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It’s Time for Jimmy Fallon to Start Wearing Glasses

Jimmy Fallon, not wearing glasses. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Jimmy Fallon should wear glasses. The end.

I have been informed this article needs to “say more stuff” for it to be published. Okay, fine. So, currently, Jimmy Fallon doesn’t wear glasses (at least not in public) and I think he should (at least in public). This isn’t a vision issue. A writer for the show has not GChatted me to say Jimmy can’t read the prompter from the desk, so he routinely mispronounces celebrities’ names like “Adam Reindeer” (Andrew Rannells), “Carrie Overwood” (Carrie Underwood), and “the Rock” (Barack Obama). They are not hoping that by leaking me this information I would write a story that shames Fallon into going to the optometrist.

No, the fact is, Jimmy’s getting older (he’s 46; next year he’ll be 47 and so on), but he doesn’t look like it. I’m not saying that Jimmy in 2020 looks like Baby Jimmy, America’s post-9/11 SNL heartthrob. It’s that he hasn’t exactly transitioned into Daddy Jimmy. And I think he needs to if he’s going to continue hosting The Tonight Show for decades to come.

Take Jimmy Kimmel — please. Hehe. Just kidding. Take Jimmy Kimmel. He used to look like this:

Photo: ABC

This is the image of someone who would host The Man Show. But then, five years ago, as he was barreling towards 50 (he’s 53 now), this happened:

Photo: Randy Holmes//ABC via Getty Images

This just shows he’s a man.

Now take Stephen Colbert — please. Hehe. I promise I’m done. Colbert, 56, has always worn glasses, and that fact alone has afforded him a tremendous advantage in trying to talk about, you know, all the stuff these last four years. John Oliver, 43, is younger than Fallon, but because he wears glasses (and is British), he actually seems older, or at least more grown-up.

Conan O’Brien, 57, is an icon and thus doesn’t have to do anything. That said, about a decade ago, as he was barreling towards 50, he did have that beard and it looked good. Colbert also grew a beard a couple years ago and looked like a (hot) Civil War general. I guess Fallon could just grow a beard (he had a good-looking scruff for a short time and a mustache for a summer, but it was mostly as a bit), but that’s not really what this post is about and also Kimmel already has one, so … let’s move on.

Seth Meyers, 46 (same age as Fallon), has longer hair now. Also, his show airs at 12:30 in the morning, which is a young man’s time. James Corden, a relative spring chicken at 42, can’t wear glasses because he is still trying to be in movies and doesn’t want to be typecast as a guy who wears glasses, which makes sense. And that covers all the white dudes (the only people I personally feel comfortable commenting on the appearance of).

Tell your records to get ready to be scratched, because here’s the thing: Jimmy Fallon used to wear glasses [record scratch]. It’s true. Look:

Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty Images

Yes, glasses were very thin back then. That is not the point. The point is, umm, he’s wearing glasses. You’re probably thinking, If he was wearing glasses back then, why did he never wear them on Weekend Update? Perfect question. It really sets up my next sentence. It’s because, in many ways, Tina Fey represented Fallon’s glasses when they were together. She represented the gravitas, the high-mindedness, the adultness that Fallon needs to be able to harness on his own moving forward.

I know what you’re probably thinking again: Yeah, but wouldn’t he look like a nerd? First, hey, be nice. Second, you are worried about this person looking like a nerd:

Let’s be frank: Fallon’s face and head are just bigger now. And it’s a handsome face and his head has plenty of hairs, I just worry it might get to be too much of both. Glasses would be slimming and bring a sense of relative proportion. I believe they’d make him look hot. More so, I believe people would say they make him look hot (see: Kimmel’s beard or Colbert’s beard or Conan’s beard). And is it so wrong to want to make Fallon look hot to people, but, you know, in a different way than before?

