Jimmy Fallon in Vanity Fair: Lorne Michaels Advised Me on Who to Date and Marry
As a teenager, the comedian’s only dream was to be on “Saturday Night Live” — and he became fanatical about achieving that goal.
Fallon insisted on watching the show alone so that he could focus on its nuances.
“No small talk. I wanted to see the sketches, the new characters, what the angle was,” he recalls, adding that his parents would allow him to drink beer while he studied the broadcast.
Fallon explains, “As long as I wasn’t doing anything at night, I’d just sit by myself, and I would have a six-pack of Pabst. I don’t know if I made it all the way through the six, but I’d just sit there and watch the show. And tape it.”
The comedian also discusses how Michaels became a mentor in every way during and after his “SNL” days.
He tells the magazine, “Lorne helped me with everything — with relationships, with me getting famous. I was going through certain steps, and there were certain things I couldn’t talk to my dad about, because he wouldn’t know.”
“Like ‘I have money now. Do I still rent? Do I buy an apartment?’ Or ‘I’m in L.A., and I have to rent a car.’ [“Lorne” voice] ‘You should get a Lexus, because you want to be quiet.’ Or ‘Should I date this actress?’ [“Lorne” voice] ‘You can date her, but you probably shouldn’t marry her,’” remembers Fallon.
He adds, “And he’d be totally right.”
Following his departure from “SNL,” Fallon moved to Los Angeles to make movies, an experience that left him adrift.
“I was probably drinking more than I should have been drinking,” he says now. “It wasn’t, like, sitting and watching old tapes of me on ‘SNL,’ with the screen flickering in front of me. But I was like: ‘I can’t figure out what I want to do.’”
At which point, Michaels introduced the idea that Fallon take over “Late Night” from Conan O’Brien.
The rest is history.
Fallon’s “Tonight Show” debuts on February 17.