Jimmy Fallon, co-star of the "Fever Pitch" Movie!
Jimmy is best known for his impressions on the hilarious show "Saturday Night Live." Born in Brooklyn, NY, on September 19, 1974, Fallon grew up in Saugerties, NY; from the time he was six, he would reenact Saturday Night Live skits with his year-older sister, Gloria. (The two of them would co-write their book I Hate This Place: The Pessimist's Guide to Life in 1999.) After dropping out of college and then spending some years fine-tuning his comedic trade in and out of Los Angeles, Fallon moved to New York City full time to begin his dream relationship with Saturday Night Live in 1998. He has also graced the tube in various series cameos, including an episode of HBO's WWII drama series Band of Brothers (2001). Fallon made his film debut in Cameron Crowe's 2000 box-office hit Almost Famous, incognito as Dennis Hope, the replacement band manager. While the film provided evidence of Fallon's serious side, expanding the scope of his roles beyond the comedic realm, his appearance was downplayed by the thick beard and glasses disguising his familiar face and signature boy-next-door charm.
James Fallon was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 19, 1974, to Jim and Gloria Fallon. The family, along with Jimmy's older sister, lived happily for two more years in the city before they realized that their house was just too small for two children, and that Brooklyn was not a safe place to raise kids. After all, it was 1976 and Brooklyn was a much different place than it is today. The family headed to Saugerties, New York, which is near Woodstock in the northern part of the state. Fallon was now free to grow up without the distractions of the city, or more accurately, he was now sentenced to the inevitable boredom that grips all suburban kids.
By age 7, Fallon had discovered that comedy and performing were to be his escapes from the monotony of his sleepy upstate town. His first performances were impressions of the venerable James Cagney ("You Dirty Rat"), which Fallon subjected his family to any time they would listen. When Fallon's bedtime was finally pushed back past the 11:30 barrier on Saturdays, he got his first glimpse of Saturday Night Live. Unsurprisingly the late-night comedy show, which was still in its infancy, became Fallon's favorite show. In fact, it became his obsession and he started imitating Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.
The childhood dream seemed only to get strong as Jimmy reached high school. He took part in all the requisite after-school activities for future actors and comedians by joining drama clubs, improv clubs, and performing at school talent shows. In his senior year, Fallon had enough talent and confidence to perform at an open mic show in Poughkeepsie, New York. His impressions blew them away and he was proclaimed the best comedian of the night. For most young comedians, winning a competition like that at 17 would be enough of an omen to pack up and take your shot at New York City or Los Angeles. But the levelheaded Fallon wasn't quite ready for that step, so he enrolled at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.
He tried his best to stay focused on school, but ended up spending most of his time working on comedy bits, impressions and playing guitar. Though his grades were slipping at school, his notoriety at local comedy clubs was rising. Finally, in his senior year, it reached a point where he had to make the decision to stay in school or take a shot at his dream. Fallon chose the latter, dropped out of school and packed his bags for Los Angeles.
Within weeks, he had landed himself a regular spot at the prestigious Improv and was winning over audiences. He also joined The Groundlings, an L.A.-based improv/sketch comedy troupe. The group was relatively well-known in comedy circles and as a result of his work, Fallon got a tryout for SNL.
He bombed it. Dispirited but not dejected, Fallon spent the next year with The Groundlings and felt a burning desire to make up for his failed audition. Luckily, he got his chance and this time he blew away producer Lorne Michaels with a spot-on impression of former SNL cast member Adam Sandler. On September 26, 1998, Fallon finally fulfilled his childhood dream and joined Saturday Night Live as a featured player, which is basically like a probationary position for new actors on the show. After a solid first season of memorable impressions and characters, he was promoted to full-time cast member in 1999. It didn't take long for the female population of North America to discover Fallon. During his first year as a cast member, a number of fan sites run by young college and high-school girls began springing up on the Web.
Going into 2000, Fallon had made his childhood dream come true while becoming one of the only heartthrobs in SNL history. Things were going well, and they only got better as Fallon appeared in Cameron Crowe's hugely successful Almost Famous as the band's road manager, Dennis Hope. It was far from a starring role, but it was a departure from the public's perception of Fallon, and revealed that he does have the talent to become an actor outside of the comedy genre. He even entered the dramatic sphere by appearing in Tom Hanks' HBO production, Band of Brothers.
By the end of the year, Fallon had also landed the plum job of "Weekend Update" anchor alongside Tina Fey. He had now joined the ranks of such legendary "Update" alumni as Dan Aykroyd, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon, and Norm MacDonald. His tenure as anchor has been nothing short of a success. Fallon and Fey were hailed by a number of sources as the saviors of not only the "Weekend Update" segment, but also of the entire program. The two turned the show into a witty, pop-culture infused comedy segment that has endeared itself well to the 14-25 demographic. In other words, the MTV kids love Jimmy Fallon. So much so that he co-hosted the 2001 MTV Movie Awards with actress Kirsten Dunst and is gaining the same kind of credibility from his generation that Mike Myers earned in the early 1990s.
In 2004, Jimmy Fallon read his final "Weekend Update" lines and left Saturday Night Live to pursue a film career. So far it seems like a lucrative move, as he starred in 2004's Taxi and stars opposite Drew Barrymore in the Farrelly brothers' romantic comedy, Fever Pitch, in 2005. Jimmy Fallon should serve as an inspiration to every class clown, to every member of an improv club and to every comedian under 18.
"I've wanted to be on the show since I was a baby. Anytime I ever cut a birthday cake, if I was throwing a coin in the fountain or saying a prayer, I would always say, 'I want to be on Saturday Night Live.'"
Jimmy Fallon: Working At A 'Fever Pitch'
All it took to make native New Yorker Jimmy Fallon a Red Sox fan was the right script — and a little coaxing from Drew Barrymore.
The former "Saturday Night Live" cast member is starring in his second film since leaving the sketch show: the upcoming Farrelly brothers project "Fever Pitch," a romantic comedy that pairs an obsessive Red Sox fan (Fallon) with a businesswoman (Barrymore) equally fanatical about her job. But just as the live-TV veteran was getting comfortable with retakes and reshoots, spontaneity reared its head as the Red Sox shocked the world — and the "Fever Pitch" screenwriters — by winning the World Series and forcing them to change the film's ending. We caught up with Fallon on the film's set to talk about baseball, Barrymore and his future with Martha Stewart.
