By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bay Ridge residents had a special reason to watch Jimmy Fallon’s debut as host of “The Tonight Show” on NBC Monday night. Fallon is a native son.
The former star of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live” was born in Bay Ridge, according to the New York Daily News, which reported that the comedian’s family moved to Saugerties, New York. Fallon grew up in that upstate community.
Fallon’s dad, James W. Fallon, is a Vietnam War veteran, according to the comedian’s Wikipedia page.
Both James W. Fallon and his wife, Gloria Fallon, were in the studio audience when their son hosted “The Tonight Show” for the first time on Feb. 17. The younger Fallon introduced his parents and then joked that he had hoped he could get them better seats.
Fallon took over as host of the late night television staple from Jay Leno, who relinquished the crown after serving as host for 22 years.
NBC changed the name of the show to “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.”
There was no mention of Bay Ridge in Fallon's opening monologue, but local fans will keep hoping he'll plug his birthplace.
Fallon’s connection to Bay Ridge lit up the twitter universe on Monday.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) was among those who wished the talk show host good luck. “Congratulations to Bay Ridge-born Jimmy Fallon on his Tonight Show debut! Good luck,” she tweeted.
Bay Ridge resident John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn), expressed pride that a hometown boy had made good. “Good luck to Bay Ridge's own Jimmy Fallon as he starts his tenure as the host of ‘The Tonight Show.’ We will be watching. #bay ridge,” he tweeted.
Brooklyn fans said they were also pleased that the show has moved back to New York City after 42 years. The show, which debuted in 1954, was originally broadcast from New York but moved to sunny California in 1972. Fallon has now brought it back to the Big Apple.