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Inspired by children
January 03, 2018
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On the first snowy day in December in East Hampton, people were buzzing about more than just the snow: Jimmy Fallon was in town for a book-signing event for his latest book, “Everything is Mama.” The long line of people wrapping around Book Hampton on Main Street past Starbucks was filled with people of all ages who were excited to meet Jimmy in person. Not even the cold and slushy snow could keep them away.

We were lucky enough to meet this father, comedian, author, and “Tonight Show” host before he began the signing. We were giddy and thrilled to be able to step past the crowd gathering outside to meet Jimmy in person. We were even more thrilled when Jimmy gave long, heartfelt answers to all our questions.

When asked about how he started writing children’s books, Jimmy explained how it came from his experience being a father to his two daughters. He said he wanted to give something to his kids that he could read to them at night since he reads his girls about three books a night when he can. He told us he wrote short books to make the nighttime ritual easier. He also joked about how he wanted his daughters to say “dada” first, which was how his first book, “Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada” came to be.

His second book “Everything is Mama” naturally came next since it is the word that quickly replaces Dada. He shared with us how the words in his books came from his own appreciation for things like sloths (who don’t get enough love in books) and Ramen noodles (which he and his girls love). He even flipped through a copy of the book, giving us a glimpse of how cool it must be to have him as a dad reading books at bedtime to his daughters.

One of us asked him how he feels being recognized wherever he goes. His answer surprised us. He said he enjoys it very much because he went into comedy years earlier because he loves to brighten up someone’s day. He talked about how great it is that the “Tonight Show” has been able to reach people worldwide, and he mentioned how he wished former “Tonight Show” hosts Johnny Carson and Steve Allen could see how big the “Tonight Show” had become.

Jimmy Fallon then went on to throw in a story. He said that he met a fan once and spent 20 minutes talking and taking pictures with her after she thanked him for helping her through a tough time in her life. Walking away, he heard her tell someone how she’d just met Jimmy Kimmel! He told us that he reached out to Kimmel to joke that he’d met another one of his fans. We all really laughed at this story.

As middle schoolers ourselves, we had to ask what he was like in school. He said he was pretty cool, and he talked with us about something we could relate to: going to a Catholic school. He talked about wearing the uniform and even wanting to be a priest at one point in his youth. He told us how there was a church right next to his school, and he loved it. He said he went to church three times a week, and he was a “great” altar boy, noting that he was the best at ringing the bells. Jimmy also said he was good at voice impressions in middle school, and even won a contest, which sparked his love of audiences and being on a show. He told us of how he did an impression routine using troll dolls, something that made us all giggle. And much to our surprise and joy, he even did a couple of impressions for us of Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler.

Of course, we had to ask him about “The Tonight Show,” which we all love. One of us asked him if the games on his show were rigged. He told us they’re not, and if you agree to play, anything goes. He’d even dump Gatorade on the Queen of England if she played Cooler Heads with him and lost. Then, he shared a photo of a recent game antics which involved getting hot sauce poured on his head. Even though he clearly suffered some pain from that game, he still laughed at the experience.

Christian Allan, Daniella Dratch, Juliette Kearns and Ava Zeledon/Tribune News Service
 

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