Q: It took the Red Sox 86 years to win the World Series, so what's something that we would never see you do in 86 years?
Jimmy Fallon: Marry Martha Stewart. It's probably gonna take less than that, like five or six years. I'm writing her letters furiously.
Q: Continuing that theme, what's the longest stretch you've ever had in between these daily activities: showers?
Fallon: I've probably gone two days.
Q: What about kissing someone?
Fallon: Probably two weeks.
Fallon: I cook, but not much. Does cereal count as cooking? Martha, if you're watching — I know how to cook!
Q: Tell me what it's like working with the Farrelly brothers.
Fallon: I actually haven't seen them. I know they're here, but I haven't met them yet. [laughs] No, the Farrelly brothers are super-fun. They know where the comedy is. This one's a pretty realistic romantic comedy for them. We still do crazy scenes, but I don't know if they're going to use them in the movie. But it's a blast, dude. You want to come into work every day because you're so excited.
Q: You were already acquainted with Drew Barrymore?
Fallon: Yeah, Drew hosted "Saturday Night Live" when I was on the show. She's a great actress and just lovely. She's exactly what you think she would be. She walks onto the set and wakes the whole room up. I love her.
Q: And you get to make out with her!
Fallon: I'm a very lucky man. She's really good.
Q: This is your second movie post-"SNL," "Taxi" being the first. What's the biggest adjustment you've had to make between the live shows and movies?
Fallon: On movies, you have to do a bunch of takes. With "Saturday Night Live," you just do it and that's it, 'cause it's live. This one, you have to do it until it's right, and sometimes I have a hard time doing that.
Q: You're from New York: Did it take convincing for you to throw on the Red Sox shirt?
Fallon: All I had to hear was "Drew Barrymore" and "the Farrelly brothers."
Q: Did the end of the movie have to change when the Red Sox won the World Series?
Fallon: When we first started doing the movie, we had a certain ending, and it was just like a normal romantic comedy, but then the Red Sox started winning. Then they end up winning the World Series, and we were all just like, "OK, this is insane — we gotta call the writers." It actually put a happier ending on our movie. If we had just made it up, people would be like, "That doesn't happen! The Red Sox don't win!"
Q: And they actually let you guys film in the stands with real-life Boston fans.
Fallon: I think it's the first movie ever where they filmed actual games with real fans around us, with no actors. We just told them not to make eye contact with any of the cameras 'cause then you won't be in the shots, and they were like, "OK." They were so into it. Boston was great to us. And it's Fenway Park, it's not, like, Starbucks Stadium. It's a tiny little thing in the middle of Boston. It's so cool and so intimate. It was so much fun.
Q: And you got to go on the field afterwards.
Fallon: We got to go on the field at the end. We had one scene where Drew runs through center field all the way down home plate. And we said, "Everyone, if you'd like, please stay for the last scene of the movie 'Fever Pitch.' " And everybody stayed, 35,000 people. I'll never forget it — it was like watching the end of a movie and being like, "Wait, I'm in this movie!"
Q: We all know that baseball fans and players are very superstitious. Do you have any superstitions? Do you have to knock your head before a scene or something?
Fallon: I do actually knock my head before every scene, but it has nothing to do with superstition. I'm just very clumsy, and I have a very low ceiling in my trailer.
Interview with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon about 'Taxi'
Chicago’s Queen Latifah and Saturday Night Live’s Jimmy Fallon team up in this non-stop action-comedy.
Latifah is New York’s fastest cabbie whose skills behind the wheel and souped-up car help an overeager undercover cop (Jimmy Fallon) pursue a gang of female bank robbers.
Can you talk about rapport - you appeared to have instant chemistry, did it come naturally to you?
QL: I think so, after a while, Jimmy and I, I think we purposely tried to make each other laugh sometimes.
JF: We tried to top each other.
QL: Because we knew we would go there. Man, it was very hard to keep a straight face on that set!
JF: Because once the joke had been said many times, it wasn't funny anymore, and so we had to do something different to make it funny. Something really subtle or some little move. Just do something, whether it's putting my butt in your face (laughs), or you calling yourself Officer Goodsnatch. To try and keep a straight face, you know it, (laughs), it was all new and Queen was only doing it to make me laugh.
Did you see the original French film?
JF: No, I'm probably sure I would like it. I didn't see it because I didn't want to steal anything, or do anything from it.
QL: Same thing! (Laughs)
What do you think about being replaced by a woman playing the part of a guy? This guy has been in the trouble with the law; he's a bit of a bad dude.
QL: In real life?
Yeah, he's quite a reckless character.
QL: Sounds like me! (Laughs)
JF: You gotta meet this guy!
QL: I've gotta meet this guy. He's my buddy, we're gotta hang! I'm going to call his ass. Let's go and get bent and locked up and shit! (Laughs)
He's also French, but of course you're African American.
QL: Right, African-Frenchian - Afro-French.
JF: Their hip-hop isn't quite the same.
Are you a bit reckless like him do you think?
QL: I don't know how reckless I am but I do have that X gene. I can do some reckless things at times. Sometimes you just have to get an effing attitude and not care, because caring takes a lot of energy, time, responsibility.. I am 90 per cent of the time, but that 10 per cent is a beast. (Laughs) I thought it was a great idea to change it, you know. What we are doing gives it a whole new feel and gives it an American vibe, you know.
JF: Luc Besson was very involved too. He'd come to the set and he'd go: (speaks broken French) and English with a French accent: 'What are you doing? Oh, this is a nightmare - put this out…get me a sandwich. I want to move the car this way…' He choreographs it like it's a dance routine as opposed to a car chase.
QL: All he cares about is the action. He cared deeply for the action. He made improvements as he went along too.
JF: We had the guys from X Men 2, do the cameras - the camera unit team. They had a 360 camera that would go from one car, up in the air and over to another car in a continuous shot while the film was still rolling, going 90 mph, which has only been done in one other movie. It was crazy.
What are the dangerous things you do to let off steam?
