditional validation and acceptance from wider offline communities is recognised through the homage to their original content.
Jimmy Fallon, host of ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’, has distinguished himself from other American late night talk show hosts with his brand of infectious, silly comedy. His agreeable and enthusiastic persona makes for enjoyable television with an easy, widespread appeal. He has also been successfully grabbing audiences’ attention by creating the kind of content that will go viral, more often than not, as a result of the combination of previously successful online content and celebrity participation.
They say imitation is the best form of flattery. The parallels between vlogger’s content and Fallon’s reincarnations are too strong ignore. This is not about traditional broadcast media entertainer stealing the ideas of online content creators. This is about (online) pop culture influencing (‘real world’) pop culture. Compare the pair:
The Whisper Challenge
Vlogger Joe Sugg with friends Chai, Caspar Lee, Alfie Deyes and sister Zoe on April 6, 2014. Joe mentions he was inspired by the UK TV show Celebrity Juice.
Jimmy Fallon with country singer Blake Shelton on January 22, 2015
The Photo Booth Challenge
Vlogger Jenna Marbles appears to be the first person to do this as a ‘challenge’ with her friend Julian on November 7, 2013
Jimmy Fallon with actress Kate Winslet on October 7, 2015
Not My Arms Challenge
Blogger and vlogger Zoe with her brother Joe Sugg on September 15, 2013
Jimmy Fallon with actress Amy Sedaris on July 30, 2015
Say Anything Tape Challenge
YouTube persona Miranda Sings with vlogger Mamrie Hart on October 2, 2014
Jimmy Fallon with actress Katie Holmes on July 23, 2015
So who do you think did it better? Sound off in the comments below!