Monday, March 28, 2011

Jimmy Fallon joins Universal Studios Hollywood as New Virtual Studio Guide

Today Universal Studios Hollywood announced that Jimmy Fallon would be the new virtual Studio Tour Guide for the famous Studio Tour.  Do not fret dear purists, the real Studio Guides are not gone. The virtual Studio Tour Guide is an enhancement to the regular Studio Tour.  

Here is the official press release:




Universal Studios Hollywood Casts
Comedian Jimmy Fallon as New Video Host
of World-Famous Studio Tour

Universal City, California -- Hollywood’s longest-running hit is about to get a rousing re-make.
The Studio Tour at Universal Studios HollywoodSM, which has taken over 150 million visitors behind the scenes of the movie and television industry’s biggest hits, will introduce a new video “host” this spring as comedian Jimmy Fallon, star of NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” becomes the ride’s “virtual Studio Tour Guide.”  Jimmy will be introducing a series of videos that will be seen on the Hi Definition monitors located in each Tram car to augment the “live” narration provided by Universal Studios Hollywood’s tour guides.
Jimmy Fallon said, “We really had fun with filming my role. We brought some writers out from our show and added some jokes, more play with the Studio Tour guides, the tram drivers and we added a song or two. The tour itself is a classic, a really great experience. For anyone with any interest in show business, it’s all there: the glamour, the glitz, all the hard work that goes into making a movie or a TV show can be experienced on the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour. I’m very happy to be a part of it.”
            The addition of Jimmy Fallon’s presence comes on the heels of sweeping enhancements to the Studio Tour, including the addition of “King Kong 360 3-D,” created by Peter Jackson, the world’s largest, most intense 3-D experience. Additionally, over four acres of the newly rebuilt New York Street backlot locations recently re-opened, an area that features 13 city blocks of buildings and working shooting locations that offer Studio Tour guests a front row look at Hollywood moviemaking. The Universal Studios backlot, a celebrated Hollywood landmark, has been the setting of countless commercials, television shows and feature films.  
            Studio Tour guests will also recognize some of the studio’s other famous production locations including the “War of the Worlds” airplane crash set; ABC’s hit series “Desperate Housewives” Wisteria Lane; the Psycho House-Bates Motel and the popular Western, European and Mexican Streets.
            Jimmy Fallon began his TV career with “Saturday Night Live” in 1998, where he quickly became an audience favorite.  Known for his spot-on impressions, hilarious sketches and his stint as co-anchor of “Weekend Update” with Tina Fey, Fallon spent 6 successful years on the show.
            In March of 2009, Fallon returned to NBC and took over the Late Night legacy with “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”  The show has continued to garner attention for its viral videos, audience games, A-list guests, and Fallon’s choice of critically acclaimed house-band, The Roots. In less than two years on the air, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” had already begun collecting awards, including two consecutive Emmy® awards in 2009 and 2010 for the shows website www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com, as well as an Emmy® in 2010 for Short-Form Editing for the “Glee” parody “6-Bee.”  Fallon also was the recipient of the 2009 “Webby Person of the Year” Award.
            In addition to “Late Night,” Fallon received rave reviews for his first-ever stint as the host of the 2010 Primetime Emmy® Awards. Most notably, he opened the show with a star-studded performance of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”
            Universal Studios Hollywood is a unit of the Universal Parks & Resorts division of NBCUniversal.  NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.

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I think that Jimmy Fallon is a great choice for this, and may be better for younger park guests to relate to.  For the past few years the virtual Studio Tour Guide was Whoopi Goldberg.  While it was an interesting concept to have a celebrity virtually co-host the tour, many guests didn't really connect with her.  Jimmy's sense of humor, and love of all things pop culture makes him a smart addition.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him mention this on his late night show quite often.  This could be great "synergy" across NBCUniversal.

Look for Jimmy Fallon on the Studio Tour beginning Memorial Day weekend.

What say you?

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