Fallon, Jimmy and O’Brien, Conan
The Irish Americans
ABC’s late-night talk shows are now in the comedic hands of two familiar Irish-American jesters. Conan O’Brien replaced Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show," and filling his shoes on Late Night is comedian, actor and musician Jimmy Fallon.
Fallon is best known for his years on Saturday Night Live where he played a variety of memorable characters and hosted the long-running spoof “Weekend Update” along with head writer and actress Tina Fey.
Fey, now star of NBC hit "30 Rock," told Broadcasting & Cable of Fallon’s new hosting gig, “I think it’s a great idea. He’s really funny and loves to talk to people; it must be that Irish charm. Hosting a talk show is hard, having to do the comedy and the interview skills, but I actually think he’s really well suited for it.”
Born James Thomas Fallon in Brooklyn to Jim and Gloria, the actor-comedian was raised in the upstate New York town Saugerties with his older sister Gloria.
Conan O’Brien made his Irish heritage a regular topic of discussion and a fair amount of mockery on his show Late Night. In one episode the Massachusetts native traveled to Co. Kerry in search of his Irish roots. In 2008, he was honored by The American Ireland Fund Young Leaders at a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in New York.
On his switch to the earlier time slot and the new L.A.-based set, O’Brien told USA Today, “I physically don’t belong in L.A. I’m not genetically engineered to live that close to the Mexican border…You can’t do something like that and not change the DNA a little bit.”
As Fallon prepared to debut as host he found Conan O’Brien, in his dressing room, still packing up. “I’m about to start my first show,” Fallon told him eagerly. “Oh, is that tonight?” O'Brien replied. “I was gonna TiVo it, or something.”
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