Jimmy Fallon: As a Teen, I'd Drink Beer and Watch 'SNL' Alone

PHOTO: Jimmy Fallon talks with Natalie Portman on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," Nov. 7, 2013, in New York City.Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Jimmy Fallon talks with Natalie Portman on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," Nov. 7, 2013, in New York City.

For Jimmy Fallon, appearing on "Saturday Night Live" was a lifelong dream.

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But until now, few realized how seriously he felt about the comedy show. In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Fallon said that as a teenager, he insisted on watching it alone.

"I just didn't want anyone ruining my experience," he said. "No small talk. I wanted to see the sketches, the new characters, what the angle was."

His strict parents did allow him to rebel a bit. Because he was by himself and at home, Fallon, now 39, said that he'd watch the show while drinking beer, well before he was legally able to.

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"As long as I wasn't doing anything at night, I'd just sit by myself, and I would have a six-pack of Pabst," he said. "I don't know if I made it all the way through the six, but I'd just sit there and watch the show. And tape it."

After nailing his "SNL" audition at 24 ("He's one of two people I've ever seen who was completely ready to be on the show. Kristen Wiig is the other," former co-star Tina Fey told the magazine), Fallon developed a close relationship with show creator Lorne Michaels.

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"Lorne helped me with everything -- with relationships, with me getting famous," Fallon said. "I was going through certain steps, and there were certain things I couldn't talk to my dad about, because he wouldn't know. Like, [I'd ask] 'I have money now. Do I still rent? Do I buy an apartment?' Or 'I'm in L.A. and I have to rent a car.' [He'd say,] 'You should get a Lexus, because you want to be quiet.' Or [I'd ask], 'Should I date this actress?' [And he'd say] 'You can date her, but you probably shouldn't marry her.' And he'd be totally right."

Then, it was Michaels who helped Fallon emerge from a dark period after he left "Saturday Night Live" in 2004. At that point, "I was probably drinking more than I should have," he said. Michaels offered him the opportunity to host "Late Night," and now, he's preparing to take over "The Tonight Show."

"I'm surrounded by good people. We have a baby now. We're in New York," he said. "Lorne is in the building. And I get to ride into the sunset with these people? This is it."