Photo: NBC Universal
By Sierra Marquina
The day has come!
Jimmy Fallon is officially taking over The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tonight on NBC.
“I’m freaking out right now,” the talk show host admitted when he called in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest. “It’s so exciting. It’s crazy … This is the dream job.”
Jimmy goes on to say it didn’t really hit him that he was taking over the iconic late night show until he saw the promo, which featured all the past hosts.
“When they showed me that … you see all the other hosts that come before and that’s when it kind of kicked in. Like, this is real. Those guys are legends, just to be on the list it doesn’t make any sense to me … I get goose bumps … it’s getting so real now that it’s actually happening.”
And if history repeats itself — Johnny Carson hosted for 30 years and Jay Leno for over 22 – it will be a role that Jimmy will have for quite a while.. So is he ready to host the show until his 7-month-old daughter Winnie Rose is in college?
“I mean, oh my gosh. I mean, of course I’d loved to do it as long as people enjoy it. But I don’t see myself writing ‘Thank-You Notes’ when I’m 80 years old,” he jokes.
Although tonight is his first night on the job, the funny man admits he’s still working out his opening monologue. ”I think I’m going to look at it as if it wasn’t me,” he shares. ”I don’t know [exactly yet] but it’s a moment in history not only the fact that there’s a new host … but also that it’s broadcast from New York City for first time in over 40 years … it’s like a TV event, so I have to make sure everyone enjoys it as much as they can.”
Another thing he’ll have to deal with, along with the pressure of making his debut, is … he’s also sick!
“I have a cold, which I’m just getting over because … when your baby gets a cold, you get a cold,” Jimmy admits. adding that getting sick before a big gig seems to be a part of his game.
“The first time I hosted Saturday Night Live, it was such a big deal for me, I think my immune system just like broke down, so I got the flu or something so … maybe it’s something that happens to me when I get nervous … but I get through it …because that adrenaline rush.”
Guests stopping by The Tonight Show to see Jimmy during his debut week include everyone from Will Smith and U2 to The First Lady of The United States Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell, and Justin Timberlake.
“We might do a fun special thing with the first lady and Will Ferrell,” Jimmy divulges. He adds that when it comes to his now-infamous performances with Timberlake: “It’s good, it’s fun. We’re working on something and it will involve some type of performance.”
Now, we are officially excited!
Catch the premiere of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tonight on NBC at 12/11c.