An American actor, comedian, singer, musician and television host. He currently hosts Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, a late-night talk show that airs Monday through Friday on NBC. Prior to that he appeared in several films, and was best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1998–2004.
James Thomas Fallon, Jr., was born in Brooklyn, New York. Jimmy is the son of Gloria and James Fallon, Sr., who is a Vietnam War veteran. His family later settled in Saugerties, New York, while his father worked at IBM in nearby Kingston, New York. He is of Irish descent. As a child, he and his older sister, Gloria, would reenact the “clean parts” of Saturday Night Live that his parents had taped for him. Fallon was such a fan of Saturday Night Live that he made a weekly event of watching it in his dormitory during college. In his teens, he impressed his parents with different impersonations, the first being of James Cagney. He was also musically inclined, and started playing guitar at age 13. He would go on to mix comedy and music in contests and shows.
Fallon gives credit to troll dolls for his big break. He was given a troll doll with a graduation cap in his senior year of high school. His mother heard about an impression contest at Bananas Comedy Club in Poughkeepsie, NY. Fallon came up with a stand-up routine that was a commercial for troll dolls. He would impersonate various celebrities auditioning to be the spokesperson. He won the contest and after college he began to do stand-up tours across the country. When he was in Los Angeles, he took improv classes with The Groundlings.
Fallon appeared in the feature film The Scheme (originally entitled The Entrepreneurs). His one line in Father's Day was cut but he can still be seen in the background. In 1998 Fallon appeared briefly on the show Spin City in the second season as a man selling photographs. By late 1998, Fallon was studying at the Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles, making $7.50 a set at The Improv Theater, when he was summoned to New York to audition for the long-running late night sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live. Fallon did his impersonations of Jerry Seinfeld, French Stewart, Pat O'Brien, Chris Rock, Hilary Swank, Gilbert Gottfried, Enrique Iglesias, Adam Sandler, Jeff Foxworthy, Eddie Murphy, Larry the Cable Guy, many of which drew laughter from producer Lorne Michaels, which is generally unheard of. Fallon also did musical impersonations of Bono of U2, Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, Alanis Morissette, and Robert Smith of The Cure.
Fallon's impersonations helped land him on Saturday Night Live as a featured player in the 1998–1999 season, and he was promoted to full cast member in the summer of 1999. Among his signature bits were his song parodies, which he performed when Colin Quinn was doing Update and continued to showcase on special occasions after he had replaced him. He became co-anchor of Weekend Update with Tina Fey with the October 7, 2000 season premiere. Fallon left SNL in 2004 and began pursuing a film career.
Fallon returned to SNL, hosting the December 17, 2011 episode, having made several cameos in episodes in the years since his departure.
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