Jimmy Fallon Reveals Lorne Michaels' Dating, Career Advice
The future "Tonight Show" host also discusses his lost years pursuing movies in L.A. and what viewers can expect when he takes over for Jay Leno.
When Jimmy Fallon left Saturday Night Live in 2004, he moved to L.A. to star in movies. But he ended up making forgettable fare like Fever Pitch, and the talk-show host tells Vanity Fair that he now considers that time to be somewhat of a lost period.
"I was probably drinking more than I should have been drinking," he says. "It wasn't, like, sitting and watching old tapes of me on SNL, with the screen flickering in front of me. But I was like: 'I can't figure out what I want to do.'"
Fallon eventually returned to New York to host NBC's Late Night and is now set to take over for Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show on Feb. 17.
It was SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels who suggested to Fallon that he host Late Night, just one of many bits of career -- and life -- advice he's provided for the former SNL star.
"Lorne helped me with everything -- with relationships, with me getting famous," Fallon tells Vanity Fair. "I was going through certain steps, and there were certain things I couldn't talk to my dad about, because he wouldn't know. Like 'I have money now. Do I still rent? Do I buy an apartment?' Or 'I'm in L.A., and I have to rent a car.' [Imitates Michaels] 'You should get a Lexus, because you want to be quiet.' Or 'Should I date this actress?' [Imitates Michaels] 'You can date her, but you probably shouldn't marry her.' And he'd be totally right."
As for what viewers can expect from his Tonight Show, Fallon says that it won't be too different from Late Night.
"It's still going to be the same show," he tells Vanity Fair. "What I can tell you is it will be the best of what we do."
The magazine also spoke with Fallon's former co-star Tina Fey, who said that he and Kristen Wiig were the only two people she saw audition who were completely ready to be on the show, as if they had to go on the same night as their audition.
The full Vanity Fair cover story is available to subscribers here.