'Done Deal': Jimmy Fallon To Replace Conan O'Brien In '09

Rumors that notorious SNL line-flubber Jimmy Fallon might replace Conan O'Brien following his move to The Tonight Show have been floating around for over a year now. But today, Fox News adds some real substance to all the chatter by boldly reporting that "it's a done deal." Debates will inevitably and endlessly ensue regarding Fallon's ability to fill the shoes of everyone's favorite red head (with all apologies to the late Lucille Ball), especially considering Fallon's lack of experience as a writer or improviser. More details from Fox on how Fallon is handling the news and when we can expect an official announcement, after the jump.

While Fox's Roger Friedman is wildly optimistic about Falllon's upcoming arrival behind Conan's desk, his enthusiasm strikes us as a bit too gushy. As he puts it, "He's the perfect successor to Conan and should have just as big an audience when he takes the reins. Fallon is one of those great underrated performers." True, Fallon was at one time a favorite of ours, partly because he was the cutest cast member at the time, and partly because of his dead-on Barry Gibb impression. But as Tracey Morgan and other cast members infamously said, most of Jimmy's laughs were the result of messing up his lines almost every Saturday night. Understandably, Fox notes that Fallon is "said to be thrilled and ready, if not a little scared." In any case, an official announcement from NBC is reportedly scheduled for May 11th or 12th, when NBC unveils its 2008 schedule to advertisers in New York.

[Photo credit: Wireimage]