With his first children's book, "Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA," Jimmy Fallon hoped to influence the verbal milestones of readers' little ones. But as he learned, "Everything Is MAMA" — which happens to be the title of his newly released follow-up.
“My mom wrote the baby book,” he was quick to add, joking that Mama Fallon could’ve made it up herself. “My first impression was James Cagney when I was 2,” he also revealed.
The “Tonight Show” host told an audience of parents and their tykes who packed New York City’s Rainbow Room how life has changed for him and wife Nancy Juvonen since welcoming daughters Winnie and Frances.
“Me and my wife, we always had a good time together, but we always really wanted a kid,” he said. “We had a hard time trying to have kids. We tried for a long time, probably five years. Now we’re lucky enough to have two beautiful girls, a 4-year-old and a 2 ½-year-old, and every single day is something new, something fun.”
“Nothing else really matters,” he continued. “All there is is the kids. That’s all you care about.”
Fallon said fatherhood has also had an impact on the contents of his phone.
“All the photos used to be sunsets or brunch,” he said. “Now they’re all the kids doing stuff. I’m the guy that bores you with stories about their kids — now I have boring stories that I think are exciting.”
When asked about his most embarrassing parenting moment, Fallon admitted, “There are so many.”
“I’ve opened things with my teeth,” he said. “You know that ‘Mr. Mom’ moment where the diaper’s on wrong and it’s a disaster? We’re into Pull-Ups now, which is the greatest invention.”
Of course, experience can help parents relax when it comes to minor mishaps.
“There was a mom strolling down the street here in New York City,” Fallon recalled. “And the binky fell out of the baby’s mouth onto the sidewalk. And so I said ‘Sorry, this fell out of your baby’s mouth — you might want to wash it.' And she goes ‘Are you kidding me? This is my third baby.’”
When asked the biggest challenge of parenthood, Fallon replied, “I don’t know how to handle the famous part — when people know who you are and want your pictures. If I’m with my kids, I don’t take pictures with people.”
He then cited another problem that's probably more relatable for most parents.
“In general, my challenges are when to use your phone,” he said. “All these kids are on their phones, and their parents are too, and I think it starts with the parents. So I’m like … but I love my phone. So I have to figure something out.”
These days, Fallon enjoys spending weekends introducing his girls to “the simple things.”
“I go to the hardware store,” he said. “It’s a great place, because there’s so much to look at. The deli — they get to see what a real apple is as opposed to seeing it in a book. Just walking and seeing the change of seasons, leaves falling. Everyone thinks New York City’s such a concrete jungle, but it’s beautiful.”
Finally, Fallon opened up the Q&A to the pint-size attendees sitting in the front of the room, and one little girl had a very specific query in mind for the TV host: “Have you ever run a half marathon?”
“Why wouldn’t you think that I’d be able to run a whole marathon?” he asked. “Of course, I’ve never run a half marathon. But I’d love to run a half marathon. It’s the best thing for you; I love running. I look forward to that — it’s on my bucket list.”
The event ended in the most fitting way possible: with Kotb, Fallon and his young fans having a spirited dance party to his pal Justin Timberlake’s hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”