For Jimmy Fallon fans it's difficult to picture late-night television show without him, but there was a time when neither he nor NBC even considered him for a hosting position.
On the most recent episode of the Strike Force Five podcast, Fallon shared that he wasn't initially considered to host Late Night on NBC. The podcast is a collaboration between Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver.
After leaving Saturday Night Live in 2004, Fallon claimed he wanted to pursue a career as an actor in films, much like Bill Murray or Eddie Murphy.
However, producer Lorne Michaels approached him at that time about taking over as host of Late Night since Conan O'Brien was considering switching to The Tonight Show in six years.
“He [Michaels] goes, ‘Would you ever want to do a talk show?’” Fallon reflected back. “I go, ‘I don’t think so. … In six years, ask me, and if I’m around I’ll think about it.’”
After many years, Michaels lined up Fallon. He said he first discussed it with his wife, about the offer, noting, “‘You have to take this job. You’re one of three human beings to ever do this.'”
“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 noted that at first NBC was reluctant to offer him hosting position, but, then Michaels actually “went to bat” on him saying, “Either you do this with Jimmy, or I’m not involved,’ or something like that.” The host added that Michaels, “Changed my life.”
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