QL: Definitely drive fast. It does give me some sort of release. I ride motorcycles. I don't do things to be dangerous. I'm more for the excitement of it all. I definitely have no plans on hurting myself. I do like the hike, I like to shoot guns, and my father's a cop. Some people were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and I was born with a nickel plated thirty!
JF: (laughs) See I had no idea about guns at all.
QL: Jimmy is like sitting there in between takes with his gun sitting between his legs facing him! I'm like: 'Jimmy, please!' He's just so not into it. It's cool, you know.
JF: So every scene in the movie when I cock the gun, I'm like, yeah! That looks real! I was trying not to skip. One day, I had a gun and I had to run and shoot which is not easy and I was like running and shooting….and it turned into a skip… not tough at all. I'm like: 'I'm a bad ass..I'm a bad ass…' It was not tough at all!
Are you a bad ass?
JF: Hell yeah! I don't shoot guns. I don't know how to do that. I grew Upstate New York, so I fought with my fists (jokes).
Are you the scared type?
JF: You know what's funny, we were doing these scenes where we were supposed to be enemies and I just like her so much, the director would go: 'Cut! You're supposed to hate each other in this scene!'
QL: We were like: 'Right, yeah - getting mad. Okay. Back in the moment. Okay.'
JF: So I would get out of the car and be like: 'Hey, what's up?' Let's just call it a day, let's go and get a drink. The movie is ten minutes long. (jokes)
Can you talk about working with Gisele? Do you see the future for as her as an actress?
JF: Well, for a start, she's very ugly. Maybe if she got some plastic surgery or something like that. She'd be good in voice over work. Maybe in radio? I think she has a future in radio.
QL: She's hard on the pair of shoe, boy.
How was she on the set?
JF: So much fun. She's so excited. She comes in running and she'd floor the BMW scenes, when she was driving.
QL: She was so good!
JF: They'd say to her: 'Gisele, just drive like, maybe 60, around the corner…' And she would floor it and go like 80. They'd have to stop her. She was awesome. She was doing 360s, peeling out.
QL: They were all kind of ballsy like that. These models in this movie are not prissy at all. They were full on excited. They were looking forward to using their guns.
JF: Much better than I was. I would cock the gun and it would jam…and I'd keep doing the scene and I would just hide the gun….and wouldn't notice that there was a bullet half hanging out. Embarrassing. Cut - could someone load Jimmy's gun again? Gisele do you want to help him? It was pretty cool as this was my first big movie as well. So there was a lot of energy. Everyone was just wide eyed and brand new. It was just fun to be on the set. Gisele rocked it man.
QL: She's really down to earth and is really excited about making it happen. I think she nailed it. I think her sarcasm and her cockiness with the character would play great. When they say cut, there's none of that. She's just like, cool.
Did you learn Portuguese?
JF: Gisele tried to teach me. I have it on tape, but when she spoke, she sounded so cute, I wasn't even listening to the words.
How was she in the frisk scenes when she had to frisk you?
QL: It was pretty funny. She pumped me right on the ass one time.
JF: You should have seen these two together, frisking each other - these two gorgeous girls and everyone in New York City was just quiet. I mean, birds stopped chirping….squirrels were like putting down their nuts….there was just a moment of silence in New York city. Subways stopped running.
QL: There was just a moment of just silence! (laughs)
JF: Everyone just stopped. Time just stopped for a second…it was really unbelievable. NASDAQ was like alright- for a second. Dow Jones who gives a shit?! Dow Jones, the actual man, came out and said (puts on a Texan accent): "Usually they don't see me…but this is amazing. I've never seen this."
Everyone raves about you losing weight Queen…what was it like to work alongside these skinny girls?
JF: Erm, skinny boys. It's no big deal, people have made that mistake before. Do your research! It was such a contrast from your image in Chicago. Can you comment on that?
QL: I definitely didn't want to lose weight for Chicago. I think Mama was supposed to be big, and buxom and full of body…(laughs). I actually dropped some weight for Bringing Down the House - maybe 25 pounds before I did that. It was just a little change around this area that (points to breasts) that people might be thinking some major thing.
JF: She sold her boobs on eBay.
QL: And I got a pretty penny.
JF: My room mate bought them. They are hanging over his fireplace!
QL: It was your room mate who's got my breasts?
JF: Yeah, you've got to see them they're great.
QL: I don't know if I want to see that.
JF: Well, I like them.
QL: Have you been playing with my breasts over your fireplace? (Laughs)
Could you imagine being as skinny as the models?
QL: No way, that's just too slim Jim. I mean, they're naturally like that, I can't even imagine what it's like to be that lightweight. I can't even imagine it. I feel like I would be weak, like I wouldn't be strong anymore. I would have no muscles. Not for me. I'm used to being big, thicky icky. I like myself the way I am.
Do you feel pressure from Hollywood?
QL: I'm so glad I don't have to do that. Jez, I get to eat. I get to have a nice good Thanksgiving dinner and keep it right in there until IT is ready to go! (Laughs)
JF: That would be my point too…(pretends to puke). Good stuffing mum.
When did you find out that you could make money off of being funny?
JF: I still haven't found out! (Laughs) I'm broke. I borrowed these clothes from some dude.
QL: Me too. They gave them to me.
Were you always the funny one in family get togethers?
QL: My whole family is funny so.
JF: Her dad is hilarious. He was on set and he would have me in tears man, he's hilariously funny. He was an ex-cop and so I was asking him a lot of questions like: what would you do in this situation? It was almost like having an acting coach on set. (Laughs) He was really funny to the point when it was the first thing I'd do on set - 'Where's Paps?''
What makes you both laugh?
JF: I like comedy in general. Anything funny or anything that's trying to be funny, I always take something from it. It always makes me laugh. I do love British comedy. Derek and Clive.
You remind me of Mike Myers?
JF: Really? I take it as a compliment, thanks. Schwing…
The Oscar nomination for Chicago has brought you up there - has there been any downside?
JF: Yeah, there have been a couple for me. They cut my scenes out of Chicago! I was in the gutter. My song was cut out.
QL: Cut and print and edit! (Laughs)
JF: And leave, yeah. Cut, leave….I'm sorry go ahead. It turns out I wasn't in Chicago, I'm sorry, I interrupted.
QL: I thoroughly enjoyed it though. It's been good. It's created a lot more avenues for opportunity and I'm taking full advantage of it you know. That's pretty much the only change.
