Amazon Alexa has always had a feature where it can tell you jokes, by saying "Alexa, tell me a joke". But now, Amazon has partnered up with Jimmy Fallon to tell jokes on Alexa's behalf. So for the next month, when you ask Alexa to tell you a joke, she will actually hand it off to Jimmy Fallon by saying something like "actually, my friend Jimmy Fallon wants to tell a joke, let's give him a shot". And then Fallon will tell you a joke. It was announced on The Tonight Show last night, and everyone in the audience received the new Echo Dot as well. Fallon noted that there were thousands of jokes recorded for Alexa, and all of them are kid friendly. One of the examples that played last night (which you can see in the clip below) was "What did the horse say to the scare crow? Hay". So as you can see these are kid friendly, and would be okay for your kids to ask Alexa for a joke or two.
This marks the first time that Amazon Alexa is using a voice other than Alexa on its devices. Now Fallon isn't replacing Alexa for everything, like you can do with the Google Home, it's only for jokes and only for the next month. Fallon and Amazon created jokes exclusively for this limited-time experience. Of course, you can still watch clips from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on the Echo Show and even hear his monologue if you add it to the "Flash Briefing" in your Alexa app. You can watch Fallon announce this partnership on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in the YouTube clip down below.
Background: Alexa has been able to tell jokes for quite some time on Echo and other Alexa devices, though the jokes can be a bit corny, but they do make you laugh from time to time. Of course, there are plenty of Alexa skills out there that you can download and use to get more jokes - and even some adult jokes. Asking Alexa to tell you a joke is one of the things that your kids can do and they will likely spend all day asking Alexa to tell them a joke. It's a good way to keep them busy.
Amazon Alexa has been around for over four years now, and in fact, she just celebrated her fourth birthday. In that time, Alexa has really improved and added a ton of features. But not only that, Alexa has become a must-have product for a lot of people. Many people have an Echo in their living room, kitchen, bathroom and just about every other room in their home. This is because Alexa is able to do all sorts of things for you. From answering your questions, to controlling the smart home products in your home and virtually everything in between. It can also keep you up-to-date on the news with a flash briefing, which you can actually control which news sources are in your flash briefing and which order they are played in. So if you don't like a specific news source like Fox News or CNN, you don't have to use it. But you can also add in local news sources, from your local stations, which is also pretty nice. With the Echo Show, you can actually get a video showing the news, which is a nice thing to see in the morning while you're drinking your coffee and such. Of course, there are many more features for Alexa, and more coming everyday, thanks to the Skills that developers are building. Right now there are tens of thousands of skills available for Alexa, that will do things like order your pizza, check on and order an Uber for you and so much more.
Impact: This partnership may not have a huge impact on Amazon's business model for Alexa, it's unlikely that a lot of people will buy an Echo Dot just to hear Fallon's jokes (especially since this is only a limited time thing), though it is likely that it could force a number of people to go ahead and ask Alexa for some new jokes. So there could be an uptick in queries on Alexa, and people using Alexa more. That is the real thing that Amazon wants to have happen here, having more people use Alexa, which is the big growth area for Amazon right now - Alexa. But mostly this is just a "fun" thing that Amazon did with Fallon and the parent company of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, NBC Universal, to help promote the device. Many people may not know that the Echo can actually tell jokes, and that is because it is not one of those features that Amazon really touts when it comes to the Echo. It mostly touts the fact that it can control all of your smart home products - which it can, and does really well - but there are a ton of other great features included in the Echo and Alexa.
If you do have an Echo at home somewhere, you don't need to do anything to hear a joke from Jimmy Fallon. Just simply say, "Alexa, tell me a joke" and she'll hand it off to Fallon to tell you a joke. There's no need to install any Skills onto your Echo at all, it just works. It is available right now for everyone with an Echo device as well. It's unclear if it is available on non-Echo Alexa devices, like the Sonos One (though we tried on our Sonos One and couldn't get Fallon's voice to show up), but that should be clarified fairly soon. If you don't own an Echo just yet, Amazon is going to have a number of models on sale for Black Friday next week, so you're going to want to pick one up, especially since the Echo Dot is already super cheap and it's going to get even cheaper for Black Friday.