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Friday
Jan152010

Jimmy Fallon @ The 9th Annual NY Times Arts & Leisure Weekend - 1.8.10

Jimmy Fallon | Photo: Steve GarfieldBy Andrew Singer 

Love him or hate him, you can't fault Jimmy Fallon for his enthusiasn. Even --or especially -- when he forgets lines or breaks in a sketch. He loves what he does and he proclaimed as such at his recent talk at the 9th Annual NY Times Leisure & Arts Weekend. Fallon discussed how staying at home helped him succeed, why he was never destined to become a big-time movie star and how he stays connected to fans.

  • Comedy Nerd. As a child in upstate New York, Jimmy rarely left the house because his parents overly worried about his safety. As a teen, he stayed in most nights watching TV, especially SNL. He became such an obsessive super-fan that he was overly protective of the show and preferred watching it alone than having to hear others' criticism.
  • First Impressions. Fallon often forced his sister to do impressions from the show with him. He said a good impression is not just imitating a voice, but capturing a full range of body movement, mannerisms and emotions. But when he moved to New York City, he said he quickly learned that talent agents weren't interested in one-trick ponies. Fallon would create many characters, though his favorites were Jarrett (internet webcam superstar) and Nick Burns (tech support snob). Inspired by Wayne's World, Jarrett's Show was pre-Youtube, so Fallon said he often felt audiences didn't quite grasp the parody of a webcam show.
  • Silver Screen Spud. After SNL, Fallon tried movies, though that ended up being a very frustrating experience, he said. Having had plenty of misfires on TV, he said the upside with TV was that you could always work on improving it in the next episode, just a week later. Movies required longer time investments to discover failure, so he realized after spending a few years only to crank out duds that he should get back to TV.
  • Not Taking Sides.  Moderator Bill Carter began by asking Fallon if he'd be okay with waiting a half-hour to start the talk, alluding to the ongoing late-night television melee between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. When pressed, Fallon said he was just happy to be on the air and that he wouldn’t mind having his show pushed back. He was very careful not to step on toes, praising NBC for putting Leno on earlier and saying it may have worked if it had been on longer. Fallon said he had spoken to Leno on the phone earlier that day, but when asked what they talked about, he declined to give details.
  • Man of the Fans. As one of the younger late night hosts, Fallon embraced the internet, using Twitter and producing a daily vlog. During the talk itself, Fallon exceeded his time by 15 minutes because he wanted no question to go unanswered. He even bounded out of his chair to run across the stage to get closer to one person on the mic. Kudos to the one attendee who asked him for an animation internship on the show. Fallon shot back: "Okay, we'll give you the internship!"

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Reader Comments (1)

I love Jimmy Fallon. Some people think his breaking character to giggle is unprofessional or annoying, but I think it's adorable and adds to his charm!
He's really funny and you can tell how much he loves what he's doing.
I would have loved to have been there to hear this talk.

I REALLY need to get to NYC like.... yesterday.

January 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbecca

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