The Literary Life of Jimmy Fallon

Posted by Rose Moore

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Comedian and talk show host Jimmy Fallon has taken over late night television with his hilarious interviews and celebrity games and parodies… he’s even seen one of the most popular segments of his show (Lip Sync Battle) turned into a TV series all of its own! But he’s so much more than silly sketches and celebrities singing to other peoples’ songs – this father, impressionist and funnyman has also got a bookwormish bent. From interviewing authors and the stars of big screen book adaptations, to reviewing bad books and launching his own book club, Jimmy Fallon’s late night musings can be surprisingly literary… and we’ve got all the best bookish moments for you to enjoy!


Jimmy Fallon And Trump Tell-Alls

Unsurprisingly, Jimmy Fallon gets plenty of material out of the presidency, especially when it comes to tell-alls and memoirs that are already being released by people who have been part of Donald Trump’s politics. In only the past couple of months, there have been two books released that have gained a mention on the show; Omarosa’s Unhinged and Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump In The White House. Unhinged got its mention during Fallon’s "Trump News Network" skit…and was obliquely referenced again when Fallon covered Fear, saying “it’s expected to be a number one bestseller until another tell-all book about Trump comes out tomorrow."



Harry Potter And The Late Night Talk Show Appearance

As well as mentioning books in his show, Jimmy Fallon also loves to host celebrities who are known for their connections to movies based on books — including, of course, Daniel Radcliffe. The actor got his big break as the child star of Harry Potter, and he’s appeared on Jimmy Fallon multiple times since those movies came out. He’s performed the Alphabet Aerobics rap, he’s played Water War with the host, and most recently, he’s reacted to memes of himself as Harry Potter! He’s not the only Harry Potter star to appear on the show, either. Emma Watson has been in the Fallon chair (and mistaken him for Jimmy Kimmel!), and Simon Pegg has also appeared on the show AS Ron Weasley, drunkenly singing Happy Birthday to Harry Potter.



The Newest Celebrity Book Club

This summer, Jimmy Fallon announced that he would be adding a book club segment to the show: Tonight Show Summer Reads. He claims that he simply didn’t have anything to read for summer, and that’s how this started, but it’s also a great opportunity for the host to interview authors of popular novels, like the first book club summer read the audience picked, Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. Adeyemi’s interview on the show covered everything from the experience of writing a bestseller at the tender age of 25, to the importance of diversity and representation in reading.



Do Not Read

As well as recommending books with his new book club, Jimmy Fallon also spends some time telling people what not to read. This segment scours libraries and online booksellers to find the most ridiculous books possible, including cookbooks containing tongue stew recipes, ridiculous pen names and titles, and truly hilarious concepts. It’s not likely anyone would pick these books up and expect a great read, but watching Jimmy announce them is absolutely hilarious.



Reading with Kids

Fallon is a father, as well as a comedian and host, and that experience is one that has inspired him to start writing children’s books — although adults will find them as amusing as the kids do! His first children’s book was Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada, followed up by Everything Is Mama, sweet books for toddlers that parents love. He’s also chatted to other children’s book athors on the show, like Savannah Guthrie, who wrote Princesses Wear Pants.



Thank You, And Goodnight

Finally, in addition to his children’s books, Fallon has released a book for adults based off another popular segment of the show: Thank You Notes. This is a weekly bit where Fallon uses gratitude to poke fun at anything and everything, from thanking end zone dances for letting him see what players would look like drunk at a wedding, to thanking guacamole, pull out couches, and more. Now, some of his best thank you notes and new ones have been complied in the perfect little coffee table comedy tome.


What are your favorite bookish moments on Fallon? Let us know on Twitter @quirkbooks!