Jimmy Fallon is a household name these days. As the third official host of The Tonight Show, Jimmy has been delivering comedy to late night viewers every weeknight since 2009. A true comedian at heart, Fallon dropped out of school, where he was studying Communications at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. He was just months away from receiving his diploma, but his true passion was calling to him! He moved from his native Brooklyn to Los Angeles with big dreams and no idea that he was one day going to be one of the most famous late night entertainers of our generation. Fourteen years after making it big in the entertainment industry, he would return to school to finally finish up his missing credits and get his Bachelor of Arts in Communications!
Jimmy has managed to keep his private life quite private, specializing in talking about other people and not himself while conducting his interviews. He is a happily married father of two, who has returned to his native Brooklyn to be closer to the set of The Tonight Show. A reputable musician, writer and actor, Jimmy has a few tricks up his sleeve that even die-hard fans are generally unaware of. His mysteriousness is one of the reasons we love him, but today, we have all the dirt you never knew about Jimmy. Here are 20 Questionable Facts About Jimmy Fallon
20 He Was A Sheltered Child
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1974, Jimmy's parents moved the family to upstate Saugerties to be closer to Jimmy's fathers work at IBM. His father James was a Vietnam War veteran who sang in a cappella doo-wop groups around town.
Despite having an overprotective mother, Gloria, Jimmy referred to his childhood as idyllic and extremely positive.
He and his older sister, Gloria, had to ride their bikes in their backyard when they were young because they were only permitted to leave the house alone to go to school or church. The Fallon kids were regular churchgoers, and served as altar children when they were young. Jimmy considered becoming a priest, but changed his mind when he reached adolescence. When he was a teenager, he developed an obsession with Saturday Night Live, and vowed to one day make it to the show. Although, his parents censored a big part of what was broadcast, by taping the "clean" parts that Jimmy would then watch over and over. He started playing guitar at 13, and would be a big presence in his high school's talent show programs. On weekends, he would make his way to Times Square to perform as a busker or do improve stand-up on street corners.
19 His Children Were Born Via Surrogate
Jimmy met his wife, Nancy Juvonen, on the set of the film Fever Pitch. Jimmy had a main role in the film, and Nancy was one of the film's producers. The two hit it off right away, and began dating in May, 2007. The couple fell hard and fast in love, and Jimmy proposed just four months later, at Nancy's family home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. By the end of the year, the couple were married. The pair knew from the beginning that they wanted to have a family together, however, fertility issues meant that they would have a long journey into parenthood.
Trying almost everything, for 5 years, the Fallons finally decided to get a surrogate involved. Their first daughter, Winnie, was born in 2013, and just a year later, in 2014, they welcomed a second daughter named Frances.
Jimmy rarely talks about his family, and keeps things pretty private, but he did open up about the fertility struggles when he was on the Today show back in August, 2013. He told them, "Try every avenue; try anything you can do, 'cause you'll get there. You'll end up with a family, and it's so worth it. It is the most 'worth it' thing. I'm just so happy right now. I'm freaking out." What a great story!
18 His First Role Was On Spin City
After dropping out of college, Jimmy had big dreams of making it big as a comedian in Hollywood. By the age of 21, things were looking good.
He had moved himself to Los Angeles, and found himself a manager who helped him secure various stand-up gigs in the city. In 1995, he was only making about $7.50 a night to appear on stage at improv nights, but that didn't discourage him!
He joined an improv group called The Groundlings, and started to make a name for himself in the local scene. In 1998, he landed his very first televised role, in the sitcom Spin City. He was cast as a photographer, who was hired to take photographs of people outside of an event. He had less than 5 lines in his scene, but the small exposure helped to get him on the map! His scene was filmed alongside Alan Ruck, who plays Cameron in cult classic film Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Even without a big amount of lines, that in itself must've been a huge moment for Jimmy. He was one step closer to his ultimate dream, landing a role on Saturday Night Live.
17 He Wanted To Be A Priest
One of the most surprising facts about Jimmy? Before pursuing a career in entertainment and comedy, he had considered becoming a priest. He hails from a fairly religious Roman Catholic family, who were big on attending church services every Sunday.
