TODAY   |  August 14, 2013

Fallon: Savannah is better guest than Al, Matt

“Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon opened up to TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie about his transition into Jay Leno’s chair as host of the “Tonight Show,” and his uncanny ability to get celebrities to do ridiculous things. He also told her how good a guest she is.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> jimmy fallon is another proud father and now he is getting candid with his relationship with jay leno and his transition to the tonight show .

>> when you grew up the thing you aspire to is snl but it's going to be the tonight show with jimmy fallon .

>> you can't dream about that job.

>> from spending the last four years hosting late night it was announced in april that jimmy fallon would be taking over the reigns of the tonight show last year. it may not have been a surprise to loyal fallon watchers but what was a surprise, the fact that this time the announcement came with no drama.

>> jay leno has been awesome to me. i talked to him all the time since i started. don't think i'm trying to take over. whenever you're ready to go and then he called me one day and he said i think that time is coming and i think you would be great which was very nice. made me feel good.

>> must have meant a lot to you.

>> yeah.

>> i'm sure you care about him as a colleague and a friend.

>> he's amazing. you have to respect the guy. he's been number one for how many years? almost 30 years. the guy is unbelievable. it's kind of a little nerve wracking but exciting to step into his shoes and he kept a franchise going for a long time and i hope i make him proud.

>> and hopefully jimmy will keep doing what he does best, surprising his audience will how silly he can get celebrities to be.

>> you have an amazing knack for getting incredibly famous people to do insanely ridiculous things. how do you do that?

>> i don't know. it's just fun.

>> we've had the first lady come on and do the evolution of mom dancing. i don't know how we talked her into that. but there she was. we had tom hanks doing a poem about full house .

>> house full of men, danny, jesse, joey, father.

>> tell me about the conversation when you called bruce springsteen and said would you be willing to sing whip my hair in the style of neil young .

>> i call, how you doing man, how are you doing? . it's bruce . he talks like that. it's cool. we have this idea for you to do whip my hair but we want to do a version where it's neil young singing it so it's like i whip my hair and back and forth. and then he goes -- [ laughing ] -- he is laughing so much. the phone is vibrating in my hand. he is pitching me dressing up as young bruce . i have the phone i'm in a tunnel bruce . i'm cutting out. you said yes, bye.

>> how are al and matt and guests.

>> awful. awful guests. my favorite is you savannah. you're my favorite guest.

>> would you elaborate anymore on me being a good guest.

>> you smell better than they do.

>> anything else about just me being a good guest?

>> savannah get over it, okay? matt told me to say that just to make you feel good okay? we talked earlier this morning. just make her feel good, will you please?

>> thank you for doing this.

>> no, we can't just end the interview like that in my studio like this. we usually play game with with the guests.

>> oh, okay.

>> rock, paper, scissors, pie.

>> so we'll do rock paper scissors shoot and whoever wins has to click this mechanism and if you lose a pie will come slapping into your face and the winner will laugh and have a great time. thanks for being here.

>> looking forward to it.

>> ready.

>> yes.

>> rock paper scissors pie.

>> don't paper cover rock.

>> oh my gosh. i can't believe you're talking smack.

>> click it.

>> i love you al roker . i'm so mad. you beat me. thank you very much.

>> you are the champion.

>> it was really fun.

>> will you do me a favor. say hi to natalie and matt and al for me.

>> i will.

>> thank you so much.

>> oh my gosh.

>> are we still rolling? we're still rolling.

>> please don't be rolling.

>> wow.

>> it's still good watching that over and over again.

>> you're a much better guest.

>> i mean it's just ridiculous. you thought it was bad when you fell flat on your behind? no it was bad the next day when your eyes were as red as this dress. i couldn't see. pie eye.

>> but you won the game.

>> that's right.

>> you cheated.

>> i wouldn't choose paper right away.

>> thanks for the replay. why didn't i keep the goggles on.

>> that was the fatal error.