Saturday Night Live has been home many great catchphrases. Memorable punchlines like “I’m Chevy Chase, and you’re not,” “more cowbell,” and “you like-a the juice” made the show a cultural institution and an indelible part of the American lexicon. But perhaps SNL’s most endearing catchphrase comes from famed funnyman Jimmy Fallon. Now the host of The Tonight Show, audiences can still enjoy his most famous expression: “Hahahaha.” Funnily enough, Fallon’s signature phrase was almost always improvised. In a recent chat with Interview, he claims he “never did it on purpose.”
“I never did it on purpose, and I always felt bad if I did, but I tried my hardest not to,” Fallon said before blaming his co-workers for his outbursts. “People started knowing that I was an easy laugh, so Will Ferrell or Molly Shannon would go out of their way to make me laugh. We were playing, and I was just having a good time. There’s probably a bunch of sketches where I laughed that no one talks about, but there’s a few that got famous.”
And what kind of advice does Fallon have for the clowns of tomorrow: Stop laughing on stage. “I think you should not break,“ he said, offering no further explanation as to why they shouldn’t. Future funny people will look to him as an example and see his artistic stamp on the rest of his work. On The Tonight Show, he regularly puts his non-forced laughter to the test by yucking it up with Paris Hilton over their latest NFT purchases. This must be a “do as I say, not as I do” situation.
He offered some advice to aspiring comedians, though. If Mick Jagger wants to appear on SNL, try pitching something that’s been done “a million times” and goes against your boss’ wishes. Ahead of Jagger’s guest turn, Fallon said he suggested a bit “where I play Mick in a mirror.” It didn’t go over with his comedy overlord Lorne Michaels, who informed him, “That sketch has been done a million times. Groucho Marx did it, Lucille Ball did it. It’s just been done.”
Nevertheless, after pitching Jagger a “million ideas,” Fallon tossed out a clever one. “What about, you’re in the mirror, and I’m on the other side as you.” The rest is history. Jagger said, “Hey, that’s a funny idea,” and the sketch “destroyed.” See that? No laughing necessary. Well, unless you’re Mick. Mick can crack a couple of smirks.
Mick is Pointing, Pointing, Pointing at Himself - SNL
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