JF: It intimidated me, I'll tell you that much!
QL: A couple more of the paparazzi have been hanging out on my block. Near my home, I don't like that part.
You live in New Jersey don't you?
QL: They don't come near my house in Jersey, (puts on a cowgirl accent) I shoot them some bitch - better get off my property!
Can you talk about one funny experience you had making this movie?
QL: Jimmy farted in the car a couple of times.
JF: It never happen man! I think when I get in the cab now, I'm so used to being there because I was in there for four months, so times it's like going home. It smells nicer in our taxi.
QL: You don't worry what you're sitting on.
Do you think a sense of humour is something that you're born with or something that you learn?
JF: I think it's something that you're born with…
QL: I think you learn what you think is funny.
JF: You sand it down as you get going. I first met Queen when we worked together on Saturday Night Live and you just saw immediately that she got comedy and she understood it. It's very hard to explain to people why it's funny. Immediately she got every joke. If I ever get the opportunity to do anything with Queen Latifah, I've got to do it. Then they told me they were thinking of me to do this script Taxi and I heard she was attached and I signed up immediately. I'm like yeah, I'll do it, what is it about?
Will you be doing a sequel for Taxi?
JF: I would do anything with Queen…
JF: How old is your magazine? Do kids read your magazine?
Are you good at drama?
JF: I'm good at comedy, but drama is like…I've got to do what I'm good at, and eventually I'll grow a beard and put out pets sounds. I'm doing this romantic comedy with Drew Barrymore and the Farrelly Brothers, it has pretty good scenes because its relationship stuff….which is acting for me! (Laughs) It's really stretching it for me! So, I'm really exhausted.
There weren't any love scenes in Taxi, but could you do a love scene?
JF: Right now? Yeah sure….(laughs) We had one scene but I don't think it made the movie.
QL: I know, man that's one of my favourite scenes.
Did you have a love scene in Taxi?
JF: No, no, but she crashes at my place and I had an idea for the scene and Tim (director) was like you could try it. She crashes at my place and we wake up in the morning and I'm spooning her! She wakes up and she sees my hands…and I'm like: 'I'm sorry….'
QL: I'm like: 'Get the hell….'
JF: I'm like we spooned, we didn't fork!
QL: I really want that scene back in. That was funny as hell.
How about you're other films Queen?
JF: Please don't call me queen……it does happen a lot by the way…
QL: I'm trying to sneak on a set of Jimmy's movies and poke my face in there. I don't know. It will be at one of the baseball games (Fever Pitch). A background light. (Laughs)
JF: She has an album out that's awesome.
QL: Yeah, I have a new album out. It really is awesome.
What kind of fans do you attract as you reach various demographics?
QL: I've got the weirdest audience on the planet. My demographics have been studied for various things and it's just so many people. It's like young people, it's old people, it's everybody in the middle, it's all kinds of races and ethnicities, it's just weird….
JF: Cartoon people. Cardboard cut out people. You'll see a storm trouper at a concert.
QL: (Laughs) I'm telling you…ghosts…are into me. They hang out.
JF: Famous ghosts.
Why do you continue using a name that isn't yours?
QL: That is my name.
But you were not born with Queen Latifah?
QL: So? You can't stop me! Don't try to take my name away.
Why do you use that name and not the name you were born with?
QL: Latifah is my nickname, everybody calls me that anyway, so it's not like it's a weird name that doesn't belong to me. I like the meaning of the word Latifah, it means delicate sensitive, kind - so that's why I chose that name, because I was always big for my age, but inside I was a pretty sensitive kid. I like that name. And the Queen just symbolized to me the strength of all women have, we are all queens and we should be treated as such, but to me, half of people call me Dana, half people call me La now..it doesn't really matter.
JF: In my next film, I'm actually going to use my real name - so you'll see Drew Barrymore and Dolph Gudenstein of Fever Pitch.
QL: You're going to give them the Dolphster?
JF: I'd like them to know who I really am.
Where is your name from?
QL: Latifah is Arabic.
JF: In my language Catalan (Spanish), it means something different. La-tifah is slang name for…. (Laughs) Get ready. It means dog crap….
QL: Shit! So, I'm the shit yo!
JF: That's what you've been saying - you are THE shit! Literally.
QL: Don't go separating my name over there…keep it together, make it all one word…Queen Latifah. You can actually call me Dana.
JF: You have permission from the man - that's cool. Damn.
You are a huge role model, do you feel a responsibility for African American women who look up to you?
QL: Yeah, I do, definitely to a certain extent. Obviously you can't live for everyone else and not for yourself sometimes. But I've tried to be myself and be proud of who I am and I try to be confident, because I know how I felt at 15, going through awkward stages and curvaceous body and all this kind of stuff. Everything that you see in the magazines, none of that looks like you..so I've had to break down a lot of walls. I'll never forget when I got nominated for that Golden Globe for Chicago, I'm sitting in this room, I'm looking around at all my favourite stars. My partner says to me: "God, everybody is so tiny." I thought to myself, so imagine how far we've come. I was able to do it my way, I don't have to drop 50 pounds to be who I am and I'm glad because that's a lot of goddam work and I'll be hungry. But you know what? I like the flavour I like all of us being different. I like to see different images of people on screen. I think it's healthy for our society.
Did you do your own stunts? You are very fit aren't you?
QL: I think I'm pretty athletic. Sometimes I'm more fit than other times, but I think I'm generally athletic, so I think I can do a whole bunch of stuff. I can kind of do a bit of everything, except for getting up in the morning.
Have you ever gotten out of a ticket?
QL: Queen Latifah has gotten me out of a lot of tickets (laughs). I'm not too good a talking my own self. If they don't recognize me, I'm kind of screwed. I'm not good at saying: 'Hey, I'm Queen Latifah, let me go.' But usually they'll just look at me and say: 'Get out of here, goodbye.' Some of that stunt stuff was too damn dangerous. My stunt guy was like this six foot six, black dude with a wig on that apparently looked like me. He looked ridiculous getting out of that car.
Do you always get this much respect from women?
JF: (Laughs) What movies have you seen? This is great by the way….I had so much good chemistry with every woman in this movie. We had Ann-Margaret in this movie, which's like a legend. We really hit it off, to the point where she kept pinching my cheeks. She just loved me. She was the cutest thing ever to play my alcoholic mum!
