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Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon American talk show host and comedian

American talk show host and comedian
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro American talk show host and comedian
A.K.A. James Thoms Fallon, James Fallon, James Thomas Fallon, James Thomas "Jimmy" Fall...
Is Actor Television presenter Writer Singer Comedian Television actor Screenwriter Film actor Voice actor Film producer
From United States of America
Type Film, Television, Stage and Radio Humor Literature Music
Gender male
Birth 19 September 1974, Brooklyn, USA
Age: 45 years
Star sign VirgoVirgo
Politics Democratic Party
Family
Spouse: Nancy Juvonen
Stats
Height: 1.82245 m
Instruments:
Guitar
Voice
The details
Biography

James Thomas Fallon (born September 19, 1974) is an American comedian, actor, television host, writer, and producer. He is known for his work in television as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and as the host of late-night talk show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and before that Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He grew up with an interest in comedy and music, moving to Los Angeles at 21 to pursue opportunities in stand-up comedy.

He was commissioned to join NBC's Saturday Night Live as a cast member in 1998, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Fallon remained on SNL for six years between 1998 and 2004, co-hosting the program's Weekend Update segment and becoming a celebrity in the process. He left the program for the film industry, starring in films such as Taxi (2004) and Fever Pitch (2005).

Following his film career, Fallon returned to television as the host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC studios in 2009, where he became well known for his emphasis on music and video games. He moved from that program to become the sixth permanent host of the long-running The Tonight Show in 2014. In addition to his television work, Fallon has released two comedy albums and five books.

Early life

James Thomas Fallon was born on September 19, 1974, in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, the son of Gloria (née Feeley; 1949–2017) and James W. Fallon (born 1948). He is of German, Irish, and Norwegian descent. His paternal grandmother, Luise Schalla, was a German immigrant from Osterholz-Scharmbeck, while one of his maternal great-grandfathers, Hans Hovelsen, was a Norwegian immigrant from Fredrikstad. Another set of great-great-grandparents were Thomas Fallon, an Irishman from County Galway, and Louisa Stickever, the daughter of an Irishman born in France and his Irish wife.

Fallon's father spent his adolescence singing in street-corner doo-wop groups, then served in the Vietnam War. Shortly after his son's birth, he started working as a machine repairman for IBM in Kingston, New York. In preparation, the family moved nearby to Saugerties, New York. Fallon has described his childhood as "idyllic," while his parents have been described as overprotective. He and his sister, Gloria, were unable to leave their home and had to ride their bicycles in the backyard. Fallon attended the Roman Catholic school St. Mary of the Snow. He considered being a priest, inspired by his experiences as an altar boy, but became more interested in comedy instead. He spent many nights listening to the radio program The Dr. Demento Show, which exposed him to both comedy and music; he often recorded it on a reel-to-reel recorder.

As a teenager, Fallon developed an obsession with the late-night comedy program Saturday Night Live. He watched it religiously, although he was only allowed to see "the clean parts" that his parents taped for him. He and Gloria would re-enact sketches such as "The Festrunk Brothers" with friends. In his teens, he impressed his parents with impersonations, including of actor James Cagney and comedian Dana Carvey. He was musically inclined, and started playing guitar at age 13. He would go on to perform comedy and music in contests and shows. By his junior high years, he was labeled a class clown, but was also described as "nice and well-mannered."

At Saugerties High School, he was a performer in most stage productions, and was twice a class social director. He won a young comedian's contest with an impression of Pee-wee Herman. He graduated in 1992, then attended The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, where he was a computer science major before switching to communications in his senior year. He was an average student. On weekends, he would perform stand-up comedy. Fallon would often board buses from his aunt's house in Fort Hamilton to perform sets at Caroline's Comedy Club in Times Square. He did not graduate, leaving college a semester early to pursue a comedy career.

In May 2009, 14 years later, he returned to receive a Bachelor of Arts in communications, awarded by Saint Rose officials who granted him experiential learning credits for his television work. He joined his classmates at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center to collect his degree.