Jimmy attended mass throughout his elementary school years, went to Sunday school, and even served as an altar boy for several years. At one point, he was so involved in the community church that he considered joining the priesthood!
Of course, his parents were thrilled with this idea. Jimmy, being a good son and wanting to please his parents, kept the dream alive for a little while, but things would change when he got a bit older and started going to high school. At this point, he made a lot of new friends, and became known as a natural entertainer and comedian. His schoolmates encouraged his funny bone, and he quickly assumed the role of class clown. High school also gave him an opportunity to do a little bit of acting; he signed up for all of the school productions and enjoyed performing improvisation and music. Good thing he had a change of heart, his life could've turned out completely different!
16 He Almost Didn't Make It On SNL
Jimmy Fallon is now known as one of the most iconic past cast members of SNL, and he occasionally goes back to his old stomping grounds to either guest appear in a skit, or sometimes host the show. But things weren't always so guaranteed for him.
In 1997, Fallon had his first audition for SNL, and sadly, he didn't pass. Not one to get discouraged, Jimmy was determined that his bad audition was just a minor setback, and he was prepared to do whatever it took to get the attention of SNL creator Lorne Michaels. When he was 23, he landed a second audition, which he told Vanity Fair was the "notoriously difficult audition".
A super motived Fallon didn't give up hope, even when the show's production team didn't contact him for the first three weeks following the audition. When he finally did get the call, he was scheduled to meet with Lorne Michaels, making the anticipation drag on even more. Upon meeting with Michaels, he was told that they wanted him to be a part of the show. He told the New York Times in an interview in 2015 that everything seemed to be going in slow motion, and then he said to Michaels, "I'm going to make you proud".
15 He Modelled For Calvin Klein (Once)
Jimmy had his SNL debut in 1998, when he appeared in a few skits throughout the show's twenty fourth season. After doing an Adam Sandler impersonation in his fourth episode, he became an overnight hit. All of a sudden, Fallon was getting fan mail (mostly from women!) and Lorne Michaels, the creator of SNL, was getting tons of positive feedback. It didn't take long for him to be promoted to repertory player for his second season on the show. Meanwhile, Jimmy's sudden popularity was being noticed on the outside, too. Suddenly, he was getting asked to endorse products, such as Maker's Mark whiskey.
He also appeared in an ad for Calvin Klein, in the late 90's, when CK One was all the rage and teenagers couldn't stop posting pages from their fashion magazines in their lockers.
In fact, this photo might even strike a chord if you were born in the 80's, I certainly remember it! Some have speculated that the photograph of Jimmy crouching in front of a ball of fire signified his quick explosion onto the scene. Or maybe they just wanted him to look like a rebellious pyromaniac. Who knows. Either way, this is a fantastic bit of fan memorabilia.
14 He Dropped Out Of College
Jimmy Fallon started his post secondary education back in 1993, shortly after graduating from high school.
He attended The College Of Saint Rose, in Albany, New York, where he was initially registered for a computer science major. In his senior year, he would change this to a Communications degree, although, he dropped out just several months before receiving his diploma.
His desire to pursue a career in comedy and entertainment just became to great for him to ignore any longer! After moving to Los Angeles and getting hooked up with a good agent, Jimmy began to book gigs, and sooner than later he had appeared in several minor film and television roles. Before long, he was discovered and made his real breakthrough as a main cast member on SNL, his life long dream finally coming true. Fallon kept busy with his successful career for 14 years before he finally decided that it was time to complete his degree. In 2009, he went back to his former college and finished up his Bachelors Degree in Communications, and also received an honorary award for his professional achievements. Jimmy proves that you're never too old to go back to school, or to finish up a project that you started long ago!
13 He Had Finger Surgery
Talk about a freak accident that you almost wouldn't believe really happened to someone, until it happened to Jimmy Kimmel. In the summer of 2015, Jimmy suffered what is called a ring avulsion, on his left ring finger.
He tripped over a rug in his living room, and subsequently fell forward into his kitchen, getting his wedding ring caught on to the counter top, and very nearly ripping off his entire finger in the process.
