Jimmy Fallon’s new web-based NBC ‘Late Night’ gig — bold or boneheaded?

We don’t talk about Saugerties native Jimmy Fallon much here — that’s really more of a Mid-Hud town, isn’t it? — but this NY Times story, about how Lorne Michaels has decided to debut Jimmy Fallon’s “Late Night” show a year early, caught my eye.

tjndc5-5kbiunxjgfnynpr7n2d_layout.jpgAs you may have already heard, a game of late-night television musical chairs is in the offing for next year, with Jay Leno leaving (possibly to ABC) in order to make room for Conan O’Brien to take over “Tonight,” which opens up Conan’s show for Fallon to take the reins. Still, even though that’s all going to happen in 2009, Michaels, who exec produces “Late Night,” couldn’t quite wait to get Fallon back on the air.

The plan? Create 5- to 10-minute webisodes of Fallon doing various Late Nighty things and post them at 12:30 a.m. daily, in order to give Fallon the rhythm of a nightly show and “more opportunity for experimentation,” said Michaels.

Or, to put a finer point on it, he wants to ensure that Fallon hits his stride around the same time his actual show hits the air, so as to avoid the awkward breaking-in phase — that same period that Conan stumbled in after his show debuted. No word yet about what website the clips will debut on, or when they’ll start going live.

It’s an interesting strategy, and one that I’d have a lot more faith in if we were talking about Andy Samberg or some other proven web juggernaut. As for Fallon, the only clip of his I’ve seen online his “lonelyfallon32,” which, while amusing, ain’t no “Lazy Sunday.”

<object width=”464″ height=”388″ classid=”clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www2.funnyordie.com/public/flash/fodplayer.swf” /><param name=”flashvars” value=”key=5001″ /><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><embed width=”464″ height=”388″ flashvars=”key=5001″ allowfullscreen=”true” quality=”high” src=”http://www2.funnyordie.com/public/flash/fodplayer.swf” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”></embed></object><noscript>See <a href=”http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/5001″>lonelyfallon32</a> and more <a href=”http://www.funnyordie.com”>funny videos</a> on <a href=”http://www.funnyordie.com”>FunnyOrDie.com</a></noscript><div style=”text-align:center;width:464px;”>See more <a href=”http://www.funnyordie.com”>funny videos</a> at Funny or Die</div>

(AP Photo/Evan Agostini)