Jimmy Fallon @ The Egg, 11/21/09
Local son a funny favorite in Albany return
By Steve Barnes
Senior writer w/ TimesUnion.com
ALBANY — Comedian, late-night talk-show host and near-graduate of the College of Saint Rose Jimmy Fallon made a winning return to his college town Saturday night for a show before a packed, laughing audience at The Egg.
A gifted mimic and enthusiastic singer and guitar player, Fallon spent about an hour entertaining the adoring crowd, alternating among standup routines, celebrity impressions and comedic songs. He made a running gag of apologizing to a “Father Joe” from Saint Rose, said to be in the audience, for swearing and for various collegiate indiscretions like smoking marijuana — well, his friends did — and sneaking beer into the dorm to drink while watching the show on which he would later get his big break, “Saturday Night Live.”
Fallon, who grew up in Saugerties, studied communications at Saint Rose. “Communications … is a major for idiots,” he said. But, noting that the college had awarded him his B.A. and an honorary doctorate after he gave its commencement speech this past spring, he said, “It is awesome that I’m a doctor. … It doesn’t make any sense, but I just love it.”
Fallon got whoops and applause for his local references: hot wings from Mild Wally’s, the former local TV comedy show “Loose Camera” and his stint as a receptionist for the alternaweekly Metroland, for which, Fallon admitted, he occasionally made up fake personal ads like “Viking seeks another Viking.”
The strongest material of the night was musical, including an ode to a friend called “You Spit When You Talk” (sample lyric: “Everything I own has your saliva on it”) and songs by — and performed in the style of — Justin Timberlake, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Maroon Five and Amy Winehouse, all rewritten to be environmentally sensitive. (Sample lyric: “They tried to make me buy a Prius, and I said no, no, no.”)
Fallon also struck comedy gold when he brought a woman from the audience onstage to dance while he did his impression of a former Bee Gee on the theme song for an “SNL” skit, “The Barry Gibb Talk Show.” The woman, a vigorous dancer and rump-shaker, repeatedly broke up Fallon with her gyrations.
Generous and goofy, Fallon isn’t a polished performer; even after all these years he always seems on the verge of laughing at his own jokes, breaking character or losing whatever accent he happens to be doing. It’s part of his charm, and it was on fine display Saturday.
The comedian Wayne Federman opened with a funny half-hour of unexpected, quirky material that ranged from the downtown Albany Dunkin’ Donuts being closed on Saturday afternoon to his objection to carpool lanes, which, he fretted, discriminate against lonely people.
Frank Gentile, a local real-estate agent who used to watch “SNL” with Fallon when they were at Saint Rose together, started the evening with a 10-minute set, the opportunity for which seemed like a gift from his old friend.