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Fallon opened the show with a revivalist gospel choir singing, “He’s alive!,” with the late night host responding in song with the refrain, “I’m alive!”
He returned to the subject in his monologue. “I don’t know if you guys saw this but for the last 24 hours, #RIPJimmyFallon has been trending on Twitter,” Fallon said. “Even worse, when they heard I died, Ticketmaster kicked me out of line for Taylor Swift tickets,” he joked referring to the recent debacle over Swift tour tickets.
He continued, “Right after it happened, though, I was so touched that NBC immediately called and asked, ‘How can we turn this into another Law & Order?'”
Fallon then talked about his attempts to refute the fake news on social media. “#RIPJimmyFallon was the No. 2 trend on Twitter. I tried everything I could to bump it down. I even tried the hashtag #RIPPEDJimmyFallon. I thought that would maybe help,” he said as he showed a picture of his head superimposed on the body of Ryan Gosling playing Ken in the Barbie movie.
Later, in a segment at his desk, Fallon explained what it was like to see it trend that he had died.
“Interesting night last night for me, to be trending that you died on Twitter,” he began. “It happened to me once before.”
“I died 10 years ago on Twitter, so it wasn’t as traumatic the second time,” he joked, referring to an earlier rumor of his demise.
This time, Fallon said, “I was out to dinner with my wife, we were at a restaurant and my phone was going off,” when he saw the trend and told his wife what happened.
Fallon continued, “Last night I didn’t even know what to say because it’s hard to say, ‘I’m not.'”
But he also joked he didn’t hear from as many people this time as he did after the earlier death rumor: “When I died the first time, 10 years ago, people cared. Lorne [Michaels] texted me. CAA; my agent, he called me first; my parents; my sister; it just bothers everybody. It’s shocking. This time everybody was like, ‘You’re good right?’ And I go, ‘Yeah.’ I didn’t hear anything from Timberlake, nothing. I expect flowers.”
He ended his remarks by urging fans not to worry about him and advised that when he does die, he won’t be on Twitter.
“I’m not going to die. I’m very healthy. I have two little girls. I have a lot to live for. So you don’t have to worry about me. I’m good,” Fallon said. “When I do die, I won’t be checking social media so you don’t need to say anything.”
Stephen Colbert also chimed in on the #RIPJimmyFallon trend on CBS’ The Late Show, telling viewers at the end of his Wednesday night monologue that “Jimmy is alive and well. And I would know. All of us late night hosts are each others’ emergency contacts.”
On Tuesday, the more mischief-making element on Twitter launched #RIPJimmyFallon, with users posting the hashtag often with a picture of someone other than Fallon.
The Tonight Show host tried to combat the fake news and tweeted at Twitter’s CEO Elon Musk for help to take down the hashtag. Fallon tweeted, “Elon, can you fix this? #RIPJimmyFallon.” Musk, who has taken a highly personal approach to content moderation since he took over Twitter, responded to Fallon’s tweet Wednesday morning with, “Fix what?”
Nov. 17, 4:12 p.m. Updated with more comments from Fallon on Wednesday night’s show and comments from Colbert on his Wednesday night show.
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