Who taught you how to sing?
JF: Obviously, nobody! (Laughs)
Do you sing in the shower?
JF: I never sing in the shower. It's very dangerous. I'm afraid of slipping. I don't want to be slipping after singing 'Who Let the Dogs Out.' His famous last words. I don't sing in the shower, I just try to wash myself in the shower. I sing in the car if I'm out in LA, because you're like soundproofed.
What was your most dangerous moment in NY traffic?
JF: So many. You have to get used to it. The one thing you shouldn't do is try to tell a cab driver how to get somewhere, because they will never turn around and go: 'Thankyou. That's a great idea.' They say (puts on Indian accent): 'You make a right. How am I going to make a right on Madison, it's so packed. I can't f**kin' believe. You want to drive the car. You drive the car. Fuck it, we're not going to Lowes, we're going to somewhere else, we're going to Statue of Liberty. I take out. Get out of the car.' There are so many pot holes, they're like craters on the moon. That's another traffic thing.
Where are you going to be at Christmas this year?
JF: I'm going to North Pole to help out Santa this year. He called me up and he's like: 'Dude what are you doing?'...I'm watching The Apprentice. 'I just want to know if…' I can't talk now. He's like: 'What are you doing December 25..' I'm like: 'I'll see you there.' So, I'll be in the North Pole, giving toys to kids.
QL: Hanging out with Jimmy last year to give toys to kids up in the North Pole.
JF: We have a house party out there. We hang out with Clause and do it up. (Laughs)
Are you going away?
QL: I usually go away with my family somewhere. I usually do the Christmas with the family and the New Years with the friends somewhere else.
JF: I do everything with the family.
Jimmy Fallon on "Taxi"
Over the years, whenever somebody asked me who I thought was the funniest interview ever, I used to say Johnny Knoxville, for I laughed uproarously during the "Men in Black 2" junket. But I think after talking to former SNL star Jimmy Fallon, I have a new bar story to tell.
"Taxi" is Fallon's first movie and therefore, his first ever movie junket. While sitting down at the roundtables, he looks at a huge mic plugged into a 1940s audio box and asks who the geek is with the setup, not knowing that the equipment belongs to the studio. Much like how he is portrayed on SNL, Fallon is extremely witty and sarcastic, and is quick to deliver a laugh whenever needed.
Below, Jimmy talks about post-SNL life as he stars as a bumbling cop in "Taxi" alongside Queen Latifah.
Q: Do you see a difference in doing comedy in a film versus doing Saturday Night Live?
JIMMY: Yeah. I do, actually. Saturday Night Live, you know if it’s good or bad immediately. The audience is like, “That’s not funny. We’re not going to laugh at that.” A movie, you make and you wait a year for it to come out and then you do press for weeks and hope it’s good and you’ll see eventually what audiences see. It’s very nervewracking. You don’t know if it’s going to work or not. It’s not up to you; it’s up to the audience. It’s not like the immediacy of live TV where you go “That ain’t good.”
Q: Are you going to miss Saturday Night Live?
JIMMY: Yeah, I miss it already. I always miss it over the summer anyway. It’s like school. Like high school. It’s even more like grade school because you come back with new shoes, new haircut, new lunchbox and you go, “Hey what’s up? How was your summer?” I didn’t hang out much with the cast because I like to save it for when we’re working and writing. I’m going to miss those nights staying over and going out drinking with the guys and girls. They got a tight cast. It’s going to be good but I’m definitely going to be sad. I’m not going to stop by too soon. It’s one of those things where you’re like, “Yeah, let us miss you first. And then you come by and make a guest appearance.” Or maybe I’ll roam the halls and they’ll be like, “God, is he here again? What is he doing?” I’m definitely going to miss it. I gotta call Tina up. I have some ideas for jokes. I have a couple already. Like Seinfeld’s doing a thing, a Thanksgiving special for NBC. A man’s gotta eat. That’s good right? He’s gotta eat now.
Q: You must get so many great offers, what made you pick this one?
JIMMY: You know what? I read it a long time ago. The writers are good guys; Ben Garant and Tom Lennon. They were on “Reno 911” and “The State.” I read it and thought that it was pretty funny. It’s like an action buddy comedy. I always kinda wanted to do one because I was always a big fan of Eddie Murphy. I know that was his first movie after “Saturday Night Live’. I was just looking for the right one and just didn’t feel like it. Then I heard Latifah was looking at it cause they wanted two guys originally. But I heard Latifah was in it and was like “Really? Let me reread the thing.” So I reread it and I go I can see this being really cool. They geared it towards rewriting it more towards her. Then I heard Tim Story was going to direct, who did “Barbership,” which I thought was hilarious. This seems like a puzzle I want to be a piece in. I think I like this. I think I want to be involved with this. I met them and got along with everybody. Latifah hosted the show. That’s when I first met her and she was a blast to everybody. She was nice to everybody. She got comedy. She understood it. She got it immediately and I was like “I would love to work with her again.” We just started clicking and I haven’t seen the movie and how they edited and what’s going one and so it’s another thing out of my control. Someone told me they were clapping and I was like “Yes!” I tried clapping in “The Passion of the Christ.” Doesn’t really go well.
Q: Being a New Yorker yourself, do you have any crazy cab stories?
JIMMY: Yeah, it happens everyday. I remember a guy had a name like Osama bin something and I was like, “You’ve had to have a bad day.” I just tipped that dude, gave him double tip, and was like “That’s cool, that’s cool. I know, I know. You don’t have to tell me.”
Then there’s the guy that’s drunk that wants to drive through red lights at 4 in the morning. “Want to see how fast I can go?” “Why not man?”
Then there’s the classic guy who gets in an argument with you.
"Just take 3rd Avenue.”
(in accent) “How the fuck do you want to do 3rd avenue? It’s fucking packed. What do you want to do? We go to other avenue and take 5th.”
“No, I don’t want to take 5th, I want to take 3rd.”
(in accent) “What the fuck? You want me to go long way? Through traffic? Fine, you want this? You want shit? You want bad? Fine, I give you bad.”
“Yes, I want bad. I want bad. So go down 3rd avenue.”
