Jimmy Fallon said if it wasn’t for his wife, Nancy Juvonen, the home editions of “The Tonight Show” wouldn’t be happening.
“My wife [Juvonen] is the brains behind this whole thing,” the 45-year-old talk show host shared with People magazine in a piece published Wednesday. (RELATED: Pearl Jam Postpones North American Tour Over Growing Coronavirus Concerns)
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“She’s the production scout, the producer, the lighting person, the editor, the director,” he added. “I could not do any of this without my wife. She is everything.” (RELATED: Here Are The Members Of Congress Self-Quarantining After Meeting Person With Coronavirus At CPAC)
Fallon then shared just how the whole idea to try and do the show from home came about after NBC decided to halt production due to the pandemic and he once again credited his wife.
“It was such an odd day,” the host recalled. “People in the office were freaked out, and we said, ‘Look, if anyone is scared, go home. Be with your family.’ And we left right after that.”
And he said it was while he was at home with his wife and two little girls, Winnie, 6, and Franny, 5, that Nancy suggested it.
“She goes, ‘You have to do something, right?'” Fallon shared. “And I go, ‘I do. Right?’ There was no plan but I was like, ‘Well, I have to do something.'”
“When 9/11 happened, it was such an odd and scary time, and I turned to the late-night guys, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno and David Letterman,” Jimmy explained. “Letterman had a really great line that the best thing we could do is be courageous, but sometimes even pretending to be courageous was just as good. I always liked that.”
Inspired by what those late-night hosts did after 9/11, the NBC host said he made some calls and they put together a plan to get the show back on the air from his home with a YouTube version that had a lot less of the production value, but that could make people laugh during the pandemic.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to go with your instincts,” Fallon said. “We all need some funny right now.”
According to the report:
After taking just one day off, Fallon relaunched the at home edition on YouTube, featuring an interview with the family’s dog, Gary. People loved it, and soon celebrities started calling into the show via Zoom. NBC quickly moved to broadcast Fallon’s homespun version of the show, bringing in corporate donors to match the money raised by spotlighting different charities each night. They raised $55,000 the very first night; the donations now total in the millions.
“There was no real structure,” he added. “And now all of a sudden here we are, and we’re raising all this money to help people out. It’s been really rewarding.”