Jimmy Fallon was crowned Emperor of Comedy by the Harvard Lampoon Magazine on Saturday, reports The Boston Globe. The former SNL comedian and The Tonight Show host was given the rare Elmer award by one of the United States’ oldest, published humor magazines. Fallon was recognized for his contribution to comedy and Excellence in Humor.
The honor is one rarely bestowed with Fallon being only the seventh person to receive the award, and Fallon has now joined an exclusive group of comic performers, with previous recipients including giants of comedy such as Jay Leno, British comic John Cleese, and Robin Williams.
Before officially receiving the award, Fallon, who was daubed in laurels, fanned with palm leaves, and traveled on board a Roman chariot, formed part of a parade that passed through Harvard Square.
The packed crowd was composed of fans but also students and parents visiting as part of the Cambridge for Freshman Parents Weekend filled Massachusetts Avenue to watch the comedian take part in a spoof ceremony.
The Belmont High School band and Harvard Crimson Dance team led the procession, with two other chariots, one carrying a jester and the other someone dressed up as a panda, trailed behind Fallon’s lead chariot.
The parade began by the Inn at Harvard and ended at the steps of the magazine’s headquarters the Harvard Lampoon Building, known as Lampoon Castle. There Fallon was anointed Emperor of Comedy as an amused and bemused crowd looked on. He was presented with a trophy, fake diploma, Harvard Lampoon necktie tie, and a cheque for the grand total of 85 cents.
Fallon then made an acceptance speech laced with irony and faux pretence. He told the crowd “I’m honored to be here,” and apologized for any traffic congestion he had caused by the parade, joking that he couldn’t find an Uber ride and had “figured a chariot is best.”
Members of the Harvard Lampoon then paid tribute to Fallon offering sarcastic spoof appraisals which parodied the cliched and reverential tones that are usually served up at award ceremonies.
“People love Jimmy because he’s the boy next door, He’s the boy next door who has us have a massive Roman-style parade for him and insists on being called the ‘Emperor of Comedy.'”
Fallon and his comedy concubines then disappeared into the Castle to continue celebrations behind closed doors, and
“This is a great day for me, but it’s a greater day for the Harvard Lampoon”
Fallon took to Twitter later in the day to thank Cambridge Police for organizing and overseeing the procession.
But the day didn’t go entirely according to plan, as Fallon’s rep Claire Mercuri told USA TODAY that the comedian visited Massachusetts General Hospital for a quick check up after he slipped, fell on some broken glass from a Jaegermeister bottle and lacerated his hand while partying. A fellow partygoer appeared to capture the incident on video and posted it on Instagram.
It has been a good week for Jimmy Fallon, despite the fall.
According to Nielsen national estimates for the week of Oct. 12-16 published earlier this week, the”Tonight Show” averaged a 0.92 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, beating CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (0.59 rating/3 share) by 56 percent.
In their first five weekly encounters, the NBC program won by margins of between 28 percent and 41 percent. And after Colbert won his premiere week in total viewers over Fallon, Tonight has now won five straight weeks.
[Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon]