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Jimmy Fallon - Biography

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Comedian Jimmy Fallon Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Born:

September 19, 1974

Jimmy Fallon Overview:

Most people probably recognize Jimmy Fallon from his days as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, where he made a name for himself doing impressions (of Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Gilbert Gottfried and others) and performing funny songs on an acoustic guitar. Those two skills became the cornerstone of Fallon's comedy, even later being incorporated into his stand-up act. His enthusiasm and obvious excitement to be doing comedy make Fallon a likable performer, making him well-suited to be host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Quick Jimmy Fallon Facts:

  • Jimmy Fallon hails from Brooklyn, New York.
  • He joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1998 and remained on the show until 2004.
  • He has appeared in several films, including Anything Else (directed by Woody Allen), Taxi (2004) and Fever Pitch (2005).
  • In 2002, Fallon released his first and only stand-up album, called The Bathroom Wall.
  • In 2008, it was announced that Fallon would take over for Conan O'Brien as host of the NBC talk show Late Night. Fallon's first show was in March of 2009.
  • In 2013, Fallon was announced as the new host of The Tonight Show, taking over from Jay Leno when he retired in 2014. Fallon's Tonight Show premiered February 17, 2014.

In the Beginning:

Jimmy Fallon was born in Brooklyn, New York, in September of 1974. He grew up with dreams of comedy, and religiously watched and re-enacted sketches from Saturday Night Live every weekend. He attended the College of Saint Rose in Albany as a Communications major, but dropped out just prior to graduating.

Live From New York:

Near the end of the 1990s, Fallon was still pursuing a career in comedy without much luck. He took classes with The Groundlings and performed regular sets at The Improv in Los Angeles. In 1998, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels requested that Fallon come and audition for the late night sketch show. That year, he joined the cast as a "featured" player and became an immediate hit with his impressions and songs during "Weekend Update."

By 1999, Fallon became an official cast member at SNL. He was featured prominently in several sketches, including webcam host Jarret, The Leather Man, Barry Gibb, Nick Burns (the company's computer guy) and Sully (of hot Boston couple Sully and Zazu).

In 2000, Fallon became co-anchor of "Weekend Update" alongside Tina Fey.

Jimmy Fallon Albums and Films

In 2002, Fallon released The Bathroom Wall, his first and only stand-up album. It was a mix of humorous songs and live comedy, and was nominated for a Best Comedy Album Grammy in 2003.

In 2004, Fallon announced that he was leaving Saturday Night Live to pursue a career in film. Though he had already appeared in several films in supporting roles (including Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous in 2000 and Woody Allen's Anything Else in 2002), he finally got his first starring role in the 2004 comedy Taxi. The movie received dismal reviews and was a box office dud.

In 2005, he co-starred with Drew Barrymore in the romantic comedy Fever Pitch. It was a much better-received film and suggested that Fallon had the chops to be a leading man in movies. It was his last starring role.

Over the next few years, Fallon returned to performing stand-up around the country and contributing to smaller projects, including commercials and charity fundraisers.

In 2008, it was announced that Fallon would take over as host of the NBC talk show Late Night when its current host, Conan O'Brien, left to take over The Tonight Show. Fallon debuted on Late Night on March 2, 2009.

His second album, Blow Your Pants Off, was released in 2012. It featured music and sketches originally performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Additional Jimmy Fallon Facts:

  • Fallon has hosted the MTV Movie awards three times: in 2001 (alongside Kirsten Dunst), and alone in both 2002 and 2005.
  • He was named one of People magazine's Sexist Men Alive in 2002.

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