Career

Comedy beginnings

Fallon dropped out of the College of Saint Rose a semester shy of a degree in communications in 1995 to move to Los Angeles and pursue comedy full-time. He secured a manager and got bookings by the age of 21. He often did stand-up at the Improv, earning $7.50 per set, and he joined classes with the Groundlings, an improv comedy troupe. He appeared in the feature film The Scheme (originally entitled The Entrepreneurs). His one line in the 1996 film Father's Day was cut, but he can still be seen in the background. In 1998, Fallon appeared briefly on the show Spin City in the second season as a man selling photographs.

He remained fixated on joining Saturday Night Live. After two years of working with the Groundlings, he auditioned for the program in 1997, but was unsuccessful. When he was cast in a pilot presentation for The WB, Fallon made sure to include a clause in his contract specifying that if he were to join SNL he would be released from his contract. His manager sent videotapes to Marci Klein and Ayala Cohen, producers for SNL.

This was my ultimate goal. If I ever cut into a birthday cake and made a wish, I would wish to be on SNL. If I threw a coin into a fountain, I would wish to be on SNL. If I saw a shooting star, I would wish to be on SNL. ... I remember saying to myself, 'If I don't make it on [the show] before I'm 25, I'm going to kill myself.' It's crazy. I had no other plan. I didn't have friends, I didn't have a girlfriend, I didn't have anything going on. I had my career, that was it.

Fallon landed his second audition at the age of 23. At the "notoriously difficult audition," he was told by several people that creator Lorne Michaels almost never laughed during auditions. He feared being outshined by the comic before him, who came armed with an arsenal of props. But Fallon went onstage and did well, performing a "celebrity walk-a-thon" with impressions of Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, and Adam Sandler, an SNL alumnus who had recently left the show. Michaels and others laughed.

Head writer Tina Fey, who was in the room, later said, "He's one of two people I've ever seen who was completely ready to be on the show. Kristen Wiig is the other one.... And Jimmy was ready—like, if there had been a show to do that night." He rushed through his original characters in order to arrive at his musical impressions, which he felt were stronger. Three weeks passed, and despite his feeling that he had not gotten the position, he was asked to meet with Michaels at the Paramount lot in Los Angeles. Michaels informed him that they wanted him for the show, and Fallon characterized the moment as being in "slow motion," remarking to Michaels before he left, "I'm going to make you proud."

Saturday Night Live years

Early seasons (1998–2000)

Fallon debuted on Saturday Night Live as a featured player at the beginning of the show's twenty-fourth season in September 1998. He became a star by his fourth episode, when he performed Halloween-themed versions of songs by popular artists, as well as his Sandler impression. Fallon became a celebrity, considered charming by his largely female fan-base, receiving numerous letters from fans, and becoming the subject of numerous fan-sites. He became the program's most featured mimic, doing popular impressions of Robert De Niro, Jerry Seinfeld, and Howard Stern. He also starred as many original characters, including Nick Burns, an IT support nerd, Pat "Sully" Sullivan, one of the Boston Teens with Rachel Dratch, and in Jarret's Room, a fictional webcast hosted by stoner college students Jarret (Fallon) and Gobi (Horatio Sanz). He was promoted to repertory player in his second season.

In his offtime, Fallon released a book comprising e-mail exchanges with his sister Gloria, titled I Hate This Place: A Pessimist's Guide to Life (1999), and filmed a minor role for the film Almost Famous (2000). During their time at SNL, Fallon and Horatio Sanz often drank together. Sanz has described himself and Fallon as "super-functioning alcoholics", and stated, "They say that kind of goes hand in hand with SNL, some kind of substance-abuse issues, because it's so stressful you easily find yourself blowing off steam a lot." For example, on one occasion, they spent a Friday night watching The Strokes perform a midnight show, staying up until the early morning drinking, despite having to do SNL that night. "We actually took what we thought being on SNL was, what people think is awesome about it, and we made it happen," said Sanz, who noted that he and Fallon got in more than a few bar fights.

