Jimmy Fallon: Having too much fun to cry

Jimmy Fallon offers some bowling tips to CBS News correspondent Russ Mitchell. CBS

We got to know him on Saturday nights as one of the headliners on "Saturday Night Live." But these days you can see Jimmy Fallon Monday through Friday on his own late night TV show. Here's Russ Mitchell with a Sunday Morning Profile:


Jimmy Fallon showed us backstage: "Right before I go on the show, I come in here, look in this mirror, and make sure my hair piece is on right. Looks like real hair!" he laughed.

"You see the spotlight hit the curtain, from the outside. You get announced, like Jimmy Fallon!' And the curtain opens. And then you just walk out to the monologue mark.

"And that's when you get nervous," he said. "That's when it's, like, 'Oh my gosh, is it good? Is it gonna be good? Is it gonna be - who knows what it's gonna be?'"

Jimmy Fallon is having way too much fun. When he's not singing with Justin Timberlake or Paul McCartney, he's playing "Password" with Betty White.

"People watch our show, and they fall asleep, to me," he said. "So that's a good feeling, to know, like, 'Hey, you don't have to worry about anything. I'm gonna make a joke. You don't have to do any work!' I want you to go the bed with a smile on your face - and go to sleep."

"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" broadcasts from historic Studio 6B in Rockefeller Center, former home to Milton Berle, Jack Paar, and the king of late night: The studio where Johnny Carson did the first ten years of his "Tonight Show" run.

"So Johnny was there, on that monologue mark, there," Fallon explained.

Click on the video player below for a behind-the-scenes tour by Fallon of his "Late Night" studio.

Rockefeller Center has always been Mecca for Fallon. He grew up two hours away, in upstate New York.

When he wasn't playing the guitar, he was watching a certain TV show.

"Is it fair to say you were obsessed with 'Saturday Night Live' as a kid?" Mitchell asked.

"That's very fair to say, yeah," he laughed. "I was obsessed with it.I used to get paper plates and fall down my steps of my childhood home, and then say, 'Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!' You know? I'd do it all over and over again."

He would tape record "SNL," then lip-synch routines by Richard Pryor and Steve Martin.

"My sister and I would do, 'We are two wild and crazy guys!'" he said. "And we would just do a sketch in front of our grandparents. And be like, 'We have to go to Statue of Liberty, to get birth control devices' - you know, not knowing, what is that? I thought it was a remote control device!"

"Yeah, what did your grandparents think about that?" Mitchell asked.

"They almost walked out, I mean, that was probably my first walk out," he laughed. "They did not appreciate that humor."

But his mother DID appreciate it. She convinced him to enter a comedy contest at a local club at the age of 17. He won.

"It was the craziest thing: I ended up winning the contest. And I think the prize was, like, $700 or something. I just made $700 in two minutes? Like, this is my career! This is the best!"

Click on the video player below for some musical impressions by Fallon.

He honed his standup act, and then came his big chance: A personal audition with "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels. But the SNL staff warned him ...

"They said, 'Well, just to let you know, Lorne doesn't laugh at everything. So don't feel bad if he doesn't laugh at your stuff.' So, no problem.

"And I went, and I got my makeup on. The guy put my makeup, he goes, 'Jimmy, good luck. I just want to let you know, Lorne doesn't laugh at these things, a lot of the times. So don't be thrown if he doesn't laugh.' I go, 'Okay. I just heard that. But yeah, okay.' So then the audio guy came and put his microphone on me, and he put the microphone on, and he goes, 'Jimmy, I just want to let you know, you know, Lorne doesn't laugh.' I go, 'What is this guy's problem? This guy doesn't laugh at anything? He's [runs a] comedy show. He's in the wrong business! What is this guy's deal?'

"So I go, and I do my audition, and I did the celebrity walk-a-thon, and I get through Seinfeld and Bill Cosby. And I get to the end, and I finish with Adam Sandler. No one had an impression of Sandler that they were doing.

"And I remember Lorne started laughing, and he started laughing, and he put his head in his hand. And he was, like - he was laughing! And that's why the rest was slow motion."

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