Fallon: John Spellman/Retna
October 25, 2000 at 12:00 PM EDT

Saturday Night Live

TV Show
run date
Lorne Michaels
Current Status
Off Air

”Saturday Night Live”’s Jimmy Fallon has had to make some major life alterations since taking over the Weekend Update anchor desk with head writer Tina Fey. And it goes far beyond just learning how to pronounce Slobodan Milosevic and finding Yemen on a map: It’s been a MAJOR wardrobe upset. ”I’m wearing a suit,” he tells EW.com. ”I haven’t worn a suit since the prom.”

Sartorial issues aside, Fallon — a third-season cast member best known for his song parodies and his condescending tech support character, Nick Burns — is devoting most of his time to keeping up on current events, a difficult task considering he confesses to having only a passing acquaintance with newspapers. ”I don’t even know who anyone is,” he admits. ”I know what Al Gore’s doing, he’s running for president, but that’s about it. Is Ross Perot involved?” Since being appointed to the job a week before the Oct. 7 season premiere, he’s been relying on help to get him through this difficult election season. ”We’ve got some good writers, so I’m gonna count on them to make the jokes,” says Fallon, 26. ”Hopefully I’ll learn along the way who the president is. Right now I know it’s Bill Clinton.”

To paraphrase a past leader, Fallon and Fey have so far been a kinder, gentler anchor team, laughing at each other’s jokes and having none of the point/ counterpoint name calling of ”SNL”’s most notable team, Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin. (Apologies to fans of 1981’s Mary Gross and Brian Doyle-Murray.) However, Fallon sees a passive aggressive rivalry developing between the two friends: ”If a joke bombs, we’re just gonna make fun of [the other person]. We might even ask them to do it again, just because we enjoyed them bombing so much.” As for Fey, she says there won’t be any ”Tina, you ignorant slut”s, although with broadcast standards having relaxed over 25 post Aykroyd years, worse words than that may turn up. ”Now you have to say ‘slut’ when you’re just reporting the news,” says the 30 year old writer/ actress. ”If you’re just talking about presidential impeachment cases, you have to say ‘slut.”’

The new pair may not have inherited the old team’s animosity, but they have been bequeathed Curtin’s signoff line, ”Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow” (a line coined by Chevy Chase in season 1). They’ll continue to use this one until they can come up with one of their own, preferably something really REALLY topical. ”How about, ‘Who wants to be a news- ionnaire?”’ suggests Fallon. ”Is that cool? Or, Yo quiero Taco News? It’s fresh. But we won’t get the dog on, he’s old school. We’re a bit newer than that.”

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