Jimmy Fallon’s Secret to Success

In a world of mean tweets, omnipresent celebrity hate, and internet trolls, Jimmy Fallon has accomplished the seemingly impossible: getting to the top of show business while being liked by virtually the entire world. Here’s how he did it: be nice to people, make good friends, and be enthusiastic about life.

Jimmy Fallon is a master of entertainment and the current king of late night television, but the man rarely sits in the significantly lower chair on the other side of the desk as an interviewee. A quick search on YouTube for ‘jimmy fallon interview’ will yield only a couple of moments when the affable New Yorker decided to open up and be the one, for once, answering questions.

Be Nice to Everyone you Meet

One of those moments happened a couple of months ago on Here’s the Thing, Alec Baldwin’s critically-acclaimed podcast. “You’re the most welcoming host in late night history–you’re really a host,” Baldwin points out adding that Fallon would never “do anything at anybody’s expense.” This microscopic moment contains everything you need to know about Fallon’s rise to fame: being genuinely nice to everybody and having everyone be part of the joke–as opposed to the business myth of having to be cutthroat to succeed–pays off in the end.

Make Good Friendships

Another lesson from Fallon’s success is that you can’t get to the top on your own, so the help from the friends you make down the road is of paramount importance. It was only 6 years ago that Fallon was, rather unsuccessfully, giving Hollywood a shot after leaving SNL. Fast-forward to today and he’s occupying one of the most coveted seats in show business. How’d he do it? By making and maintaining friendships with people who could boost his career.

Perhaps this video is the best proof of Fallon’s ability to make friends and bring them together:

When he first arrived at SNL, he decided that he would get to know show creator Lorne Michaels, one of the most respected figures in the business. As Fallon tells Men’s Journal,” SNL producer Marci Klein gave me a bit of advice: ‘After every show, go over to Lorne and you thank him for the show.’ And I did. I thanked him every single show.”

After a couple of after-work drinks with Michaels, Fallon found himself in the inner circle of the comedy big leagues–and through his connections, he landed the Late Night show gig and later the legendary The Tonight Show spot. So yes, being nice to everyone and especially to those in power, pays off.

Positivism Attracts Good Things

Lastly, what’s most charming about Fallon is his enthusiasm about, well, life. In every interview he’s ever done he seems excited to be present and every word that comes out of his mouth is positive, often praise and compliments, other times just silly jokes. Unlike David Letterman’s rather snobbish attitude or Conan O’Brien’s clownish expressions, Fallon proves that being a hardworking, good, positive, and friendly man can get you far in life.

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