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10 Ways Jimmy Fallon Defines the Modern Gentleman

There’s something dignified about Jimmy Fallon. Unlike his late night forebears, that dignity isn’t derived from a stinging wit and domineering stage presence, but instead from genuine enthusiasm and kindness. Fallon caught plenty of flack in the late 90’s after frequently breaking character on SNL (despite the fact that we all secretly loved it), and his turn as a movie star didn’t exactly pan out. But now, after 5 seasons on "Late Night," he’s a man in his groove, and he found it by being himself. As he steps into to his new role as the host of “The Tonight Show,” we look at the comedian’s most admirable qualities—and what every guy can learn from him.

1. He has the distinct ability to speak his mind, while never sounding condescending. There’s an art to ingratiating yourself without sounding like a total jerkface, and Fallon wields it like an Old Master. He exudes humility.

2. The man actually writes thank you notes on his show.

3. He can roll with any crew. From The Roots to his bromance with Justin Timberlake to the cast of "Parks and Recreation," Jimmy is at ease with everyone. It takes real flexible creative mojo to collaborate, and a smooth operator to make it look so casual. Not to mention, even with things as polarizing as politics, he can reach out to one side of the aisle one day, and then the other the next.

4. He never lets his ego get in the way of an interview. The man listens. Jimmy has proven that it’s more captivating to be that room’s biggest gentleman. Lorne Michaels says it best in a recent Vanity Fair profile: "One thing I saw in him from 'Update' was how enormously generous he is…there were other anchors of 'Update' where, if someone came on to do a feature, and that person just destroyed, you'd see the blood drain from the anchor's face. Jimmy never had that. He never felt diminished by other people being funny. The opposite. He enjoyed when other people were funny. That's a Carson trait—that sense of not being in competition with your guests."

5. Out of all the guys on television everyday, he wears a suit best. The man just plain knows how to dress, from suited-and-booted freshness to the casual sneakers-and-untucked-plaid look.

6. In beer pong he’s a humble victor and a noble loser.

7. He respects his elders. Word has it that Fallon has framed ‘70s magazine ads of Johnny Carson modeling suits and sportswear hanging in his bathroom.

8. He's a devoted family man. When he became a father he made the announcement with humor, casual honesty, and an acute degree of hipness. His wide-eyed wonderment bespeaks a promising fatherhood.

9. …And a renaissance man. Just try putting Jimmy Fallon into a box, we dare you. Whether it’s his spot-on impersonations, his original musical arrangements, or better yet, a combination of the two: musical impersonations, Jimmy has serious range.

10. He continues to grow. He’s improved his sketch skills leaps and bounds since his days on “SNL.” As a life-long learner and student of comedy, his curiosity and versatility will ensure “The Tonight Show” never gets stale.

Photo: NBC/Universal

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