Millions of children and parents pivoted last March when the country went into lockdown, forcing families to scramble when it came to going to school. Jimmy Fallon was no exception.
The “Tonight Show” host, who has daughters Winnie, 7, and Franny, 6, with wife Nancy Juvonen, says his better half created a school for their girls when the new school year started in September.
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“We said, ‘Let's just have a pod school with our neighbors and friends,’” he told People. “So we got teachers and a principal and a teacher's assistant and a curriculum from the school district, so yeah, it's legit.”
He also noted they brought in old lockers from a high school and other items purchased on eBay.
“My wife went all out. We were so lucky to be able to pull it off.”
The funnyman, 46, also said he cherished the experience of being home with his family while quarantining because it brought them closer together.
“I really bonded with my daughters during that time because I was never normally home that long,” he said. “Usually I'm at work, so I got to really wake up and go to bed with them every single night for months. I think there was a real bond there that we'll never forget.”
Fallon’s daughters became a familiar sight to viewers of his show, wreaking delightful havoc during frequent appearances while he hosted from his home. He says viewers really responded to him remaining on the air.
“Months later we've been getting letters and emails from people, saying, ‘Thank you so much for being there’ and ‘You have no idea, that was our family thing.’ To know we were an escape for people is pretty cool,” he said.
Fallon, who recently celebrated his seventh anniversary hosting "The Tonight Show," also said putting the program together in such a strange time was an odd experience.
“It was like taking a course in communications or filmmaking. I remember doing a show where the Roots were performing in their backyards, and I'm shooting with a cell phone on a tripod that's going to fall over, and then it started raining,” he said.
“And then it's taking forever to transmit the footage because everybody in the house is using the internet and it's slow. It was definitely challenging. Definitely scary. But we did so much this past year. We probably don't even realize how much we all did.”
Fallon returned to his studio at New York City’s legendary 30 Rock in July, although he was one of the few on hand, along with some well-known morning personalities.
“It was just me, Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie over at the TODAY show, and robot cameras,” he said.
Fallon will honor the one-year anniversary of working from home with a special episode Friday, in which fans can expect to see his wife and kids once again. And while Fallon is back in the studio, he has taken steps should he need to resume production at home.
“We actually built out the inside of an Airstream and put it in my backyard just in case we ever had to go back and do the show from home again, and then we never used it.”