Once admitted to the ER, he had to have surgery to correct, and save, the finger, and he subsequently spent ten days in the intensive care unit. For a finger injury, that seems pretty serious! While he was recovering, he wasn't able to feel anything in his finger, and that lasted for close to 12 weeks. By September of the same year, he still suffered from limited motion in the finger, and mentioned at the 67th Emmy Awards that he would need another surgery to further correct this. That night was also the first time that he was seen in public without a bandage for months. He's also sworn off the wedding ring, and we think that his wife will have to understand why!
12 He Missed A Chance With Nicole Kidman
Jimmy Fallon and Nicole Kidman provided one of the funniest interviews in The Tonight Show history, when she appeared as a guest in 2015. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, Nicole had a little crush on him, and asked a mutual friend to introduce her.
When said mutual friend called Jimmy to start the proceedings, he made up a story about how Nicole was interested in talking to Jimmy about a potential role on Bewitched. So Jimmy thought the entire meeting, which happened at his apartment, was meant to be about business and acting. Jimmy, who was super nervous to be in the company of Nicole Kidman, didn't say much during her visit, and kept it professional.
Except for when he put on a video game. Ever focused, he didn't pick up on any cues that she was into him, and was completely floored when she explained her side of the story during their interview, several years later. She even walked away from the meeting thinking that he might be into men, since he didn't seem to have any interest in her. Meanwhile, Jimmy was literally freaking out on the inside when Nicole Kidman was in his apartment. If they weren't both married, who knows what this confession could've led to!
11 He's A Yankees Fan
Jimmy Fallon is about as close as it comes to the quintessential proud New York resident. Born in Brooklyn, and raised in upstate Saugerties, Jimmy left the city to live in Los Angeles for several years in his early 20's, but he quickly made his way back home. With New York such a big part of his life, it's no surprise that he has been a lifelong New York Yankees fan. He was basically born loving the team, and has been spotted at many of their games, and around town wearing Yankees gear.
He's made baseball the subject of several skits on The Tonight Show, and has met several famous Yankees players, namely, retired Yankee legend Derek Jeter.
In yet another synchronistic turn of events in Jimmy's life, his first film role was Fever Pitch, a baseball movie, based on the memoir written by Nick Hornby. Jimmy was cast as a Red Sox fan in the film; the team have had a long-running rivalry with the Yankees. It's been a long running joke amongst Jimmy's friends that he is secretly a closet Red Sox fan. Baseball is definitely a key part of his life! Both his career and marriage were influenced by the love of the game!
10 He's A Talented Musician
There's a reason why Jimmy often features musical games on his late night show; he's a huge music fan, and is a talented guitar player.
Self-taught, Jimmy has been playing since he was a teenager, and has even released a few singles! He was an avid amateur musician in high school, and appeared in several musical productions. His debut album, The Bathroom Wall was released in 2002. The full length album features five original songs, and nine stand-up comedy recordings.
The album was nominated for Best Spoken Comedy Album at the 2003 Grammys, but did not take home the title. Ten years later, with much more experience under his belt (and many more fans), Jimmy released another album, called Blow Your Pants Off. With an impressive guest appearance list that includes Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake and Eddie Vedder, this collection was also nominated for a Grammy for the Best Spoken Country Album in 2013, and this time it won! There is a one-hour special that also features most of these songs, called Jimmy Fallon's Primetime Music Special. It aired on NBC in the summer of 2012. If you've never heard him sing, do yourself a favour and look it up. He's surprisingly multi-talented.
9 He Has A Lot Of Haters
One thing that might come as a surprise to Jimmy Fallon fans is that not everyone is on the Fallon bandwagon. In fact, he has the type of personality and humour that you either love or hate (sounds about right for a comedian!). The non-fans seem to have one thing in common.
They don't like Jimmy because they find that his happiness and enthusiasm is way too overdone. Hey, the guy's just happy! For those of us who love him, we find it uplifting and inspiring to see someone who is always positive and silly.
