Jimmy Fallon has announced the first guest when he takes the “Tonight Show” helm will be Will Smith.
The musical guest will be U2.
After “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” panel at the Television Critics Association Winter Tour on Sunday, Jimmy explained to AccessHollywood.com why he picked Will as his first guest.
“He’s a big Hollywood star and he always brings it every time he goes on a talk show and I just think he always — he’s very entertaining and I think it’s a good mix with him and U2,” Jimmy told Access.
“The Tonight Show” time slot has always been a place where troubled celebrities have gone to clear the air. Jimmy believes he can continue to stay competitive in recruiting the big get of a star who wants to clean up their reputation.
“We have that now, and I always leave it open to anyone,” Jimmy told Access after the panel, during a scrum with reporters. “Whoever comes on my show, I’ll make you look good. That’s my job, that’s what I will do. If you want to set the record straight, we can do that too, but my job is to make you look good and I’ve done that in the past.
“We had Tiger [Woods] on the show and we went down through all the double entendres — golf and sex — without making one dirty joke and it made him laugh at himself and no one was allowed to make jokes like that anymore. I’m talking about balls, holes, strokes, foursomes, you can add to the list, but it was fun, and that’s our thing — to make it fun. And, it’s a big job to do, I understand that, but it’s kind of exciting,” he added.
Earlier, during the TCA session, when Access asked Jimmy about entering the “Tonight Show” chair at 39, and if he would be prepared to stay there until his 60s (Jay Leno and Johnny Carson were both in their 60s when they exited the show), the host said he could.
“I’m 39 now. Sure. I could stay. I mean, yeah if I’m lucky enough I’d love to stay that long. It’s crazy to think that way. … We were just having a good time [on ‘Late Night’] and I never knew it would end up [here].”
“I’m gonna play it by ear and keep my head down and just work as hard as I can and see how well that gets me,” he added.
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” premieres February 17 on NBC.
-- Jolie Lash