- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Fallon, as the night’s host, kicked off the event — or as he jokingly called it, “the museum’s tax write-off” — with a monologue in which he performed holiday songs in the styles of singers like Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie.
Beneath the giant blue whale in the museum’s Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, guests were treated to a three-course meal and partook in an auction that helped raise more than $2.5 million for the Museum of Natural History’s educational and scientific programs. Guests bid on items including four SNL tickets with an invite to the show’s exclusive after-party, which went for $45,000, as well as four tickets to a live taping of The Tonight Show, given to two individual groups for $30,000 each.
The night is often filled with SNL castmembers, who attend in support of their boss, museum chair Lorne Michaels and get a chance to dress up and have some fun before the show on Saturday. Kenan Thompson, who hosted the gala last year, said he enjoys going to the event to give those who need an opportunity to visit the museum with the funds raised every year.
“I don’t know how many people really realize how many people don’t get a chance to come to the Natural History Museum because it’s been so long and it’s always open and it seems like an easy thing to do,” Thompson told The Hollywood Reporter. “But not everything is easy for everybody.”
Carlile served as the night’s special performer with a setlist featuring some of her biggest songs, like “The Story,” “Broken Horses” and “You and Me on the Rock,” for which Martin joined her onstage with his banjo.
“The museum is really, really important to our family because I have two daughters, and they’re both really, really, really interested in science,” Carlile told THR about why she wanted to be a part of the gala. “Supporting the museum is a vote of confidence in science and that’s really important in this day and age. It’s so important to my girls and I love when I can do anything to make them proud.”
And while Fallon put on his own performance, with renditions of other musicians’ holiday songs during his gala monologue, the late-night host recently released one of his own — with Dolly Parton. On Oct. 31, Fallon and Parton dropped “Almost Too Early For Christmas,” which quickly climbed to the No. 1 song on the holiday charts.
Fallon came up with the song when he was thinking about the debate people often have about when it’s too early to begin celebrating Christmas. He wrote the song and played it for Parton, who loved it.
“She threw her harmony down [in like two days],” he told THR. “It took me three months, but you know, she’s Dolly Parton, and I’m Jimmy Fallon. Then, we released it, and when you release a Christmas song during Halloween, it went to No. 1 on the holiday charts, which is hilarious. No one else releases a song that early. It doesn’t really make sense, but I have a No. 1 song with Dolly Parton. I can say that.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day