Jimmy Fallon may be a seasoned talk show veteran, but the former Late Night host admits he’s nervous about his first time hosting The Tonight Show. Fallon officially takes over the late night franchise tonight, kicking off a star-studded week of guests, including Lady Gaga, Jerry Seinfeld, Bradley Cooper, First Lady Michalle Obama and Justin Timberlake, who’ll be the sole guest this Friday.
Jimmy tells Ryan Seacrest nerves didn’t really hit him until he saw an NBC promo featuring predecessors Jay Leno, Johnny Carson and the other funnymen to have helmed the long-running program.
“I’m freaking out right now…When they showed me that…you see all the other hosts that come before and that’s when it kind of kicked in. Like, this is real. Those guys are legends, just to be on the list it doesn’t make any sense to me…I get goose bumps…it’s getting so real now that it’s actually happening.”
Monday night will also mark the first time The Tonight Show has broadcast from New York City in more than four decades. Without divulging any spoilers, Jimmy told Ryan to expect something special to happen during inauguration week.
“We might do a fun special thing with the first lady and Will Ferrell.”
Jimmy plans to keep the star power coming next week, with NBC announcing a lineup of stars ranging from former SNL cohorts Fred Armisen and Adam Sandler to Mike Tyson.
Feb. 24: Reese Witherspoon, Fred Armisen and Rick Ross, who’ll perform with The Roots
Feb. 25: Paul Rudd and Shaquille O’Neal
Feb. 26: Drew Barrymore, Adam Sandler and musical guest Dierks Bentley
Feb. 27: Denzel Washington
Feb. 28: Cameron Diaz and Mike Tyson