How to leverage the Fallon mention for Ypsilanti’s benefit

I mentioned a few days ago that there was a rumor going around town that Jimmy Fallon, an actor who had spent some time among us here in Ypsilanti during the filming of the Drew Barrymore film Whip It, was planning to do something Ypsi-related on his late night television show. The fear in the community, when people heard that his producers were looking for photos of the City Manager and a specific member of City Council, was that he was going to get personal, and really tear some people apart. As it turns out, the bit, which could have probably been funny with a little work, was both painfully weak and mercifully tame. Here it is. Judge for yourself:

So, I could go on and complain about how I don’t think that the piece lived up to its comedic potential, but I guess I should just be thankful that the former Saturday Night Live news reader didn’t say anything negative about Ypsi… And, we did get something positive out of it. I can’t imagine a better nickname for Bill “Ol’ Five Cent Willy” Nickels.

And it is kind of cool that we made an impression of some kind on Fallon. Maybe it was just the silly name, but, for whatever reason, it’s cool that Ypsi came to mind when he was thinking of a local town to zero in on… Who knows, maybe it’s just the start of a bigger campaign on his part. And, even if that isn’t the plan, maybe we could make it happen by encouraging him somehow. It’s probably too aggressive, but I suppose we could rename the stalled Water Street development – Fallon Meadows – or something like that. At the very least, I think we should take advantage of the fact that we were mentioned last night and have the Mayor issue a statement saying that we enjoyed his time here, and would be happy to have him come back and broadcast for a week from the Elbow Room… Seriously, what have we got to lose? Now that the door’s open a bit, let’s kick it in. What do you say?

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  1. Ytown
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Where’s my credit? I mentioned first that we could use the publicity and the skit wasn’t damaging to Ypsi.
    Come on,show ytown some love!!!
    You can do it!!

  2. Posted May 7, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    It sounds like fun to me!

  3. Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Believe it or not, Ytown, I didn’t see your comment before posting this… Actually, I still haven’t seen it, but I believe you when you say that you wrote something similar. No doubt, you said it better than me too.

  4. tommy
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    That was … bloody awful. I can’t believe that his writers are that bad. Boom goes the dynamite!

  5. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Just like the Superbowl saved Detroit!

  6. Posted May 7, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    BA, I’m not suggesting that this in and of itself would solve anything, but how in the fuck could it hurt for the Mayor to issue a press release addressing Fallon’s coverage and encouraging him to come back and visit? Yeah, it might not get picked up by Time magazine, but surely Fallon would see it. I’m thinking it has to be worth a few hours of work. God knows that no one else in the national media is talking about us.

  7. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m not being against it; just being a wise ass. I’ll take the opposing view if you want, though, just for laughs.

    how in the fuck could it hurt for the Mayor to issue a press release addressing Fallon’s coverage and encouraging him to come back and visit?

    Answer: because it would make us look like desperate crack whores.

  8. dragon
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Broadcast from the Elbow Room? That’s funny.

    Before you can say ‘tastes like chicken’ the bete noire of the restaurant business will have executed a coup d’etat and glommed onto the aroma of free publicity quicker than Limbaugh can throw down three large orders of ‘Freedom Fries’.

  9. nammeroo
    Posted May 7, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Looking “like a desperate crack whore” is worth the opportunity to double down on the whole Jimmy Fallon/Movies made in Ypsilanti/butt of lame Late Night jokes vibe.

    Forget the Mayor…it will take weeks to get City Hall to even publicly acknowledge that Fallon said “ypsilanti” on NBC. I say we have Ypsilanti’s honorary goodwill ambassador, Mark Maynard, issue the invitation to have Jimmy Fallon bring Late Night to our own Pease Auditorium just in time for the Heritage Festival. What do you say, Mark?

  10. EOS
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    How about a massive letter writing campaign to Fallon and the writers for Late Night. We could provide much better material that would be more humorous. Instead of Jimmy focusing on a different small town each week, let’s convince him to consistently update his viewers on the great city of Ypsilanti. Let’s put this “cool city” on the radar nationwide.

  11. West Cross
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Kind of a funny premise for a bit with the intentionally unfunny references that most people won’t get. Too bad his normal jokes aren’t any better.

    I’ll still take it over the “string of break ins” story channel 4 ran last night at 11. I saw their van down the block earlier in the evening so I decided to tune in, not the story I was hoping for. Not sure why they did it on W.Cross since most of the break ins have been on the other side of Normal Park, at least the one they mentioned in detail where the crooks loaded up the victim’s stuff in her car and stole that too (kind of impressive really). I even got on TV briefly in one of the neighborhood shots they did. They caught me looking out my window. I was wondering what the heck the channel 4 news van was doing next door, but in the context of the story it gave a great “neighbors living in fear” vibe. Glad to do my part.

  12. West Cross
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Anyone else notice the post time is always an hour off in the comments lately? Does someone need to set the MM clock for daylight savings?

  13. Posted May 8, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Wow, that wasn’t funny at all.
    I think we might get more love from Fallon if we all just forget that skit ever happened. I’m sure he’s trying to.

  14. Alicia
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Maybe it’ll evolve into something like Letterman’s home office in Sioux City, Iowa. Of course, he tried Grand Rapids for a while and it never stuck. Ypsi might have the same Michigan lack-of-stickiness…

  15. EOS
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 9:02 am | Permalink


    Lack-of -stickiness? Isn’t the Elvis Fest tacky enough for you?

  16. Posted May 8, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink


    This is so strange you mention the idea of a talk show at the Elbow Room. I was there last night and Andy brought up the idea of having a weekly, or monthly, talk/variety show there and your name came up as a possible host. I’m not kidding. Perhaps you could challenge Jimmy Fallon to some sort of talk show challenge.

  17. Kerri
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    We don’t need a press release from the mayor. We can start our own thing on Facebook or something. I’m sure Fallon has a FB fan page so we could all pelt that with requests to come film in Ypsi. Or start our own fan page and get everyone we know to join it. I’ve tuned into Fallon’s show a couple of times, and based on what I’ve seen, I’m sure they’d welcome any sort of attention or publicity. They need it.

    Sadly, I think the days of sending out press releases are just about over. There’s not much press left to cover them. I’m sure that the marketing people at NBC are all over social media these days, so that might be the best way to get some attention.

  18. Kerri
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Actually, on second thought, Peter Baker has a point. That bit was extremely lame so maybe we should all just forget it ever happened.

  19. Mike
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Fallen Meadows? Do you really have to rub it in?

  20. Posted May 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was sort of funny, to be honest.

  21. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy Fallon is a great, great man. We obviously need to give him the key to the city at the unveiling of a life-size statue of him in the median at Michigan and Huron. Anything less would be an insult considering the magnitude of what he’s done for us all.

  22. Paw
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I’ll have to read the post over again. I didn’t think that Mark said that Fallon was a comedy god who should be bowed down before. If I recall, he used the word shitastic to describe the guy and his show a few days ago. I think what he was saying is that, as this is the first instance of ANYONE outside of Ypsi taking notice in the last decade, for something other than murder, that we might want to invest an hour to write a letter or issue a press release.

  23. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    One can imagine the tied up, pecked at feeling that can accompany having a blog.

    Go ahead and write a letter.

  24. I*heart*Ypsi
    Posted May 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Twitter? #visitytownjimmy

  25. Posted January 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    It sucks that this video is no longer online. I hate the Internets.

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