I always tip taxi drivers all the time no matter what they do because I know they just put up with a lot even though they’re lunatics. But a lot of lunatics must get in their cabs.
Q: Did anybody help you with your Cuban accent in the beginning of the movie?
JIMMY: You know what? It’s so weird, I went to a voice coach for eight months. No, just joking. I actually rented “Serpicio” because I thought that was something my character would watch. Then I watched “Scarface,” so it was a Pacino marathon. That was fun to do that, just over the top. And at the end, I’m like a Russian cop dude. I ended up like Ben Affleck. The crazy goatee. It was just fun. We got a lot of good characters to work around and work off. Henry Simmons was fun. Jennifer Esposito was great.
Q: Can you talk about “Fever Pitch”?
JIMMY: Yeah definitely. The Farrelly Brothers are directing it. I’m with Drew Barrymore. It's really fun. I've been in Boston the past two weeks at Fenway during playoff time and it's unbelievably awesome. I'm just having a blast. And Drew Barrymore’s just – I really lucked out with my co-stars. Queen Latifah and Drew Barrymore? You can’t think of two nicer people. I really lucked out.
Q: Has Boston and the fans at Fenway Park been good to you guys?
JIMMY: They’ve been great to us. We film after the games. And actually, we did a couple of shots during the games. We didn't want to bother anybody, but in between innings we'd run in, sit down, then the camera guys in front of us would start. And we'd just watch a couple innings. That's the first time I think they've ever done something like that in any movie; where we have actual fans around us. No actors. And they're amazing, these fans. They could give a crap about the movie. They love sports in Boston.
Q: Any memorable experiences?
JIMMY: We did one thing I will never forget, though I will probably see you guys again at next year's roundtables. We asked [the fans] to stay [at the end of a game.] “We're filming the movie 'Fever Pitch' starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon and directed by the Farrelly Brothers and we'd ask you all to stay for the final scene of the movie.” Drew has to run across the field and I see her and she falls in my arms and we kiss. Everyone stayed. 35,000 people stayed!It was the most memorable moment I every had. It was so emotional and cool. I just ran across the field and everyone was cheering. It was exactly like watching the end of Rocky or something. And I was like, 'Hey! I'm kind of Rocky!' This is great.'
Jimmy Fallon Exits "SNL"
Attention, aspiring comics: There's an empty seat on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" desk.
After six years as a mainstay of the SNL cast, Jimmy Fallon announced that he was leaving the show during Saturday's season finale, which was hosted by the Olsen twins.
As he and "Weekend Update" cohost, Tina Fey, wrapped up the final bit of the season, Fallon took a moment to bid farewell.
"I'm Jimmy Fallon," he said. "I might as well say thanks; this is my last show. Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow."
Fallon's exit from the show came as no surprise to the folks at NBC. Though series helmer Lorne Michaels had hoped Fallon, 29, would renew his contract, Peacock President Jeff Zucker said Monday that Fallon had made it clear that he planned to move on, and that he wished the comedian the best in future ventures.
As Fallon departs, so do the popular recurring characters he has crafted during his tenure on the show.
From Nick Burns, the unfriendly computer tech guy, to Jarrett, the pot-smoking host of the "Jarrett's Room" Webcast, Fallon proved he could play an array of alter egos.
Fallon also showed a talent for mimicry, portraying credible versions of Tom Cruise, Dave Matthews and Access Hollywood's Pat O'Brien, among numerous others.
The comic will next star in Taxi as a rookie cop trying to solve a string of bank robberies. Queen Latifah also stars in the film, which is due out later this year.
Fallon is also set to present at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards, which will air June 10.
Jimmy Fallon: Disaster Waiting To Happen
On a sunny day in July, comedian Jimmy Fallon sat down with MTV News' Gideon Yago to discuss all the things that could go wrong when he hosts the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards on August 29. Barring any accidents involving falling stage lights, the Saturday Night Live star looks to do fine, as long as nobody asks him to do karaoke. Grandma wouldn't like that. Trust us.
Gideon Yago: You've hosted an MTV awards show before, but what are you looking for this time around?
Jimmy Fallon: Remembering this one.
Yago: Is that tough for you?
Fallon: Yeah, I don't really remember a lot of things. I don't know how I got into the building. I'm assuming someone let me in somewhere off the street. I don't think I stayed overnight here, so I think this morning I was in here. It's kind of like "Memento." I take off my shirt and look at my tattoos and it says, "You've got to meet Gideon at 4:30 and talk about the Video Music Awards."
Yago: How did you break the news to Kirsten Dunst that you were going to be flying solo this time around?
Fallon: Yeah, I didn't tell her, so I think she's finding out right now. Sorry about that, Kirsten. I'm gonna miss her. Maybe she'll be around, though, in spirit. I have a locket of her hair — I mean a lock of her hair in a locket ... and I lock it when I leave the house.
Yago: Have you ever been to a VMAs award — uh, ah — have you ever been to a VMA before?
Fallon: It's all right, dude. Relax, man. It's not a big deal. It's Times Square, I know the huge Toys "R" Us, it's unbelievable, but I, uh — what was the question?
Yago: Have you ever been to a VMA before?
Fallon: Yeah, I came a couple years ago. I dressed up as the 'NSYNC guys. I strapped myself to like five mannequins, and I danced like that dude at the Lakers games, and I got the same reaction from the crowd — dead silence.
Yago: How would you describe the entire experience for someone who has never seen it?
Fallon: It's like ... I don't know ... there's writing. It's kind of like "Saturday Night Live." You write it and you perform it. So you've got these great writers in a room who work on stuff. It's kind of hard to work on banter — like, what are Pink and Puff Daddy going to say to each other without making it look staged. Like, "Well, it's great to be here. How are you?" or "Wow, your hair looks really great tonight. How did you do it?" and then she goes, "Oh, I don't know, I guess I had your same people work on my hair. Ha, ha, ha." And then no one laughs. It's like, give the award out already. So we're trying to make that faster. So if Puff Daddy and Pink come out it will just be like: "Hi." "Hi. The nominees for the ..." We're just trying to move it faster.
Yago: Now, you wrote a book with your sister called "I Hate This Place — A Pessimist's Guide to Life." So what is a pessimist's guide to hosting the VMAs?
