Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers recently revealed that Lorne Michaels, the creator of “Saturday Night Live,” played a crucial role in helping them land their late-night talk show gigs. It turns out that NBC initially had doubts about both Fallon and Meyers as potential hosts for their respective shows.
Fallon, who hosted “Late Night” from 2009 to 2014, shared his story on a recent episode of the “Strike Force Five” podcast. He explained that he was considering a film career after leaving “SNL” when Michaels suggested the idea of hosting a talk show. At first, Fallon wasn’t sure about the idea and told Michaels to ask him again in six years if he was still interested.
Sure enough, six years later, Michaels approached Fallon once again. This time, Fallon’s wife encouraged him to take the job, emphasizing that he would become only the third person to ever host “Late Night” after David Letterman and Conan O’Brien. Despite NBC’s initial reservations, Fallon agreed to do the show.
Fallon recounted his conversation with Michaels, saying that the network wasn’t particularly interested in him at the time. However, Michaels was determined to make it happen and went to bat for Fallon. He told NBC that they either had to do the show with Fallon or he would not be involved. Michaels’ endorsement ultimately changed Fallon’s life.
Seth Meyers, the current host of “Late Night,” also had Michaels’ support when he was offered the job. Meyers shared in an interview that a New York Post article had suggested he was in the running for the position, which prompted Michaels to call him. Meyers explained that talking to Michaels often felt like a follow-up call to a conversation that never happened. Michaels assured Meyers that he believed in him and that he would do well in the role. Michaels also mentioned that Fallon would serve as a lead-in to “Late Night.”
Both Fallon and Meyers are grateful for Michaels’ guidance and believe that his endorsement played a significant role in them securing their talk show hosting gigs. Despite initial doubts from the network, Michaels’ support and belief in their abilities helped pave the way for their successful careers in late-night television.
It’s fascinating to learn about the behind-the-scenes efforts and influential figures that played a part in shaping the careers of Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. Lorne Michaels’ belief in both of these talented comedians ultimately led to the creation of two beloved late-night talk shows.