When Rolling Stone sat down with Jimmy Fallon — NBC’s new late-night host as of March 2nd — for a Close-Up feature in the new issue, the Saturday Night Live alum admitted he was nervous about his big gig. But the 34-year-old comic was, after all, the guy who voted “Most Likely to Replace David Letterman” in eighth grade.
His nerves were in check when our RS cameras hit up his photo shoot. Fallon took a break from furiously pounding a Rock Band drum set to chat about how he’s getting his new digs in shape. “I want to have a curtain like Johnny Carson, I want trap doors,” he says. “Our sound system is going to be the sickest,” he adds, talking about his new house band, the Roots. “They play anything.”
So does Fallon have any plans to work out his rock-star dreams on the new late show? “I’d love to play with the Roots, I’d love to play with U2, whoever is on the show,” he says. He’ll be fulfilling another dream by taping his series in NBC’s Studio 6B, where Johnny Carson did the first 10 years of The Tonight Show
Preparations for his late-night takeover have been going well, Fallon reports, thanks to advice from Ellen Degeneres, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno, as well as Bill Maher and Garry Shandling. To hear what bon mots Stephen Colbert passed along, check out the full video above.