On March 17, 2011, I interviewed Jimmy Fallon. It was a Life Moment. One of those handful of experiences in life that’s full of emotion and meaning. For me, this was up there with the birth of my children, and meeting New Kids On The Block in the 8th grade. Thank you, Jimmy for giving me another Life Moment.
After the video, I share my experience.
He said “Totally!”, when I asked him if for an interview. In the back of my mind, even though he had agreed, and even up until the day of the interview, I had my doubts it was really going to happen. I finally felt reassured it was going to happen when a few hours before the show, Jimmy’s assistant texted me to confirm. This. Was. Going. To. Happen.
You wouldn’t believe the hours and days and weeks of preparation and planning. Not that it was some genius interview, but this was my time, my moment, to ask him anything I wanted. I’ve seen every interview he’s done and wanted this to be different and felt it needed to consist of questions that the fans had wondered about. I was told I had about 10-15 minutes with Jimmy. That was a lot of pressure. There were so many things I wanted to do within this time frame and eventually cut it down to a single draft. Even the day of, even during the interview, I was revising questions.
It was finally St. Patrick’s Day. Erin and I spent all morning practicing and rewriting and cutting questions until it was time to head to 30 Rock. We met up with Eileen, got our tickets, then headed to the basement so we could try our first bite of Ben & Jerry’s “Late Night Snack”. This obviously wasn’t the best time to taste it since our mind (and tummies) were a bit overwhelmed, but it was definitely incredible! We just couldn’t calm down.
We sat through the show with anticipation, nausea, chills and literally “the shakes”. I have honestly never, ever been so nervous in my life. Not when I was getting married, not when I was about to have my kids, never. I was cold and clammy and sweating bullets. I can only imagine that’s how Jimmy felt before his first show.
The show ended and Jimmy’s assistant brought us down to the stage. We were waiting for the Green Room to clear out, but since it never did, we were led down the hallway to the Lion Room, the lead guest’s dressing room. We stood in there with the publicist for about 20 minutes. I told Eileen to just keep taping because I didn’t want to miss Jimmy’s entrance. So needless to say, we have 20 minutes of footage of the most awkward, nerve-racking moments. As we figured out our blocking and camera angles and where we would all sit, we could hear and see staffers walking by the room. Eventually, we heard Jimmy’s voice and anticipated what was about to happen.
As if we didn’t already know, Jimmy couldn’t be more charming and friendly. He seemed a little nervous too…which isn’t surprising. It’s probably intimidating to be in a room with people who watch your every move, want to know your every thought, and know so much about you. Jimmy grabbed a bottled water and then sat down on the couch next to me. We all chatted for about 10 minutes before the actual interview started. Discussed about the St. Patty’s Day chaos outside, the show and his Bob Dylan impression. His publicist had playfully warned us earlier how Jimmy likes to talk and has a story for everything. She was right. I was nervous we wouldn’t have time to get to the questions. Every time I would start to begin the interview, he would say something else. It was really quite adorable.
Before I started with the questions, we had Jimmy do a couple promos. Erin and I had written out a script where I would talk about slow jamming a message from Jimmy and then he would walk into the frame. Well, Jimmy walked into the frame before I could say that….which was fine because I could not concentrate or remember what I was supposed to say even though it was all written out for me. My mind was blank and having Jimmy standing there watching me was the most intimidating thing in the world. He was so sweet and helpful trying to calm me down. I love that Jimmy didn’t stick to the script. I love that Jimmy just did his own thing.
Our time with Jimmy was about half an hour, but the final video edit is only 15 minutes. I tried to cut it down to the main bulk of material. I did edit out quite a bit of the “Fallon Mono” discussion since it took a while for him to pick a joke and get it sent out. Regrettably, I should have continued to talk or ask him questions relating to twitter during this time, but all I could do was stare at him. Seriously, I was in a trance. I just kept looking at his face. If I had gone in there just to hang out or chit chat, it would have been much easier. But having to ask questions and think of smooth transitions, and keep track of time….it all just made me more nervous.
I loved that he mentions his “habit” of mumbling….and then clearly mumbles throughout the interview.
Anyway… I hope you enjoyed the video. I wish I had more time to ask all of your questions. There’s still so much we want to know about him. Jimmy was so unbelievably humble and gracious. He really did this for his fans. I’ve always thought his fans were so respectful and sweet, and it’s truly because they are a reflection of Jimmy and his kind heart.
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