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Jimmy Fallon on His First Job: Lessons He Learned and How They Still Apply to His Work Today (2012)

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Published on May 26, 2012

http://thefilmarchive.org/

James Thomas "Jimmy" Fallon, Jr. (born September 19, 1974) is 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 attended St. Mary of the Snow, a Roman Catholic parochial school, and Saugerties High School, from which he graduated in 1992. He attended The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. He was a Computer Science major, but switched to Communications in his senior year, dropping out a semester shy of a degree. "I was a Computer Science major. I got out once it got really hard. I made it up to C++. Then I couldn't do the math -- it got really confusing. I switched to Communications, which is a ridiculous major -- let's be honest," he recalls. On May 9, 2009, Fallon received a B.A. in Communications and an honorary doctorate degree from The College of Saint Rose after presenting college officials with his portfolio, which satisfied all requisites for his degree. In addition to receiving a BA, Fallon spoke at the school's 86th commencement. That night, on Saturday Night Live, he held up his diploma during the closing of the show. Additionally, he showed excerpts from the ceremony on his late night show May 11, 2009.

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Fa...

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