Fallon: That it's going to suck, that it's going to go so long that people are going to get bored. Your career's going to be over. People are going to make fun of you and do impressions of you, like in cases where they want to show someone that's stinking, they'll do you. That's probably some of the things you get afraid of. That's probably the way a pessimist looks at it.
Yago: Any anxieties that a light will fall on your head or something will catch fire?
"I always have that anxiety that a light is going to fall on my head..."
Fallon: I always have that anxiety that a light is going to fall on my head. There's a lighting guy that hates me. He follows me around and throws lamps at me so I assume that they're falling. Wait, there's not [supposed to be] a light out here — we're outdoors. Why is there a light? Maybe it's "The Truman Show." I don't know what's happening. I don't know what's going on. So I'm afraid all the time. But you've got to roll with the punches. If a light falls on me during the show, keep the cameras rolling, because I want to make the bloopers show, the "Uncensored" the year after. That's history. "Yeah, remember the year when that comedian — they won't even remember my name — remember when that comedian guy got hit with a light?" And he held his back in slow motion. And they'll play the Goo Goo Dolls behind me or P.O.D. "I feel so alive ..." and the light falls on me. They'll be wheeling me out — "Oh, I'll never host an awards show again."
Yago: Do you have any VMA moments that really stick out in your head?
Fallon: The Howard Stern thing was always great. I loved that. And the Rage Against the Machine guy was one of my favorite things. There's so many. The Chili Peppers with Marisa Tomei — that was the Video Music Awards, right?
Yago: I think that might have been the Movie Awards, but I don't know — I just work here.
Fallon: I remember being at the Movie Awards thinking about the Video Music Awards thinking, "Man, those are great awards shows. You should make a movie about them and then nominate it at the Movie Awards." "The winner of the best movie about a video awards show is ... our movie! Thanks us! You're welcome, you!"
Yago: You've got a comedy album called The Bathroom Wall coming out two days before the VMAs.
Fallon: I know. Doesn't that seem planned? It kinda seems bumped up. It's a comedy album. I'm not crossing over. I'm not trying to say, "Oh, I'm a singer now, take me seriously." The first song is called "Idiot Boyfriend" and it's a disco song. It's like a very Leo Sayer type of vibe, like (sings high pitched) "I know what you want!" And I think no one's going to get into that, and that's going to be good because I love to be depressed. We just did the video. I think they've got a "Making the Video," because my friend saw a commercial for it.
Yago: For real? They didn't even tell you about it?
Fallon: No, no. They make the video, and they don't tell you you're making the video, and they go, "By the way, you made the video," and you're like, "What?! How was it?" and they go, "Watch. Tune in." And then you see it and go, "Oh yeah, I remember that. That was good."
Yago: Is there any concept for it?
Fallon: Oh yeah. It's kind of like a "Meet the Parents" ... Sorry, am I cutting you off every time you try to talk?
Yago: No, not in the slightest. Go for it.
Fallon: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let me talk.
Yago: I ...
Fallon: No, please.
Yago: Please, it's ...
Fallon: Thank you.
"I'm just a moron in the living room..."
Fallon: So what I do, I've got this video and it's like a "Meet the Parents" type of idea, and Zooey Deschanel plays my girlfriend. And I meet the parents and they're singing karaoke — it's a party for her grandmother — and they make me sing a song, and then the only song I know is "Idiot Boyfriend" off my album. Why? I don't know. So then I do it, but in my fantasy I'm singing like I'm really into it. There's bubbles all around me, but in real life I'm just a moron in the living room. And then I end up grinding with the grandmother and I get thrown out of the house.
Yago: Is this based on a real-life experience?
Fallon: Definitely, yeah. Weekly experience.
Yago: Well, that basically wraps up every question that we have.
Fallon: No, no. There's probably more questions.
Yago: Um, OK. Are you rooting for anybody in particular?
Fallon: Why would you ask me something stupid like that for?
Yago: Because I figure that's, like, the stock ...
Fallon: Yeah, I'm rooting for me. I hope I do well.
Yago: Was there any video that you saw that totally blew you away?
Fallon: Yeah, I liked the Eminem video. That was great. I thought that was a really cool video.
Yago: The biggest-nominated video that we've got.
Fallon: Is it really? Well I think deservedly so. Did you have anything to do with the judging or picking?
Yago: Absolutely none whatsoever. I told you to blame me for the questions, not the nominations.
Fallon: Dude, it's just me. Don't worry about these microphones — it's just us talking. You picked the videos, didn't you?
Yago: None. Dude, you'd think I'd have kind of pull here, but you'd be totally, totally wrong.
Fallon: Nothing? I've seen your office. Your dressing room's huge.
Yago: What office? I work in a cubicle.
Fallon: Ha, ha. Do you really?
Yago: Behind the refrigerator, underneath the soda machine.
Fallon: Your desk has wheels on the bottom — like, "Hey, there's my office. They're pushing my office over there!"
Yago: Hey, thanks a lot, man.
A Bathroom Chat With Jimmy Fallon
He’s funnier than Creed and sings better than Seinfeld. He’s Jimmy Fallon and on his debut album, The Bathroom Wall – arguably his finest ever – this exceptionally funny and tuneful young fellow has managed to marry music and comedy better than anyone since Gilbert & Sullivan, or at least since Gilbert O’Sullivan. A masterful mix of eclectic musical recordings and semi-scratched standup comedy, The Bathroom Wall is so clever and catchy that Fallon may very well make you forget all about Piscopo. Joe Piscopo.
Seriously folks, on The Bathroom Wall (set for release Aug. 27, 2002, on DreamWorks Records), Jimmy Fallon rescues the too frequently defiled concept of the comedy album and brings it all back alive with an impressive set of song-and-shtick that merges the charms of Steve Martin’s Let’s Get Small and Frampton Comes Alive for a new generation. From the dirtbag soul stylings of “Idiot Boyfriend” to the hip-hop air ball that is “(I Can’t Play) Basketball” to the waste-case country honk-rock of “Drinking In The Woods,” Fallon puts his own hilarious physical graffiti all over The Bathroom Wall.