Later years (2001–2004)

Fallon initially envisioned he would spend three years at SNL, like Belushi, but he was persuaded to stay on for an additional three when given the reins to Weekend Update (which he would co-host with writer Tina Fey). His co-hosting of Weekend Update increased his profile even more. During this tenure, he formed a close relationship with Michaels, whom he'd consult with on anything from dating to career advice. Fallon called a December 2001 sketch in which he imitates Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger in a mirror opposite Jagger his favorite thing he had done up to that point.

In his later years on SNL, Fallon co-starred in skit titled The Barry Gibb Talk Show alongside musician Justin Timberlake, where the duo portrayed Bee Gees brothers Barry and Robin Gibb. It marked the beginning of a long-running friendship and collaboration with Timberlake.

Fallon became well known for his tendency to break character in sketches, an attribute he himself, as well as Michaels, disliked. It began in the infamous "More cowbell" sketch, when Will Ferrell wore a tighter shirt than expected, causing Fallon to crack up. Following this, other cast members would intentionally try to get Fallon to break. Other cast members believed he was attempting to steal the moment, to make the sketch about himself. The joke became near-constant during Fallon's final year on the show. During this time, Fallon parlayed his SNL success into co-hosting the 2001 MTV Movie Awards and 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, and the recording on his debut comedy album, The Bathroom Wall (2002), which was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. He also modeled for Calvin Klein. Fallon was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 2002, an honor Fallon found embarrassing.

Fallon appeared in blackface in Saturday Night Live, impersonating Chris Rock.

Movie career (2004–2008)

Fallon began to pursue a movie career beginning in 2004. He had spurned most major roles due to lack of time and disinterest in the dozens of scripts he read. He signed on for his first lead role in Taxi, a remake of a French film. Fallon had read the script in the prior years but became more interested when co-star Queen Latifah became attached to the project. He was also attracted to the film's action comedy tone, seeing comparisons with SNL alumnus Eddie Murphy's first big film, 48 Hrs. (1982).

In the fall of 2003, he split his time between shooting the film in Los Angeles and returning to New York City for SNL. Due to these conflicts (and his contract ending), his sixth season at SNL was his last, with Fallon signing off at the conclusion of the show's twenty-ninth season in May 2004.

Fallon in 2007

With big expectations from the studio, Taxi premiered in the fall of 2004 and was a flop with critics and audiences, resulting in Fallon's first failure. 20th Century Fox had already signed him on for his second major role, starring opposite Drew Barrymore in the 2005 romantic comedy Fever Pitch. Fever Pitch did not fare much better than Taxi, receiving mild reviews and tepid box office returns. He met his wife, producer Nancy Juvonen, during production of the film and the two wed in December 2007.

Film offers decreased, with his two chances for major films both considered failures. Subsequently, Fallon went through what he has deemed a "lost period," characterized by a larger-than-usual alcohol consumption and confusion over his next career moves. He wrote a screenplay during this time "about a guy in a goth band who has to pretend to be a country-music star." Following his failure in film, Fallon moved back east to New York, spending "a couple of years aimlessly knocking around."

Prior to leaving SNL, Michaels had mentioned to Fallon that he would be a good fit to take over NBC's Late Night franchise when then-host Conan O'Brien would depart the show to host the long-running Tonight Show in the future. Michaels urged NBC to give Fallon a holding deal in February 2007 so that he couldn't be lured elsewhere.

To prepare for the role of a late-night host, Fallon toured college campuses and comedy clubs for eight months, where he tested out a new, 50-minute routine. He also began watching the comedy of Chevy Chase, Dick Cavett, and Johnny Carson, as well as The Larry Sanders Show. In May 2008, Fallon was announced as the successor to O'Brien's Late Night.

Fallon was considered an odd choice for the job, both by executives at NBC (who "hated" the idea and predicted it to be a failure), and among the general public. This was referenced in an early promo for the series: "You loved him on SNL! You hated him in the movies! Now you're ambivalent."

Back to television and Late Night (2009–2013)

Fallon interviewing President Barack Obama on the campus of UNC at Chapel Hill in April 2012, while at the helm of his tenure at Late Night

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon premiered in March 2009 to mixed reviews. Producer Michael Shoemaker felt that the show's style solidified when it used Susan Boyle as a joke. While other late-night programs had centered on her appearance, Fallon's Late Night debuted a sketch in which Boyle's emotional performances could "salve any affliction." It was this style of humor, that Adam Sternbergh of New York dubbed "the comedy of unabashed celebration," that led to the program's success.

