“…being Irish hasn’t changed”

Jimmy was recently honored with the Young Leaders Irish Spirit award from the American-Ireland Fund. Upon receiving this honor, he gave a quick speech about what being Irish means to him. Just in time for St. Patty’s Day, here is an excerpt from an article at IrishCentral.com outlining what he said:

Jimmy Fallon says he’s a ‘stubborn, very pale begrudging Irishman’

By FRIEDA KLOTZ, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Late night host Jimmy Fallon told members of the American-Ireland Fund Thursday night that his Irishness is a big part of who he is. “I’m a very stubborn, very pale begrudging Irish man,” he declared.

Fallon was receiving the Young Leaders Irish Spirit award from the group.

“When I got a call about receiving the award you guys said three words that every Irish celebrity in New York dreams of hearing,” Fallon said. “Bono’s not available.”

Jimmy Fallon with Loretta Brennan Glucksman, chairman of the American Ireland Fund

Jimmy Fallon with Loretta Brennan Glucksman, chairman of the American Ireland Fund

He told the crowd he wanted to eliminate certain stereotypes about the Irish, namely that they are stubborn, drunk, and hold grudges.

“That’s not true. Irish people aren’t stubborn – at least, I’m not stubborn. And if anyone thinks differently you’re wrong,” Fallon joked.

“And we don’t hold grudges. One guy accused me of keeping grudges a while back. I haven’t talked to him in 20 years. Son of a bitch,” he added.

But Fallon didn’t want to get rid of every Irish stereotype. He explained that when he was young, his father’s family would hold big, drunken parties, where everybody had to sing songs. He and his sister would enact sketches from Saturday Night Live, although they didn’t always know or understand the jokes.

He remembered the parties would begin with very fast happy Irish songs. “By the end of the night everybody would get a bit more drunk and the songs would get serious and slower.” He mimicked drunken singing, “And the water ro-o-ose. And the scurvy said…” There would be crying. “Every party would end with tears and broken plates.”

“My fondest memories are those parties, growing up, and being part of a big Irish family,” he stated. “Looking back on my childhood, the reason why I wanted to be a performer started because of my Irish background.”

The floor leading to the stage for his Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show has a four-leaf clover on it. “That’s what I walk out on every night. It brings me good luck,” Fallon stated. “It reminds me so much of where I came from.

“My life has changed so much in the past year, but being Irish hasn’t changed.”

Fallon was certainly a hit. After the presentation fans mobbed the TV star, crowding around to get pictures taken with him.

Check out the full article here.

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