Contact Us
Southwest Dutchess Daily Voice serves Beacon, East Fishkill, Fishkill, LaGrange, Poughkeepsie, Wappinger & Wappingers Falls
Return to your home site

Menu

Southwest Dutchess Daily Voice serves Beacon, East Fishkill, Fishkill, LaGrange, Poughkeepsie, Wappinger & Wappingers Falls

Nearby Towns

  • Putnam
    serves Brewster, Carmel-Kent, Cold Spring, Mahopac, Patterson & Putnam Valley
  • Northwest Dutchess
    serves Clinton, Hyde Park, Milan, Pleasant Valley, Red Hook & Rhinebeck
  • East Dutchess
    serves Amenia, Beekman, Dover, Millbrook, North East, Pawling, Pine Plains, Stanford, Union Vale & Washington
lifestyle

Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon Got His Start In Poughkeepsie

Jimmy Fallon snagged his first stand-up gig at Bananas, a Poughkeepsie club. The then 17-year-old, who grew up in Saugerties, walked away with $700. Now the host of The Tonight Show, the comedian frequently talks about his Dutchess County days.
Jimmy Fallon snagged his first stand-up gig at Bananas, a Poughkeepsie club. The then 17-year-old, who grew up in Saugerties, walked away with $700. Now the host of The Tonight Show, the comedian frequently talks about his Dutchess County days. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

It should come as no surprise that comedian and TV talk show host Jimmy Fallon was the class clown when he was growing up in Saugerties.

But did you know that one of the Hudson Valley’s favorite cut-ups and "Saturday Night Live" veteran got his start on the stage of Bananas, a comedy club in Poughkeepsie, at the tender age of 17?

The two-minute stand-up gig was sponsored by a local radio station.

Fallon, who even then was known for his scathing impressions, did a bit about a commercial for Troll Dolls, mimicking celebs such as John Travolta and Pee Wee Herman, according to screenertvnews.com.

(Pee Wee, by the way, aka actor Paul Reubens, was born Paul Rubenfeld in Peekskill in 1952.)

Fallon snagged the $700 prize, which was quite a chunk of change for a teen back in the early 1990s, screenertvnews.com reported.

Poughkeepsie has come up more than once in Fallon’s conversations with guests on the Tonight Show, which he took over from Jay Leno in 2014.

Fallon asked British rocker Sting to recall the smallest audience he had ever played to.

The former lead singer and bass player for The Police admitted it was in 1978 at The Last Chance Saloon, now called The Chance, in Poughkeepsie, when he said just three people had shown up.

In 2015, Fallon and comedian Louis CK chatted on the show about performing in Poughkeepsie, with the latter remembering that Bananas was more of a lounge at the Holiday Inn than a brick-and-mortar comedy club.

According to hvmag.com, when Fallon revisited the club in 2009 he was surprised to see three of his old high school teachers in the audience.

The educators, who Fallon gleefully roasted, told hvmag.com that while he was known for pulling a harmless prank or two, he was no troublemaker.

They also told that magazine that Fallon was a good student and popular with everyone from artistic types to athletes.

He must have loved his alma mater, too. Fallon recently donated $100,000 to help fund the high school’s arts program.

Fallon, never one to let a chance to crack people up slip by, told school officials he was happy to part with the cash, but wouldn’t mind it if someone erected a statue of him, nbcnewyork.com said.

Saugerties' school superintendent thanked Fallon for the gift, and got a chuckle of his own with a (tongue-in-cheek) offer of erasing the comedian’s disciplinary record, nbcnewyork.com reported.

To read the hvmag.com story, click here.

To read the screenertv.com story, click here.

To read the nbcnewyork.com report, click here.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Southwest Dutchess Daily Voice!

Serves Beacon, East Fishkill, Fishkill, LaGrange, Poughkeepsie, Wappinger & Wappingers Falls

This is a one time message inviting you to keep in touch

Get important news about your town as it happens.