Jimmy Fallon Sets Liberal Alcohol Policy for His Late Night Run

By
Photo: Patrick McMullan

Vulture has been feeling Jimmy Fallon's online-charm offensive, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to take a wait-and-see approach to his new show. But we do have questions, like, was the daily web diary on Fallon's website his idea? "No! Not my idea. Lorne’s idea," Fallon said when we talked to him outside Paul Simon's show at the Beacon Theatre on Friday night. Indeed, Fallon had been super-nervous about how much personal stuff he’d have to reveal in order to keep the webisodes interesting but eventually gave in. “At one point when my eyeball was hanging out of my head — I had Lasik surgery on the web — that’s when I realized, ‘Wow. I’m kinda doing it all. I want this to work so bad.’”

Now, Fallon says, he actually likes doing the things. “It’s helping me out, making me more comfortable with the camera, and also making me work with the writers a little more. Even though these are unwritten pieces.” And he’s been reading your comments. “We had, like, two shows of people hating it and then they gave up and now we get really nice comments.” But, he adds, he takes it personally when you don’t like what he’s doing. “It’s my own sick brain, but every time you get a bad review or a hit, that sticks in your head and you don’t really hear the good stuff so much.”

Fallon says regular webisode viewers likely know everything there is to know about him (except for perhaps how he and wife Nancy Juvonen are slumming it in a rental while they await renovations on their Gramercy Park apartment). The latest update, not yet aired, but sure to any moment now? “The set is almost 90 percent there. I tried out chairs today and I sat behind my desk. It’s all getting so real!” In addition, he’s gone over intro music and the music for coming in and out of commercials with the Roots. And he’s sleep-deprived enough that he rhymes involuntarily. “Days are getting longer and I’m getting stronger,” he said, without really realizing. “ I really hope it all goes well because I’ve got the best of everything around me and the only person that can screw it up is me. And I’m just really worried that I’m gonna screw it up.”

Fallon says that the atmosphere of his set is supposed to be fun, so he’s going to be very lenient with backstage riders. “Green M&Ms, whatever you want, you’ve got it.” And unlike Daily Intel’s favorite show, he’s not going to enforce strict anti-liquor rules. “It’s not going to be like Sober House. We’re not going to check your pockets. So if you smuggle in booze to my show, go ahead.”

He’s not allowed to reveal the name of his first guest, but he says that it will be someone who’s not a close friend. “I also don’t want anyone I know,” he said. “I’d rather talk to people I don’t know that well so I can work on my skills, and when my friends come on I can treat them like guests as opposed to just reminiscing about fun stories.” So how long does he think he can last as a brand-new late-night-show host before calling in a favor to a friend? “Second show,” he said. “Unless I only make it through half of the first show. One half of the first show will be friends, and then all of the second show. And then the first week’s done, and I’m in trouble.”