But I don’t just want to be another writer on the internet complaining about the decisions of others without offering a solution. I want to help, so I reached out to L.A.’s Gogosha Optique, the very cool Echo Park glasses store where such very cool dudes like Jesse David Fox got their glasses. It’s a great place. You go and they look at your face and suggest things that would work for it. It’s sort of like getting your zodiac chart read, but, if it works out, you leave looking smarter. Julia Gogosha, the titular Gogosha, offered up four options for Jimmy.

First, we have a pair from Kirk and Kirk:

Photo: Retailer

Gogosha described them as “a little levity in a tailored form,” which makes perfect sense for whenever Fallon returns to wearing a suit, right? To that point, she said the bright apple color will work well “with traditional neutrals like navy, brown, gray, and burgundy when suited up.” I like them because they’d make Fallon look a little like Prue from The Great British Bake Off (who, as a side note, I just learned was pro-Brexit, so suck on that). Still, I’d fear it would be a bit of a hat on a hat or, more accurately, a silly pair of glasses on an already silly person. So, we move on.

Gogosha suggested two options that could be a “grown-up, glow-up version” of the narrow black frames Fallon is used to. There are the Blake Kuwahara Alders in Grey Fade:

Photo: Retailer

“Straddling both the artistic and business worlds,” the description reads, “the creation of a single frame is an artful and laborious feat of engineering.” What is hosting a late-night show if not straddling both the artistic (guests) and the business (commercials) worlds? That said, I do think these might make Fallon look like an aged indie-rock producer, like he’d be in the background of a TV on the Radio performance plugging things into a big board of holes.

Gogosha also suggested Ahlem’s Rue de Roquette in Woodlight:

Photo: Retailer

I must note, the last time I was in the store, I tried these exact glasses on and I have class. “This strong but understated and reassuring style offers the calm of timelessness,” the description reads. These make sense. But do they make too much sense? Do we really want to emerge from this grand, horrific reset completely unchanged?

Which brings me and Gogosha to Jacques Marie Mage’s Zephirin 47:

Photo: Retailer

Damn. I knew she had it in her, but I never could’ve predicted she’d go this hard. Gogosha chose these “as a distinct and discerning, bold and present piece.” At first, she was going to do the classic tortoise, but she pivoted to the “unexpected Rover green to be worn as an open and present shape inviting intimate conversations with virtually any kind of human.” Again, damn. “Inspired by big thinkers and ambitious outcasts, the Zephirin (named after Pope Zephyrinus) is notable for its distinctive pre-WWII sizing, meticulous hand-finish, and sculpted temple construction,” the description reads, which is better than anything I’ve written. “With its slim lines and eclectic silhouette, these spectacles are perfect for everyday use by the cultural aesthete, imbuing the wearer with the panache of a professor and the swagger of a saint.”

Before you say anything, yes, “big thinkers,” “ambitious outcasts,” and “professor” are not necessarily descriptions of Jimmy Fallon. To which I reply: yet. We are not talking about who Jimmy Fallon was, but who he will be — who he should be. Imagine Fallon, in the first episode back after the country has been vaccinated and full audiences are allowed in the Tonight Show studio again, coming out wearing these like he is some fully evolved Pokémon.

Being a late-night host is a strange gig. To paraphrase Lorne Michaels talking to Seth Meyers (to be honest, I can’t find the exact quote), if you do it well, you can do it for the rest of your life. That’s because consistency is late-night television’s primary aim. But consistency is antithetical to existence. The only consistency in a human’s life is change. This means late-night hosts, to stay true to themselves, must grow onscreen in ways they do off. Growing up is hard, especially in public — ask any former child star. But the late-night host’s job, more than anything, is to help us move forward, to make the passing of time just seem lighter. And they do that by acknowledging it.

In closing, Jimmy Fallon should wear glasses. It would look like this:

Photo-Illustration: Vulture and NBC

Not bad.

It’s Time for Jimmy Fallon to Start Wearing Glasses