Fallon proved himself different from other late-night hosts, with more of a reliance on music, dancing, impersonations, and games.

Between Fallon's own musical sensibilities and the recruitment of his house band, hip-hop collective The Roots, his incarnation of Late Night "evolved into the most deeply musical of TV's musical-comedy variety programs," with sketches in which he parodies Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen going viral online. Coincidentally, it was during the Tonight Show debacle that Fallon's show found its footing.

Another component built into the program was its association with social media and the Internet. The first majorly successful online clip was of Fallon and Justin Timberlake performing a "History of Rap." Online interaction and its presence on the show soon became crucial to its success. As of August 2013, Fallon was earning a salary of $11 million a year for his work on Late Night.

Fallon also hosted the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards in 2010. In 2012, Fallon released his second comedy album, Blow Your Pants Off, which compiles many of his musical performances on Late Night. The album won a Grammy in 2013 for Best Comedy Album. Discussions for Fallon to take over The Tonight Show began in early 2013.

The Tonight Show (2014–present)

On April 3, 2013, following a period of speculation, NBC announced that Fallon would succeed Jay Leno to become the sixth permanent host of The Tonight Show following the 2014 Winter Olympics. Fallon and Leno sang a parody of the song "Tonight" about the Tonight Show together. Fallon's Tonight Show debut on February 17, 2014, on NBC's network engaged 11.3 million viewers.

Fallon's third book, Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada, a children's book, was released in June 2015.

On September 15, 2016, Fallon hosted Donald Trump on The Tonight Show during the United States presidential election. Following the appearance, Fallon was criticized by some media critics and viewers on social media for the uncontroversial questions he asked of Trump. David Sims, writing in The Atlantic, called the interview an "embarrassment." In response to the criticism, Fallon said to TMZ: "Have you seen my show? I'm never too hard on anyone. We'll have Hillary [Clinton] on tomorrow, and we'll do something fun with her too." Fallon apologized in March 2017 for the interview, saying "I didn't do it to humanize him. I almost did it to minimize him. I didn't think that would be a compliment ... After this happened, I was devastated. I didn't mean anything by it. I was just trying to have fun." He again apologized for the interview in June 2018 on a Hollywood Reporter podcast, saying that he "made a mistake" and added "I did not do it to 'normalize' him or to say I believe in his political beliefs or any of that stuff."

Influences

Fallon told David Steinberg on the Showtime series Inside Comedy that as a child he and his sister would imitate Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd's "Wild and Crazy Guys" routines from Saturday Night Live, and that he listened to comedy records, learning to imitate Rodney Dangerfield from them. In 2009 he spoke on the influence of Monty Python when he appeared in the television documentary, Monty Python: Almost the Truth (Lawyers Cut).

Personal life

Fallon is a Roman Catholic, Fallon told the National Public Radio: "I just, I loved the church. I loved the idea of it. I loved the smell of the incense. I loved the feeling you get when you left church. I loved like how this priest can make people feel this good. I just thought it was – I loved the whole idea of it."

Fallon married film producer Nancy Juvonen, co-owner of production company Flower Films, on December 22, 2007. After meeting on the set of Fever Pitch, the two began dating in May 2007. Fallon proposed in August 2007 with a Neil Lane-designed engagement ring, at sunset on the dock of Juvonen's family home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. They were married four months later. They have two daughters, Winnie (born 2013) and Frances (born 2014). They have a female English cream Golden Retriever named Gary Frick that has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

On June 26, 2015, Fallon suffered a ring avulsion, an injury he suffered by tripping over a rug in his home and catching his wedding ring on a countertop, which nearly tore off his finger. He was taken to the emergency room and then sent to a surgeon who performed microsurgery on his finger. Fallon spent 10 days in the ICU before going home. He discussed this on the July 13 episode of the Tonight Show and thanked the doctors and nurses who helped him. As of July 14, 2015, he was expecting to spend another eight weeks without any feeling in his finger. In an interview with Billboard magazine in September 2015, Fallon explained that his finger still had limited mobility and that another surgery would be required. He reiterated this point at the 67th Emmy Awards on September 20, 2015, where he appeared in public without his finger bandaged for the first time.