Jimmy Fallon was born on Sept. 19, 1974, in Brooklyn and raised upstate in Saugerties, near Woodstock. Legend has it that young Jimmy attempted his first impression at age two. Later, his parents were utterly delighted by his prepubescent take on Jimmy Cagney. At 12, this stand-up guy began his formal standup career, at no less a venue than the Bananas comedy club in Poughkeepsie. From the beginning, Fallon’s winning act revealed his multifaceted talent, as well as his unusual and frankly unhealthy interest in troll dolls (see The Bathroom Wall’s “Troll Doll Celebrities” and “Troll Doll Jingles.”)
Beyond the adoring crowds at Bananas, Fallon arrived in mass consciousness thanks to “Saturday Night Live,” where he started as a featured player in 1998. In addition to his unimpeachable journalist skills as a pseudo newsman on “Weekend Update,” Fallon has consistently served up a heaping combo platter of comedic and musical chops on “SNL,” as well as appearing on other
television shows and in films, among them “Almost Famous” and a forthcoming Woody Allen movie. Fallon has also caught the host virus – earlier this year he co-hosted the MTV Movie Awards with Kirsten Dunst, and he will host the MTV Video Music Awards on August 29.
Against the advice of counsel, Jimmy Fallon reluctantly agreed to phone from an undisclosed New York rest room in order to frankly and self-promotionally discuss his assorted Bathroom activities. Here is what transpired:
Jimmy, did you ever consider the possibility that you actually sing too well to make a comedy album? Are you too good for your own good, man?
No. I never thought that. But I did want to have a comedy record that you could actually listen to. If you don’t want to pay attention to the words, you can go, “Okay, that doesn’t sound that bad – I can put up with that for two minutes.” I wanted to do a song where you go, “That’s a good tune – what is that?” And then you go, “Dude, listen to the words – the song is about a snowball fight. It’s ridiculous.” Other comedy albums I’ve heard have songs where you go, “This is a joke song.” Or you think, “This is a joke song with really good musicians.” On this album, it’s a joke song with mediocre musicians, like my buddies from high school. Actually, the drummer and bass player really know how to play. We all just gelled and ended up sounding like a decent band.
How did the album happen?
I guess it stated on the third show I did on “SNL.” That was the best show I ever had on “Saturday Night Live.” Ben Stiller was the host, and I did an impression of Adam Sandler on “Celebrity Jeopardy.”
Meet Jimmy Fallon
As the former male half of Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update," Jimmy Fallon has used his SNL success to become a leading man on the big screen. Jimmy Fallon first started getting noticed on SNL by playing song parodies during "Weekend Update," but he gained the most attention for his hilariously perfect impressions of Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld and Keanu Reeves. After serving as "Weekend Update" co-anchor from 1998 to 2004, he went on to appear in Woody Allen's Anything Else and 2004's Taxi.
Jimmy Fallon is so easy for guys to hate. He's cool, funny, intelligent, and women of all ages absolutely love him. We try so hard not to laugh at his jokes, we try to dismiss his song parodies as nothing more than Adam Sandler rip-offs, we even try to pretend that his impressions aren't that good. Though we still may believe some of those things to varying degrees, eventually we have little choice but to accept the fact that Fallon is talented.
His jokes on Saturday Night Live were a little controversial, but often hilarious. For example, when British (and openly gay) actor Ian McKellan was doing a monologue in drag, he leaned over and gave Jimmy a kiss on the cheek. Jimmy quickly improvised, "I know he's been knighted, but did I just get Queened?" It's that kind of humor that should keep him as a fixture in the world of popular culture and comedy.
Having the personality traits of humility and some shyness generally endear themselves more to women than men. Which means that Fallon's fan base consists of many more screaming women. Still, Fallon is also blessed with wicked wit and an excellent referential sense of humor. In other words, his personality is still one that is worth having around while out with the guys.
Besides Fallon's obvious ability to do comedy, he has proven his acting chops by playing road manager Dennis Hope in Almost Famous, and as a guest star on the HBO series Band of Brothers. Musically, he is a fairly accomplished guitar player, a fact that he often reinforced constantly on SNL and in his live act.
Type in "Jimmy Fallon" on a search engine and you'll quickly discover that his fans are predominantly young and female. When rumors circulated that Jimmy was dating actress and accused shoplifter Winona Ryder, message boards were flooded by heartbroken girls.
Jimmy is tall, good-looking (he was among People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World for 2002) and funny, which are three characteristics that almost every woman lists as essential in their dream man. But what draws girls to Fallon is that he gives off an image of being very sweet and shy. For some reason, these characteristics have elevated him to "Internet heartthrob status" to young girls.
With his big break coming only in 1998, Fallon really hadn't had the time to devote himself to anything but Saturday Night Live, which is likely what led to his departure in 2004. Releasing a book in 1999, I Hate This Place: The Pessimist's Guide To Life and starring in 2000's Almost Famous are both definitely noteworthy achievements. And among people under 30, Fallon is certainly a recognizable face, although he has yet to break into the level of fame where he would be referred to as a "star."
In 2004, NBC announced that Jimmy Fallon would not be returning for Saturday Night Live's 30th season. And he's already pretty busy: he co-starred with Queen Latifah in Taxi and stars with Drew Barrymore in the Farrelly brothers' romantic comedy, Fever Pitch (2005).
There is no doubt that Fallon is currently enjoying "It" status. Having landed on the covers of Spin and Entertainment Weekly, he's the kind of crossover star that SNL hadn't had in a very long time. He now has the ability to "make" an event, meaning that organizers want him to show up because his presence lends credibility and coolness to it.
Still, he lacks the edginess and "rock star trapped in a comedian's body" mentality required to enter into the elite of cool comedians, such as John Belushi, Sam Kinison, Lenny Bruce, and Eddie Murphy.
With an ever-changing hairstyle and a penchant for wearing trendy and cool clothes, Jimmy Fallon is a fashion plate for the young generation. His suits on "Weekend Update" were generally pretty chic, but his style off the set (i.e. faded jeans, old-school sneakers, cool T-shirts) helps make him emblematic of the new wave hipsters of New York City. Fallon definitely gets high marks for staying true to his New York style requirements. At every major event Fallon attends, from Nickelodeon Kids Awards to the Emmys, he is completely adaptable. Never looking out of place and always looking cool should keep him on male best-dressed lists for years to come.