The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

According to The New York Times, China has banned celebrities from hosting or acting as presenters on TV shows in order to “ensure no ‘improper remarks’ are made while on air.” The idea stems from the Chinese government’s desire to control the way information is told to the public and avoid any “base, vulgar, or politically inappropriate entertainment.” We may scoff at that notion in America, because we’re perfect and everything we do is perfect, but the way China’s state news agency describes it actually sounds pretty solid: “TV hosts are responsible for the show; guiding the audience and controlling the pace of the live broadcast. Thus, it is unsuitable for guests to be hosts or presenters.”

In other words, hosts host, so celebrities can’t host because they’re the guests. It’s elegant, it’s efficient, and it neatly divides people into separate groups that are permitted to do or not do certain things based on something that’s hard to define. Frankly, we don’t see a problem with that. The NYT article goes on to say hosts and guests will face “more training” before taping shows to make sure they do a good job of only saying what they’re supposed to say, something that also sounds pretty good. Nobody wants to watch someone on TV flubbing lines or accidentally speaking out about freedom of speech, and this way everyone will be more prepared to not do those things. (Especially the second one!)


Obviously, something like this would never work in America—what with that stupid Bill Of Rights getting in the way—but it sure would be nice to be able to trust that our TV hosts aren’t saying anything politically inappropriate.