On November 4, 2017, Fallon's mother, Gloria Fallon, died from undisclosed causes at age 68 at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan. Scheduled tapings of the following week's Tonight Show episodes were canceled. One week later, Fallon paid tribute to his mother following that night's monologue, becoming emotional and calling her "the best audience."

Discography

Studio albums

Title Album details Peaks
US
USCom.
The Bathroom Wall
  • Released: August 27, 2002
  • Label: DreamWorks Records
  • Formats: CD, vinyl, digital download
47  —
Blow Your Pants Off
  • Released: June 8, 2012
  • Label: Warner Bros. Records
  • Formats: CD, vinyl, digital download
25 1
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles

Title Year Peaks Album
US
USRap
"Idiot Boyfriend" 2002 The Bathroom Wall
"Car Wash for Peace" 2007 N/A
"Drunk On Christmas"
(featuring John Rich)
2009
"Ew!"
(featuring will.i.am)
2014 26 5
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2001 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Personality Saturday Night Live Nominated
2002 Nominated
2003 Grammy Awards Best Comedy Album The Bathroom Wall Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Personality Saturday Night Live Nominated
Choice Comedian Nominated
2004 Nominated
2005 Choice Movie: Comedy Actor Fever Pitch Nominated
Choice Hissy Fit Nominated
Choice Movie: Lip-lock Nominated
Choice Movie: Chemistry Nominated
Choice Movie: Rockstar Moment Taxi Nominated
2009 Webby Awards Lifetime Achievement Award Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Late Night Show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Nonfiction Won
2010 Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Nonfiction Won
2011 People's Choice Awards Favorite Online Sensation Nominated
The Comedy Awards Late Night Comedy Series Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Series Nominated
Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Nominated
2012 People's Choice Awards Favorite Late Night TV Host Won
Writers Guild of America Comedy/Variety (including talk) series Nominated
The Comedy Awards Late Night Comedy Series Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Talk Show Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Series Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Saturday Night Live Won
2013 People's Choice Awards Favorite Late Night TV Host Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Won
Grammy Awards Best Comedy Album Blow Your Pants Off Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Talk Show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Series Nominated
2014 People's Choice Awards Favorite Late Night TV Host Nominated
American Comedy Awards Best Late Night Talk Show Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Talk Show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Series Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Nominated
Outstanding Interactive Program Won
Outstanding Variety Special Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Primetime Special Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Saturday Night Live Won
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Late Night TV Host The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Talk Show Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Talk Series Nominated
Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media — Social TV Experience Won
Outstanding Interactive Program Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
Choice Social Media King Nominated
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Talk Show Nominated
Nominated
Writers Guild of America Comedy/Variety – Talk Series Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Talk Series Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Personality Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Interactive Program Nominated
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Comedian Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Short Form Variety Series The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – Cover Room Nominated
People's Choice Award The Nighttime Talk Show of 2018 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Won
2019 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series Beto Breaks the Internet Nominated
People's Choice Award The Nighttime Talk Show of 2019 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Won
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Reference sources
References
http://www.filmreference.com/film/97/Jimmy-Fallon.html
https://books.google.com/books?id=qphYAAAAYAAJ&q=%22James+W%22+Fallon+GLORIA+Saugerties&dq=%22James+W%22+Fallon+GLORIA+Saugerties
http://irishamerica.com/2014/01/jimmy-fallon-family-tree
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20415279,00.html
http://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/features/2139
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/entertainment/late-nights-all-right-with-fallon-41094027-237630181.html
http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2014/02/jimmy-fallon-the-tonight-show-new-york
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/jimmy-fallons-big-adventure-20110120
//www.worldcat.org/issn/0035-791X
https://books.google.com/books?id=w8s9P_S6njMC&pg=PA72&dq=jimmy+fallon#v=onepage&q=jimmy%20fallon
http://www.sanctepater.com/2012/02/jimmy-fallon-on-his-catholicism.html
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