James Thomas Fallon (born September 19, 1974) is a charmingly boyish actor, comedian, and talk show host. Best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, where he gained success at a young age but also garnered criticism for his shameless mugging and cracking up on-camera during sketches (particularly those where he's partnered with Horatio Sanz), a fact that Family Guy pointed out on the episode "Don't Make Me Over" (who also predicted that Fallon would be one of many former SNL cast members to come back and host an episode). His largest success on the show was as the co-anchor of "Weekend Update" with Tina Fey which showcased his strengths as a comedian. When Fallon left SNL at the end of the 2003-2004 season, he attempted a movie career, which did not go well.
On SNL, his popular recurring characters were Patrick Fitzwilliam (one of the hosts of the Irish morning show, "Top O'The Morning." The other was a pre-Weekend Update Seth Meyers), Pat "Sully" Sullivan (one of the Boston Teens), Jarrett (a stoner college student who hosts his own web show, Jarrett's Room), Kip Bloater (a bar hopper), and Nick Burns (a sarcastic computer technician). His notable celebrity impressions (when he was a cast member on SNL, on his talk show, and when he came back to host) include Dennis Miller, Chris Rock (in so much black make-up that you wouldn't know it was him. See here), Adam Sandler, Gilbert Gottfried, Carson Daly (who always introduced himself as being a massive tool), John Lennon, Jerry Seinfeld, Ralph Nader, Sting, Russell Brand, Justin Bieber (He didn't even SPEAK playing), Harry Styles from One Direction note , Alan Rickman, Michael Buble, Pauly D from ''Jersey Shore''◊, Charlie Sheen◊, Pat O'Brien, Jared Fogel (from the Subway ads), Jeff Zucker and Bryan Cranston's character Walter White◊.
After a string of film flops, SNL exec producer Lorne Michaels signed Fallon to a holding deal with NBC in 2007, and in 2009, he replaced Conan O'Brien as the host of Late Night. Despite lukewarm early reviews, Fallon and his staff succeeded in turning the show into one of the most buzzed-about shows in the late night pantheon, due in part to their upbeat, optimistic approach to comedy and their use of extravagant pre-taped features, such as parodies of Glee ("6-Bee"), Lost ("Late"), Real Housewives ("The Real Housewives of Late Night"), True Blood ("Suckers"), Breaking Bad ("Joking Bad") and Jersey Shore ("Jersey Floor").
This led to him being chosen as Leno's true successor to The Tonight Show in 2013. With the show (long based in Los Angeles) relocated to Fallon's stomping grounds at 30 Rockefeller Center, the 2014 transition, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, has been a successful one as many of the Late Night recurring bits, house band The Roots, and sidekick Steve Higgins have been introduced to a wider audience.
His popularity on the show has led to him appearing in several forms of spin-off material; most notably receiving his own ride at Universal Studios Florida, called Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, which opened in 2017. He also serves as the current narrator for the tram-based Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood.
He's released two comedy albums (The Bathroom Wall and Blow Your Pants Off, the latter a collection of Late Night musical numbers) and hosted the Emmys in 2010. He's also written three books: I Hate This Place: A Pessimist's Guide to Life and two collections of Thank You Notes (derived from a popular Late Night / Tonight Show bit that occupies the Friday post-monologue slot).
He provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: Some of the best examples are the "Tebowie" segments in which the openly-Christian football player Tim Tebow is combined with Glam Rock-era David Bowie. Beyond the pastiches of such songs as "Space Oddity" and "Rebel Rebel", the costuming, makeup, and even camerawork bespeak familiarity with Bowie's work. (Fallon's impression of Bowie dates back to some 1999 SNL skits.)
- Animals Hate Him: Exhibit A: "Jimmy Fallon is Afraid of Animals".
- Berserk Button: Do not put mayonnaise on his food. In fact, don't even bring it up in conversation.Somebody will come for a cooking segment on my show and they put mayonnaise and I go yuck, I hate mayonnaise. I hate mayonnaise. I think it's the most disgusting condiment that exists.
- Corpsing: (In)famous for cracking-up during SNL skits.
- Good Is Not Soft: Despite his Nice Guy status, he is not without his rough edges. Interviews with friends and colleagues reveal that Jimmy was not only no stranger to drunken bar fights during his days at SNL, but was good enough that he "scrapped with the best of them."
- Hollywood New England: NOMAH!!
- In the Style of...: Does a lot of covers of pop songs in different genres- for example, he did "Whip My Hair" In the Style of... Neil Young, and the Reading Rainbow theme In the Style of... The Doors.
- On Late Night he sometimes had a guest vocalist sing one of their songs while his Roots Band accompanies on kindergarten classroom instruments. This has carried over into The Tonight Show where Idina Menzel sang "Let It Go" from Frozen.
- Jimmy Fallon and the Roots Band closed out the 2015 Super Bowl with an a capella version of "We Are the Champions", joined by several big-name pop singers.
- Likes Older Women: His wife is seven years his senior.
- Nice Guy
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: The periodic "Do Not [fill in the blank: Read, Play, etc.] List" segment has one, assuring the viewer that the books, albums, etc. featured are all real and can be looked up at Amazon.com and elsewhere. (For example, Latawnya, the Naughty Horse, Learns to Say "No" to Drugs was once featured.)
- Precious Puppies: "If Puppies Could Vote".
- Since 2011, the show has an annual Video Game Week in which each show has a segment taking a look at a forthcoming game. During that week, the theme music is arranged to sound like it would in an 8-bit Nintendo game. The opening title montage followed suit visually in 2011-12, but the 2013 edition changed it to pay tribute to video games from all eras.
- The "Cupid's Arrow" skits, supposedly footage from a video dating service that once operated out of Studio 6B, do indeed look like clumsily-edited VHS material from The '80s.
- Self-Deprecation: He's pretty cute in interviews, claiming he just works with really funny people and isn't so great himself, and readily admits to still getting incredibly nervous before big gigs, saying he was shaking with nerves backstage before his awesome opening performance at the 2010 Emmys. Aww.
- He also acknowledged his Corpsing problem during his opening monologue/song when he hosted SNL.
- Shout-Out: He likes to have guests play Password, with a rather authentic re-creation of the set. He especially likes to play it with Betty White, whose late husband, Allen Ludden, was famous hosting the show (White was also quite a formidable player on Password, and appeared on every version).
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Fallon was polarizing among his SNL castmates due to his frequent corpsing, which in heavy doses makes a performer look like he or she is calling attention to themselves rather than the material. Tracy Morgan in particular was very vocal in his disdain for Fallon's habit (and made clear he'd physically hurt Fallon if Fallon corpsed in Morgan's presence), and Fallon himself realized the problem when he hosted SNL during the 37th season.
- Team Switzerland: During The Tonight Show conflict, Fallon was the only major late night host to refuse to take sides, calling O'Brien and Leno "two of my heroes and two of my friends."
- The Pollyanna: So much so even his own mother will ask him to take it down a notch.
- Those Two Guys: With Horatio Sanz on Saturday Night Live.
- Verbal Tic: Referring to his guests as "My man" or "pal".
- Wholesome Crossdresser: If a bit tacky. See his "Ew!" segments on the Tonight Show.