Few celebrities have seen their star rise as quickly as Jimmy Fallon. Though he has been in the business for well over a decade finding his most notable fame as a Saturday Night Live cast-member, it is only recently that he has seen his career go from that of a funny goofball character actor to A-list performer and host, seemingly overnight. Of course hard-work, talent and genuineness go a long way, but surely there is more to his evolution from an ensemble player & SNL cast-member to Jimmy Fallon host of The Tonight Show and all around late-night phenom. Though his particular path is rarely taken, that of hard-working nice guy, it seems to have worked out just fine for him. While continuing to set ratings records, perhaps he is setting some new Hollywood standards as well.
In a business where looks seem to be valued almost as much as actual talent, and seemingly more in some cases, Fallon seems to fly under the radar. He is not ugly by anyone’s standards, but neither is he necessarily viewed as a sex-symbol. Fallon is handsome in a boyish and charming way that is no doubt working to his advantage in winning nightly viewers. Forbes Magazine elaborates on Fallon’s draw: “Fallon is a triple threat: not in the old Broadway sense of the word with singing/dancing/acting, but with an extra dose of comedy/musical ability/likeability.” For women, his boy-next-door looks and undeniable charisma make for the perfect combination of approachable yet unintimidating. For men he is a total guy’s guy, able to relate from sports to music, and having no problem humbling himself to benefit the guest. Fallon is handsome for sure, but that hardly seems to matter when measured against the simple fact that he is nice. Not to mentioned talented.
Finding a genuinely decent person among the questionable personalities that comprise Hollywood seems near impossible, especially if tabloid reports and gossip rags are to be believed. One would be hard-pressed to find negative publicity out there about Fallon. It seems that he might just be as nice as he seems. According to a recent Vanity Fair interview he is described as “possessing no ironic cynicism, no attitude, no agenda other than to make people laugh.” It is even rumored that he writes thank-you notes when he is treated well and is known for his unwavering respect of those he interacts with, from interns to super-stars it matters little to Fallon. Jimmy Fallon is indeed a late night phenom. However, his late night success, while partly due to his looks and nice-guy reputation, is also largely credited to his unique and undeniable talent.
From rocking out as Tom Petty, to performing “The History of Rap” with Justin Timberlake, to his beloved “Ew!” girl Sara, Jimmy Fallon’s talent as a performer is remarkable, he is a late night phenom indeed. What is more endearing is that he is not just asking of his guests, he is a ready and more than willing participant. He is not afraid to look stupid and even less afraid to seem so. When he is star-struck, viewers can see that and when he is genuinely entertained by something viewers have a front-row seat. Fallon is unpretentious and not too proud to take a backseat on his show. Phenom is just one word currently associated with Jimmy Fallon: reigning king of late night TV. However, there are a few others being thrown around as well; nice, funny, charming, sweet, genuine and unique just to name a few. Not too shabby for a naturally nice guy whose dream growing up was to be on SNL.
By Heather Everett (Pomper)