Jimmy Fallon's Star Is Rising

Google's Lars Rasmussen demonstrated Wave for the first time in May and is now focused on stamping out the bugs.
James Martin/CNET News
Jimmy Fallon is latest to tread on the "Saturday Night Live" path from ensemble player to comic celebrity.

Fallon, who will host Thursday's MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, is following in the footsteps of such stars as John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Adam Sandler and Mike Meyers.

SNL viewers may recognize his impressions of John Lennon, Marilyn Manson, Richard Simmons, Howard Stern and Steven Tyler, and moviegoers will remember him as the shaggy-haired manager in the Cameron Crowe's homage to 1970s rock, "Almost Famous."

It's heady stuff for the boy born in Brooklyn and raised in Saugerties, N.Y. Even Fallon himself has expressed amazement at how soon he was able to live his boyhood dream of joining the SNL cast.

After dropping out of the College of Saint Rose in Albany, in 1996, just a
semester shy of graduation, Fallon headed to Los Angeles and trained with The Groundlings, an improvisational theater company. He made his TV debut in a guest role on the ABC series "Spin City."

Soon, he was making appearances on "Saturday Night Live." He became a regular cast member in the 1999-2000 season, and also took on co-anchoring duties for the "Weekend Update" segment.

The comic is also dabbling in music. Fallon released "The Bathroom Wall" CD this week. It has been described as a mix of eclectic musical recordings and standup comedy.

He says this marriage of comedy and music evolved on the third SNL show he did." He did an impression of Adam Sandler on "Celebrity Jeopardy," and on "Weekend Update With Colin Quinn," he did another musical parody. Fallon said some people at DreamWorks saw that and "said, 'Oh man, this guy is going to make a record.' So they called my manager and they set up the album."
Fast Facts About Jimmy Fallon

  • James Fallon was borin in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Sept.19, 1974.
  • Fallon moved with family from Brooklyn to Saugerties, N.Y., as a child.
  • He attended College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y. Fallon left in spring 1996 to pursue comedy career.
  • From 1996 to 1998, Fallon trained with The Groundlings, Los Angeles' famed comic theater company.
  • Fallon joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC) as a featured player in 1998.
  • He was promoted to regular cast member in 1999.
  • In 2000, Fallon made his feature acting debut in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous", playing manager Dennis Hope.
  • Along with "SNL" writer Tina Fey, Fallon co-anchored the series' news segment "Weekend Update"