Jimmy Fallon is the heir apparent to The Tonight Show. He is the one man we turn our attention to after a hard day’s work, because if there is one thing Jimmy is good at, it is his ability to make us laugh. He is an everyman comedian, a popular jester whose sole purpose in his professional career is to make people forget the humdrum of everyday life. That is perhaps the reason that Fallon, since he was a young kid, had always wanted to appear on Saturday Night Live.
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) July 18, 2015
Now that Jimmy Fallon has established himself as a fan favorite, we look back on his life to filter out a few facts that you may not be aware of. So sit back, take a sip of your favorite drink, and revel in these quirky facts about the man himself.
- Jimmy Fallon’s parents taped the clean versions of Saturday Night Live when he was a kid. Such was Jimmy’s obsession with late-night talk shows that he and his sister Gloria would often re-enact sketches from Saturday Night Live with their parents and friends as audience. On days when Fallon could not watch it, his father would tape the show for him to see it next day after school.
- Jimmy Fallon’s mother once confessed that her son could impersonate anyone he had spent more than an hour with. Jimmy’s relatives had a gala time enjoying his impersonations at family dinners. He could get inside a character within minutes and start to speak in another voice. In an interview with Spin, Fallon agreed with his mother.
“It was weird. I’d come home and do imitations, this type of humor. And my mother would say, ‘Okay, Joey or Mark or Whoever is inside you, let’s have dinner now.'”
- Jimmy’s father was a Vietnam war veteran and his mother was a nun (for a month!). Fallon likes to joke about the time his mother left everything to become a nun. He attributes it to the release of the 1965 film, The Sound of Music.
“My dad was in Vietnam, and he was in a doo-wop group. My mom was like a total square; she wasn’t allowed to leave her stoop in Brooklyn. She was a nun for about a month, but then she was like, ‘You know what? I didn’t get the calling!'”
- Jimmy Fallon dropped out of college one semester shy of a degree. When he was 21 and only a few months away from graduating, Jimmy decided his rendezvous with college was over. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue comedy. But thanks to his stardom in years to follow, Fallon was finally awarded a belated BA degree in 2009, according to UPI.
- Jimmy Fallon promised to kill himself if he did not make it to Saturday Night Live before the age of 25. Fortunately for his fans, however, Fallon made it to Saturday Night Live when he was only 23. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Jimmy had once confessed he had no career plans, except appearing on SNL.
“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.”
- Jimmy Fannon played a minor role in the 2000 film, Almost Famous. During his early tenure with Saturday Night Live, Jimmy briefly considered a film career. In 2000, he landed the role of the geeky band manager, Dennis Hope, but his film career never really took off, forcing him to come back to television. Here is a low resolution video of Jimmy’s scene from the film.
- In 2002, Fallon was named as one of 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine. It is an honor that Fallon finds embarrassing to this day. Some people even thought that a young Jimmy looked too much like Johhny Depp, one of Fallon’s idols. Not really, no!
- Jimmy Fallon has inspired the creation of comedy-lexicon in stand-up circles. Jimmy Fallon, during his stint with Saturday Night Live, was known for sometimes breaking his character and laughing uncontrollably on the sets. This habit of consciously trying to laugh (or not to) has been termed as “Jimmy Falloning” by many of his peers.
- In an early interview with Robert De Niro on Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon got so nervous that he almost bungled the whole thing up, only for his improvisational talent to come to his rescue. After the show, Robert De Niro signed the show’s guestbook with the following words.
“Jimmy, I think you really f**ked up. Love, Robert De Niro.”
- Jimmy Fallon loves making people happy. As a kid, being a devout Catholic, Jimmy’s first career aim was to become a priest. He liked priests because he saw them making changes in people’s lives. In an interview with Sancte Pater, Fallon once said explained his gravitation toward the priesthood.
“I loved like how this priest can make people feel this good. I just thought it was – I loved the whole idea of it. My grandfather was very religious, so I used to go to Mass with him at like 6:45 in the morning, serve Mass. And then you made money, too, if you did weddings and funerals. You’d get like five bucks. And so I go ‘Okay, I can make money too.’ I go, ‘This could be a good deal for me.’ I thought I had the calling.”
We had a great time recounting these fun facts from Jimmy Fallon’s life. If you know of any more such facts about your favorite comedian, feel free to comment below.
[Image via Cindy Ord/Getty Images]