It’s been a helluva journey for Jimmy Fallon, from “Saturday Night Live” cast member, to a brief attempt at a movie career, to late night staple, now sitting behind one of the most legendary talk show desks in TV history. And if you want to see just how far the comedian has come, these two videos should do the trick.
Going all the way back to 1998, first up is 24 year-old Fallon’s eight minute ‘SNL’ audition tape. It starts with a run of impersonations — Adam Sandler still being his best — and then goes into a handful of original characters he developed. Is it great? No, but most audition tapes aren’t, however Lorne Michaels and co. saw something in that rough material, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Now we’ll fast-forward to last night where Fallon walked out in front of America for his first episode of “The Tonight Show.” And fifteen years after his ‘SNL’ audition, Fallon used the opportunity to take everything in stride, with his opening monologue thanking everyone who helped him on his way from a gawky comedian trying to make it, to a proud father and the next face of a TV legacy. Check it all out below. Bonus round: check out all the cameo appearances in last night’s episode. [Defamer/Deadline]