After hosting Late Night since 2009, Jimmy Fallon inherits The Tonight Show tonight! The native New Yorker, 39, who'll host the NBC show nightly from Manhattan, is understandably excited about his new gig (first guests: Will Smith and U2!), but he's even more ecstatic about his other new role as father to seven-month-old daughter Winnie Rose.
Fallon and his wife, producer Nancy Juvonen — she's Drew Barrymore's partner in Flower Films — tried in vain to have a baby before ultimately deciding to use a gestational surrogate.
Here, he candidly confides to YourTango about their emotional journey, from frustration to elation:
YourTango: Parenthood didn't come easily for you.
Jimmy Fallon: No. It's hard if you can't have children. We struggled for a good five years trying to have a kid.
YourTango: How did you remain strong during that period?
Jimmy Fallon: It's my wife. She's just tough. I couldn't even imagine. I'm there for her and she's there for me, and [we said], "We're just gonna do this. It's gonna be fine and work itself out." But it's really hard. People have struggled longer than we did, but there's shots involved and acupuncture and sleeping upside down. We tried everything. There's the embarrassment of telling people that we're having one and we're pregnant and then it's not working out. You have to go out and be funny every night and tell jokes and act like nothing's going wrong. But that's being a comedian, that's the job. Now I'm genuinely really happy.
YourTango: You kept quiet about the birth until Winnie was born.
Jimmy Fallon: Yeah. I just didn't even tell anyone. I didn't even tell my family. That's the only way to keep it real secret. Just don't tell anyone.
YourTango: How has having the baby changed your relationship?
Jimmy Fallon: If you're lucky enough to have kids, it's the greatest thing in the whole wide world. You experience it together and it's the whole reason you get married in the first place. You want to experience these things together. It's just a magical, fun thing and it makes marriage better. We always had a good marriage, but it's even stronger. It's just another fun thing we have in common now. So we're just loving it.
YourTango: What do you love most about fatherhood?
Jimmy Fallon: It's super fun. I heard a lot of advice about having a baby, but until you have one, I don't really know if it's that meaningful to you. Everything she does right now is perfect. I have a perfect child. She's just great. She's a good baby. I really, really lucked out. All my iPhone photos are now just all baby. We've got her some soundproof headphones; they make tiny ones for babies and they're really cute. You need those so she can come to the first show and hear The Roots and hear U2. KEEP READING OUR INTERVIEW WITH JIMMY FALLON!
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