‘The Tonight Show’ kicks off with Jimmy Fallon in New York

Katie Callahan Contributor
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For his “Tonight Show” debut, Jimmy Fallon got by with a little help from his friends.

A procession of celebrities paid him $100 for the lost bet that he would never host the show.

A-listers who handed him cash included Robert DeNiro, Tina Fey, Joe Namath, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Mariah Carey, pregnant-looking Tracy Morgan, Joan Rivers, Kim Kardashian, Seth Rogen, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mike Tyson and Lady Gaga.

Finally, Stephen Colbert dumped a bucket of pennies on Fallon and yelled, “Welcome to the 11:30, bitch!”

Fallon was “visibly nervous,” according to the New York Daily News, and started the show by thanking his predecessors and introducing himself to viewers.

“Welcome to ‘The Tonight Show.’ This is the first ‘Tonight Show broadcast from New York in over 40 years. Welcome. I’m Jimmy Fallon, and I’ll be your host … for now,” Fallon said.

Will Smith and Fallon presented the “Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing” breaking out such popular moves as the running man, the robot, the MC Hammer, the making it rain, the stanky legg, the dougie and the twerk.

U2 also performed on the rooftop of the Rockefeller Center.

Some of his punch lines the New York Daily News highlighted are:

    “I don’t know how I got here. I had a great childhood. If you had asked me if I’d graduate high school, get on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ host ‘Late Night’ and then go on to host ‘Tonight,’ I would have said, ‘I graduated high school?'”

    “The U.S. men’s hockey team beat the Russians. The American team said they’re thrilled. The Russian team is missing. They take them to a different kind of shootout.”

    “My man Bob Costas returned to host the Olympics tonight. He was suffering from a case of pinkeye in both eyes. You can tell he was having trouble last week when he spent half an hour interviewing a mop he thought was Shaun White.”