Jimmy Fallon has enjoyed years of ratings success since joining the late-night hosting game in 2008 when he took over Late Night. However, according to the host himself, it took some convincing to land the gig.
“NBC didn’t even want me. I remember them saying, 'Really, Jimmy Fallon? His movies are terrible,'” Fallon said at the New Yorker Festival on Monday night, via Vulture. “But Lorne [Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live] was like, 'Don’t worry, he works well and plays well with others.' Like I was a kindergartner."
“I remember having to go to three or four dinners with NBC, trying to convince them I was the guy,” he continued. “And then finally [president and CEO of NBC] Jeff Zucker was like, 'Are you sure? This is a lot of work.' I was like, 'Yes, I’m sure.'”
He also shared that after he convinced NBC to bring him on board, they wavered on allowing him to have The Roots as his house band.
“NBC didn’t want the Roots. They were like, 'The Roots are too urban or something,'” Fallon remembered. “I went, you’re totally wrong. Do you know these guys? Go see them. Have you seen them? These guys have played with everyone from JAY-Z to Tony Bennett. There’s no band that exists like them at all.”
Obviously, the 44-year-old comedian got his way -- as well as later being named host of the Tonight Show in 2014 -- clearing the way for countless unforgettable TV moments.