Nov 27, 2013 View All News

Fallon and Colbert, Unplugged and Wired


True or false? Jimmy Fallon did the following during his bro-mantic appearance with Stephen Colbert at NJPAC:

a) Revealed that it’s bad luck to eat the last slice of pizza
b) Impersonated Rodney Dangerfield. Twice
c) Harmonized on the national anthem
d) Played the guitar as Jim Morrison of The Doors, singing the theme from Reading Rainbow
e) Was at the receiving end of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

Hilariously, all true. In a packed-to-the-rafters fundraiser for the Montclair Film Festival, the comedian and late-night TV host traded seats with Comedy Central’s ain’t-he-cute conservative pundit. Jimmy Fallon in Conversation with Stephen Colbert was, in reality, Fallon being interviewed by Colbert – a conduit for dueling riffs on topics ranging from child-raising to hell-raising.

The two-hour event in Prudential Hall was preceded by a video retrospective of the pair’s volley of interactions between the desks of The Colbert Report and NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In a running gag, the two became BFFs for six months – when that grew stale, they morphed into sworn “eternal enemies.”

Presumably now frenemies, Fallon and Colbert (or is it Colbert and Fallon?) shared anecdotes about career, family, church and state with audience members, who were eager to hear their questions turned into springboards for impromptu banter. Jokes were detonated like champagne corks at a French bachelor party.

A dutiful son from Saugerties, N.Y. – who calls his mom every day – Fallon is preparing for his February move to The Tonight Show by practicing longer monologues. He recalled being nervous over his debut appearance on Late Show with David Letterman, so he hired a stylist on the advice of a friend. When he showed up on set wearing an expensive Marc Jacobs T-shirt and $300 designer jeans, Letterman took one look and retorted, “Hey, thanks for dressing up!”

After careening down memory lane (the schmooze included a verbal smackdown over who was the holier altar boy), the equally important headliners took questions from the audience. Here’s one: When did you first realize that you had become famous?

Fallon, a former cast member of Saturday Night Live, said it was when he first heard announcer Don Pardo bellow his name over the credits. (“His voice was so iconic!”) Colbert, a Jersey resident, said it was when he went to the local nursery to buy mulch and got extraordinary service from the help.

Nov. 27, 2013