Jimmy Fallon Brings Love of Gaming From SNL To Late Night

Illustration for article titled Jimmy Fallon Brings Love of Gaming From SNL To Late Night

Tonight on his NBC late night show, Jimmy Fallon will talk video games with Microsoft. It won't be the first time that gaming has cropped up on the show, and Fallon promises it won't be the last either.


"We are treating game openings like movie openings if they're cool," he told Kotaku. "Video games are interesting, I think it's something a lot of people do now.

"It's entertaining and it gets your mind off things like my life sucks, or I have to pay the bills. It's almost like meditation for me."

And Fallon's not just tapping into a hobby that he thinks he viewers might find interesting, he's a life-long gamer himself.

"I'm 34, so I think I grew up in that generation where video games were always a part of my life," he said. "Getting an Atari 2600 was a huge deal for me, I think I had that before I had cable."

The next big thing for Fallon was Nintendo and Super Mario Bros. an experience that made him a stalwart fan of Nintendo and their consoles. Nowadays he owns all of the gaming systems, including a modded PSP that he rarely touches and an iPhone, but rarely has the time to play on them.

He says that they have all of the consoles at the studio, but people rarely have the time to use them and when he's home he tends to spend his down time with his wife.


Fallon says he just landed a copy of Ghostbusters, but asked me how it was because he hadn't had a chance yet to check it out. (I haven't either.)

Growing up, Fallon said he never really stopped playing games. When he was at Saturday Night Live he was one of the people who helped get pieces on video gaming into the weekly show.


"I shared my office with Horatio (Sanz) and we had an Xbox," he said. "You're up so late at Saturday Night Live, it's kind of like a dorm vibe."

And out of that came several funny skits.

On Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the crew doesn't really have time to play games, but Fallon still thinks incorporating gaming into the show is important.


Fallon played Punch Out!!! on the Wii on his show earlier in the year, and last week sent a correspondent to E3, SNL's Jason Sudeikis. Tonight he will have Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda on to talk about Project Natal, something Fallon had heard about but hasn't seen.

He said he didn't want to know much about the system before tonight's show so that he could see what someone new to the idea can do with it.


And Fallon isn't gun shy about having game developers and producers on his show either. He recently invited Double Fine's Tim Schafer to come on the show with Jack Black to talk about their collaboration on Brutal Legend.

That flies in the face of the argument that game developers may not be as entertaining on a talk show as a musician or an actor.


"I think it's all about how interested you are in talking to these people," Fallon said. "There are some really famous celebrities out there that aren't that exciting.

Tsunoda says he happy to see video games getting so much time on Fallon's show.

"I am really excited to be able to show him the Project Natal technology and how it works," Tsunoda told Kotaku. "We have been working on this project for so long in secret, it's awesome to finally be able to show it off. Hopefully, we can bring that same spirit of fun we had during E3 to the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show."


And what about showing the people at home what the bottom of an avatar's shoe looks like?


"That was something totally improvised," Tsunoda said. "I'm not even sure what possessed me to do that at the time. I'm sure something just as fun will happen tonight on the show."

You can catch Fallon and Tsunoda on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC tonight.


Brian Crecente

I'm on the line about the show. You can tell it's still suffering growing pains 60 or so shows in. I'd like to think he'll do better as it goes on.

When we were talking he mentioned how much more work it was to do the night show compared to SNL, which is weekly.

It's like doing a full week's worth of SNL every day, he said.