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Jimmy Fallon did stand-up outside grocery store as he ‘tried everything to get famous’ | Arts & Entertainment


Jimmy Fallon used to do stand-up comedy outside a grocery store as he tried everything “to get famous”.

The 49-year-old talk show host – who has fronted ‘The Tonight Show’ since 2014 following five years on ‘Late Night’ – has recalled his early period in Los Angeles as he tried to rise up the ranks in Hollywood.

He told Extra: “I was out here when I started trying to do stand up, trying to make money. I tried everything I could to get famous.

“I remember doing stand-up outside of a Vons. I heard that Michelle Pfeiffer got discovered as a cashier at Vons, and so I did stand-up and played guitar and did impressions outside of the grocery store in LA.”

He would eventually get his big break in New York, as he landed a job on ‘Saturday Night Live’.

He said: “I remember actually doing ‘Saturday Night Live’ and I was hoping just to be in one sketch, and if I was in a sketch, I’d call my mom before the show, like 11:25, like, ‘Mom, I’m going to be in the show tonight, so stay up.’ ”

When he took over ‘The Tonight Show’ a decade ago, Jimmy didn’t think he’d last “two years”.

He confessed: “I was like, ‘Oh man, they’re going to fire me’. They are gonna say, ‘What is this guy doing?’ “

Now, he’d love to pass Johnny Carson’s 29 year record to become the longest running host on late night.

Speaking at a panel during Deadline’s Contenders Television event earlier this week, he said: “I’m gonna go, you guys want me? Let’s break the record, let’s go, let’s do 30 years!”

Meanwhile, Jimmy – who insisted the ‘Tonight Show’ is more of a “variety” programme – still holds close some advice from Conan O’Brien, who in turn received advice from Carson.

He was told: “With this job, you’ll do everything you’ve ever learned. Everything.”

Jimmy added: “I can barely tap dance, I can do impressions… I’ve done all of them numerous times on the show.”



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