Jimmy Fallon Says He’s Taking His Comedy on the Road Thanks to Impromptu Stand-up Set With Chris Rock

Jimmy Fallon revealed Friday that he just might take a stand-up comedy show around the country after being inspired by Chris Rock and an impromptu set at the Comedy Cellar earlier this week.

Kicking off “The Tonight Show” on Friday from behind his desk after the monologue, the late night host recounted the “great night” he had Thursday with comedians Mike Birbiglia and Chris Rock — one that started with dinner at Carbone New York and ended with a surprise comedy routine with Rock at the storied West Village comedy club.

Recounting that Birbiglia was goading him over dinner to get doing stand-up comedy again “because I did start my career in stand-up,” Fallon said that he decided to swing by the Comedy Cellar and watch some comedians hit the stage. After watching a set from Tina Friml, he turned to leave, when Rock of all people appeared down the stairway with a knowing smile on his face.

Fallon said that Rock had also encouraged him in the past to jump onstage at the Comedy Cellar for a surprise set, and he was greeted with Rock — who was there to make an unannounced appearance himself — saying, “I knew you’d come back, you have to come back to stand-up.”

“I felt like the comedy gods were just telling me, you know, ‘Yeah, you should do stand-up again,'” Fallon recounted.

“So Chris Rock gets up, surprises the audience and destroys. He’s unbelievable. And so I went up to give him a bottle of water as a goof, and everybody started clapping, and he took the microphone and he [handed it out to me],” Fallon continued. “I was like, wow. So I did stand-up for the first time last night in 10 years. It was unbelievable. I totally remembered it, it was super fun. It was great. I was like, I didn’t even know what I was talking about, he just made me so comfortable up there.”

Fallon then waxed poetic on how “fun” it is to be onstage when a joke lands: “I do remember that the room gets hot when you tell a good joke, and then it comes down to room temperature. I loved it.”

And he then ended his story Friday by assuring audiences that the whole experience inspired him to get back on the road.

“Anyways, I got the bug and I wanted to thank Chris, thanks Mike, thank you Comedy Cellar,” he said. “I’ll work on an act, I’m going to work on an act and I’ll be out there, because I want to go out around the country, I want to say hi to everybody, all the fans because I love meeting people. I think it’s going to be fun, I’ll do it. So it’s Halloween, give me a couple month, I’ll work on something.”

Watch Fallon’s full Friday night monologue in the video above.

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