Jimmy Fallon Wants to Audition for Fred Armisen's 'Late Night' Band - Rolling Stone
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Jimmy Fallon Wants to Audition for Fred Armisen’s ‘Late Night’ Band

“I think I have an in,” says ‘The Tonight Show’ host

Fred Armisen Jimmy FallonFred Armisen Jimmy Fallon

Fred Armisen and Jimmy Fallon.

Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Jimmy Fallon may be poised to take over the Tonight Show, but after yesterday’s announcement that Fred Armisen would join Seth Meyers on Late Night as its bandleader, Fallon is already joking about a move back to the 12:35 a.m. slot.

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“I gave [Fred] my e-mail today, and I said, ‘I can play guitar!'” Fallon told Vulture in a brief interview. “So I have to audition, but I think I have an in. I’m always there for him, if he needs me. Absolutely. Whatever he needs.”

News broke of Armisen’s gig yesterday when Meyers tweeted a photo of himself and the 8G Band, which features Armisen and Seth Jabour (Les Savy Fav) on guitar, Syd Butler (Les Savy Fav) on bass, Eli Janney (Girls Against Boys) on keyboard and Kim Thompson (Beyoncé’s touring band) on drums. Armisen will serve as bandleader and will continue to run the band even while he’s shooting Portlandia, which returns for a fourth season on February 27th.

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Producer Lorne Michaels also commented on Armisen’s new position and how it would play out on Late Night: “He’s so talented, so we’re going to figure it out somehow. And Seth won’t be alone up there, which is what I care about.”

While Armisen is best known for his comedy on both Saturday Night Live – where he and Meyers were both cast members – and Portlandia, the funnyman has a strong musical background that includes stints as a drummer for the punk outfit Trenchmouth and even the Blue Man Group. He’s been showcasing his musical side more and more lately, bidding SNL farewell with a star-studded jam alongside plenty of indie rock royalty, opening for Vampire Weekend as faux-British punk rocker Ian Rubbish and going head-to-head with Questlove in a drum-off during an episode of Fallon’s Late Night last year.


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