Even if he can't naturally be that high on life all the time, we appreciate that he brings his happy face and laughs to the show every night. Can you imagine if he was miserable all the time? It would not be a pleasant experience to watch his show! So the haters don't like that Jimmy is too happy, that Jimmy likes to sing and dance and impersonate people. They don't like the way he interviews his guests, or the silly little games that he likes to play. In a nutshell, everything that makes him unique and loveable is what they don't appreciate. What can we say? Haters gonna hate!
8 He Had A Mole Removed Live On The Dr. Oz Show
Who doesn't love having minor surgical procedures done on live TV while being viewed by millions of people? Well, that didn't stop Jimmy Fallon from having a mole removed on a live episode of Dr. Oz, which aired in 2011. So how did this come about?
Dr. Oz noticed the mole on Jimmy's hand when he was a guest on the show, and told him that he would be best to get it removed as these strange looking moles can sometimes actually be cancerous melanoma tumours.
Any moles that are strange looking or irregular are cause for concern, and should always be checked out by a dermatologist to be on the safe side. So, yes, this was a serious topic, but in true Jimmy Fallon style, he made the episode very entertaining and funny. 220 lucky audience members got to sit in and watch the procedure, which was performed by Dr. Oz himself, alongside a cosmetic surgeon. Luckily, in Jimmy's case, the mole turned out to be nothing to worry about, but it was super wise of him to get it removed to be on the safe side. Always doing things to look out for the wellbeing of his fellow man, that Jimmy!
7 He Doesn't Have A Good Poker Face
If you regularly tune in to The Tonight Show, you already know that Jimmy is terrible at keeping a straight face.
He often bursts into laughter when he is in the middle of a funny skit, or monologue, or interview. On SNL, he was often the first to erupt into giggles during particularly hilarious skits.
Who could forget the classic original Debbie Downer in Disneyworld skit from the 2003-4 season, featuring guest star Lindsay Lohan? The entire "family", consisting of Jimmy Fallon, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen and Horatio Sanz, couldn't contain their laughter when the famed "wah-wah" sound played to indicate that Debbie was having a downer moment. Needless to say, Jimmy was the leader of the pack when it came to laughing, he was always the first to crack, and the others quickly followed suit. One thing's for sure, playing poker with Jimmy would not be a good idea- for him! He probably couldn't contain his expressions and everything would show on his face. This is one guy that is extremely expressive, in every sense of the word; he simply cannot hide his happiness, sadness and elation! It became a signature mood that made him so endearing to a lot of fans.
6 He's A Master Impersonator
If you tune in to The Tonight Show regularly, you'll know that Jimmy is a master impersonator. As a teenager, he was already making his parents laugh with his impersonations of people like James Cagney and Dana Carvey.
On Saturday Night Live, he became known for his variety of impersonations, which ranged from Enrique Iglesias to Robert DeNiro to Jerry Seinfeld. He quickly became the show's top mimic, and he was a cast member on SNL for a total of six seasons, three more than he had anticipated doing.
One of his most famous skits was the 2001 mirror scene where he impersonates Mick Jagger, while Mick Jagger himself was sitting across from Fallon. Jimmy's impersonating days were not over with his exit from SNL, he continued to incorporate impersonations into skits on his late night programs. To this day, he is getting the giggles going with more modern day character mockery, with a special focus on the President of the United States of America, Bill Cosby and Bruce Springsteen. One thing's for sure, Jimmy is among the worlds best when it comes to impersonations. They may not be the most 100% accurate, but they certainly are some of the funniest.
5 He Has His Own Ice Cream Flavour
Not everyone is cool enough to have their very own flavour of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, but Jimmy Fallon is not just anybody! So how did this come about? In 2010, Ben & Jerry's released Late Night Snack, a flavour developed to pay hommage to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. When the show ended in 2014, so did the ice cream flavour. The vanilla ice cream with salted caramel swirl and fudge covered potato chip clusters was a huge hit, and fans were sad to see it go.
In 2015, Ben & Jerry's once again collaborated with Jimmy to create the flavour that is now know as "The Tonight Dough" which is a caramel and chocolate ice cream with chocolate chip AND peanut butter cookie dough, PLUS chocolate cookie swirl.
