The talk show host didn’t have an easy journey to get where he is today, but he always knew he wanted to be in comedy.
Fallon covers Esquire magazine and talked to the publication about how he nearly became a mailman because his parents were worried about his future.
“My parents made me take the postal exam. That’s how much they believed in my comedy,” he said. Although he was doing standup comedy all throughout college, Jimmy says being a mailman may have been his safety net.
“I thought a mailman would be a great gig. ‘Oh my gosh, you get to wear shorts’—that’s your uniform. It’s insane. Driving a special vehicle, the steering wheel’s on the other side? What is this?”
Years later, after leaving college a week before graduation to pursue his dream in comedy, things have obviously worked out for Fallon. Even with some tough new competition in the late night scene: Stephen Colbert.
When Esquire asked if Jimmy was feeling any pressure, he said no. “That’s the way Colbert will succeed— by being him. He’s not Letterman and I’m not Leno,” he said. “No one’s the new anyone. He’s him, I’m me. Don’t even compare us— to anybody. I’m me. He’s him. Like, that’s the way it is. We’re totally ourselves. And that’s the only way you’re going to succeed. You have to be yourself, or else you can tell that it’s ungenuine.”
Jimmy goes on to say he’s confident in what he does, and the Tonight Show is home to him. “This is my Madison Square Garden. This is my home court, I’m comfortable here— this is where I play the best. I’ve learned from the best coaches and played with the best players. And I’m not worried. I play to win.”