Multi-talented talk show host James Thomas Fallon Jr. (1974-) was born on this day in Brooklyn, New York. As a child, he imitated his hero Steve Martin's "wild and crazy guy" and began his comedy career at 17, with a contest win for his impressions.
"Sometimes I wish that I had a terrible childhood, so that at least I'd have an excuse," Fallon revealed about his happy upbringing. His SNL gig was a dream-come-true for the young impressionist who Newsweek magazine called "SNL's first teen idol."
"It's a hard show. There's a lot of rejection," Fallon told The Washington Post of his SNL experiences. "You get things cut and you think you're not funny ... You'll end up insane if you stay on the show more than six years."
In 1999, he released the book I Hate This Place: The Pessimist's Guide to Life, a collection of funny emails about life between he and his sister, Gloria. "My sister studied writing and had all these scholarships," he said. "She kind of got the brains in the family."
Producer Lorne Michaels called Jimmy Fallon smart, too: "His impressions are smart. You can do an impersonation where you get the voice right or the gestures, but he gets them the way Dan Aykroyd got some essential attitude of Tom Snyder."
Former fellow cast member Tim Meadows agreed, "Jimmy is very cool... Number one, he is a really sweet guy. The other thing is his impressions are amazing."
A breakout star with Weekend Update duties, song parodies, and many recurring characters, Fallon left SNL in 2004 to focus on movie roles. His first starring role was opposite Queen Latifah in Taxi (2004).
"Whenever I'm stuck in traffic, I can't help but wonder, 'Where did the creator of The Jetsons go, and why hasn't he done something about this?'" he said.
His popular Late Night with Jimmy Fallon debuted on March 2, 2009.
Look at life lightly.