Jimmy Fallon Was Told ‘NBC Doesn’t Really Want You’ for Late Night After ‘Taxi’ and ‘Fever Pitch’ Movies ‘Didn’t Work’; Lorne Michaels Told Execs: It’s Jimmy or ‘I’m Not Involved’

When Jimmy Fallon returns to the air in Oct. following the end of the WGA strike, it will continue his 14th year as the host of an NBC late night talk show. The “Saturday Night Live” alum got his late night start by taking over for Conan O’Brien as the host of “Late Night,” which Fallon led from March 2, 2009 to Feb. 7, 2014. But Fallon would’ve never booked the “Late Night” gig in the first place had it not been for “SNL” creator Lorne Micheals threatening NBC executives.

“I was leaving ‘SNL’ [in 2004] and so [Michaels] goes, ‘Would you ever want to do it? A talk show?’ I go, ‘I don’t think so,’” Fallon said on the “Strike Force Five” podcast (via Entertainment Weekly) to cohosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and John Oliver. “And so I said, ‘Well, in six years ask me and if I, you know, if I’m around, I’ll think about it.’”

As he was leaving “SNL,” Fallon was more interested in starting a movie career like franchise alum Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy. He passed on hosting a late night talk show and instead went on to star in films such as “Taxi” and “Fever Pitch,” neither of which set the box office on fire. Michaels ended up asking Fallon again to host a late night show six years later, just as Fallon instructed.

Fallon asked his wife at the time for her thoughts, to which she said: “You have to take this job. You’re one of three human beings to ever do this: David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and you. And, if anything, you’re on a great list of people. Like, this is insane.”

“So, I call Lorne, and I go, ‘I’m in. I’d love to do it,’” Fallon said. “He goes, ‘Great. NBC doesn’t really want you. But we have to talk to them.’ I’m not even on their list, by the way.”

Fallon said the network had gone “cold” on him as his career was no longer thriving after “two movies that didn’t work,” aka “Taxi” and “Fever Pitch.” Michaels ended up changing the executives minds.

“I think Lorne said, ‘Look, I’ve worked with Jimmy. He’s a hard worker. He’s going to be great at this. Either you do this with Jimmy or I’m not involved,’” Fallon said. “Or something like that. He actually went to bat for me and changed my life.”

Fallon went on to host “Late Night” before jumping to “The Tonight Show” in February 2014. He remains host of “The Tonight Show” to this day.

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article