It was a big night for Steve Irwin’s family, who made the trek from Australia to NYC so that Robert — Bindi’s little brother! — could make his debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The 13-year-old animal lover gave us major flashbacks to his dad — who died 10 years ago — as he handled snakes, sloths, and armadillos with what can only be described as an inherited passion.
“It’s so cool to see you like this,” host Fallon said to the teen, who works with his sister and mom, Terri, at their family’s Australia Zoo in Queensland. “You are your dad.”
Robert, who shares a lot of Steve’s mannerisms (as you’ll see in the video above), was a charmer — and not just with the giant snake that scared the life out of Fallon. He later posted a photo of his dad with Leno next to a new shot of him with Fallon.
“It was such an honour to be on the @fallontonight show and follow in my dad’s footsteps,” he wrote. “So much fun doing the show with @jimmyfallon. He is an amazingly kind person and a true Wildlife Warrior!”
Robert’s famous sis, who was accompanied by her boyfriend Chandler Powell, shared the photo with this sweet caption: “Tears in my eyes. So proud of @robertirwinphotography. You are more and more like Dad every day. I’m forever thankful to be your sister.”
The photo gave mom Terri “déjà vu,” she wrote on Twitter,
Bindi also shared a photo of the group in the green room.
And here is Robert outside his dressing room, hamming it up like his dad once did.
Later this year will mark 11 years since Steve died after being stabbed in the chest by a stingray while filming a documentary. While Robert was a toddler when he died, his dad had him immediately mixing with wildlife as soon as he was born. (You may remember the controversy.)
While it remains to be seen if Robert has the dance skills his sister possesses — she won Dancing With the Stars Season 21 in 2015 — he is a budding photographer, and you can see many of his beautiful shots of animals on Instagram. He also stars on his own channel on Australia Zoo TV, co-hosted the Discovery Kids Channel TV series Wild But True, co-created the book series Robert Irwin: Dinosaur Hunter, and made a cameo in the 2009 film Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove. His dad must be proud.
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