Jimmy Fallon is an everyman comedian. One of the reasons that his late night talk-show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is so popular is because of his ability to turn almost anything into a funny situation. You tell Jimmy Fallon a story and he will see the humor in it.
But not everyone knows that the man behind Jimmy Fallon’s boisterous, side-splitting jokes is a quiet, reticent man. Meet Jon Rineman, ladies and gentlemen, Jimmy Fallon’s head monologue writer and a teller of fabulous jokes.
Jon Rineman, a New-Hampshire native, made a name for himself in the Boston stand-up scene while still a student at Emerson College, the alma mater of some of the best comedians in show business, which, according the Emerson College itself, include Jay Leno and Denis Leary.
After working as a promo writer with Channel 7, Rineman made a full-time switch to comedy. For the last six years, he has been writing Jimmy Fallon’s topical monologues and has gone on to debut himself on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He spoke to BostInno about his relationship with Jimmy Fallon.
“Jimmy is all of our bosses. He’s a very good person; he’s one of the few people in the industry who is a very legitimate family man. He really loves his wife, he really loves his kids. He works very hard at what he does and works very hard to put our show in a good place.”
Rineman also revealed how Jimmy Fallon works and what he has taught him about stand-up comedy.
“I think the big thing for us is we have a rehearsal every day where we do monologue, where we have about fifty people come in and Jimmy reads through all the jokes that are in contention for that night’s show. Based on their reaction and how he feels telling them that’s how he’ll pick the jokes. That’s where you really get to see him work. You get to see him do the act out for the first time or do the impression for the first time. If it gets a laugh, he might do a riff, that’s taught me a lot about stand-up, getting to see that every day.”
Rineman has also found himself a spot performing on the Oddball Comedy Tour, which features comedians such as Dave Chappelle and Louis CK. It appears that stand-up will forever remain his first love.
Although Rineman enjoys working with Jimmy Fallon, he also admits that they are different kind of people. While Rineman’s comedy derives a lot from personal experiences, Jimmy Fallon’s comedy is more observational in nature. He spoke to Boston.com about the difference in their comedy.
“I think that for Jimmy, it’s just that we’re different people. We’re very different personalities in that he’s everyman. He’s the guy that you want to hang out with, he’s the guy you want to be your neighbour… Whereas with me, I’m a lot quirkier. I’m a lot more peculiar. I think that I’m more comfortable being the butt of the joke.”
And yet, when Jimmy Fallon cracks jokes on his show which are, in fact, written by Jon Rineman, one never feels like they are coming from two different people. Maybe working with Jimmy Fallon for so long has inculcated a similar sense of humor in Jon Rineman too, or maybe he has just grown accustomed to the job. Either way, viewers of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are in for a funny ride.
— Jon Rineman (@Rinemania) December 23, 2014
[Photo: YouTube, Cindy Ord / Getty Images]