The flavour has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on the Ben & Jerry's website, and the best part? All of the proceeds of sales go directly to SeriousFun Children's Network, a non-profit organization that organizes summer camp for seriously ill children. Delicious ice cream, a worthy cause and another reason to love Jimmy Fallon? We think so.
4 He Wrote A Few Books
To add to his list of accomplishments (as if it wasn't long enough!) Jimmy has picked up the old art of writing. And we're not just talking about writing comedy, although he did get nominations for two Emmy Awards for his fantastic writing for Late Night in 2011, and The Tonight Show in 2014.
On top of those already impressive credentials, Jimmy has recently released a series of children's books!
In 2005, he released Snowball Fight, a children's book about, you guessed it, an epic snowball fight. Aimed at a very young audience (think, preschool age) this book was well reviewed on Amazon, but didn't become a hit. It was later, in 2015, that the release of his second children's book, Dada, hit the shelves, and quickly flew off of them too! The extremely simple book has cute photos and is a very appropriate baby shower gift for Jimmy Fallon fans! After the unprecedented success of Dada, Jimmy was at it again, releasing the follow up book, Mama in 2017. The only negative comments about Mama on Amazon are about the format of the book- it's not a board book like Dada. That sounds like some pretty high praise!
3 He Was In "Band Of Brothers"
Most of Jimmy's roles have been comedic in nature, but he does have a more serious side, which was made evident when he appeared in the 2001 television miniseries Band of Brothers. His character only appeared in one sequence, in an episode titled "Crossroads", which was the fifth part of the miniseries.
He plays a heroic role of 2nd Lt. George C. Rice, who brings much needed supplies to soldiers in need, who are camping out in the cold forests of Bastogne, awaiting battle.
The men are under the realization that they are underprepared for the conditions, and don't have enough food to get through for much longer. Even with Fallon driving up in his Jeep with a car loaded full of supplies, it proves to be too little, too late, for the men. Although his role was really small, fans are still scratching their heads and saying to themselves, "was Fallon in Band of Brothers"? Proof that he can play serious roles, and also something that he can look back on and laugh at a little. He's just another famous person to add to the list of "famous people who were in Band of Brothers"!
2 His Kindergarten Teacher Predicted His Future
You know in yearbooks how everyone always has a segment in their write-up about what they aspire to be? And sometimes, there's also a segment for what your classmates or teachers expect you to become? Well, this normally happens in high school, when your personality is already quite individually developed, and your likes and dislikes are already making themselves known. At high school age, teenagers are sometimes already deciding what they want to do with their futures. Very ambitious teens will have their 5 or even 10 year plan set out for themselves. It's much less likely that a 5 year old will have a clear cut idea of what the future will hold, or even know what they want to do, much less grasp the concept of what careers and professions are.
So when Jimmy's kindergarten teacher predicted that he would be the most likely to be the next host of The Tonight Show, she hit the nail right on the head. Funnily enough, he also was voted "Most Likely to Replace David Letterman" when he was in high school, and his love of comedy and entertaining people was more evident.
1 The Tonight Show Theme Song Was An Accident
Some theme songs for popular television shows are already hits sung by popular or up and coming musicians. Sometimes, the music has no words. Sometimes, you get a catchy intro song by complete fluke. That's exactly what happened with the super catchy theme for The Tonight Show, which is aptly titled "Hey Jimmy" and performed by none other than the show's resident band, The Roots. Originally, the band, led by frontman Tariq Trotter aka Black Thought, had an idea in mind to compose a brand new song for the opening scenes.
When The Roots were jamming and warming up, they improvised with some new sounds, some additional horn players and a more organic version of the theme song emerged.
The catchy song is jazzy and definitely gets viewers in the mood for some comedy. Jimmy's version of The Tonight Show is the most musical and musically-filled in the history of the franchise. Never before has a host put such an emphasis on music, through skits, impersonations, live performances and karaoke segments. Jimmy is really passionate about bringing the music to the people and he's done an amazing job with The Roots! They have to be the best band on late night television.