Anyone following late night’s coverage of Charlie Sheen‘s crazy train knows that Jimmy Fallon‘s pre-taped segments impersonating the “Two and a Half Men” star is hands’ down some of the best comedy late night has seen in a long time.
“I never had done Sheen before,” the “Late Night” host told xfinityTV.com at the Paley Festival Friday night. “I didn’t have one in my pocket. Our show is kind of a grind; it’s a new show every day. The writers wrote the “Winning by Charlie Sheen” cologne ad, we just saw his interview that morning. We didn’t even have time for a wig or anything, I just messed up my hair and watched his ‘Today’ show interview over in the makeup chair.”
The impersonation was so spot-on, that some, upon first listen, thought it was actually Sheen’s voice piped in. “Yeah, Jay Leno called me and asked, ‘How did you do that? Did you lip sync that? I was like, ‘no, that was me.’ It just came out and gosh I have to thank Charlie. He gave us gold. He kind of wrote that one.”
The bit – along with the Charlie Sheen CD, “Things I Said,” clip you can view on his website – are relatively tame in comparison to how some media or late night outlets are handling the Sheen saga. And, that’s just part of the “Late Night” way, says Fallon.
“We’re a pretty positive show,” he explained to us. “I think he would laugh at this. I think he’s seen it too and I heard that he laughed or something. I don’t know if that’s a fact. We don’t really go to kill people. He really wrote that himself. I just read what he said. I think everyone can laugh at it.”
After our one-on-one interview with Fallon, the host took the Paley Festival stage to reveal a bit more…
On Taking Over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno: “There’s no talk to that at all,” Fallon told Fancast, “no rumors even at all. I’m in no rush. I’m only two years into this job and Conan did it for 16 years so it’s like asking a 2-year-old what he wants to do when he graduates college.”
On His Upcoming Tiger Woods Interview: “I asked him to play miniature golf and he’s gonna do it,” Fallon told the Paley panel. When asked how he would handle the interview, Fallon reiterated the show’s stance of being respectful of their guests and being a positive show. “We don’t want to embarrass them,” he added.
On Returning to “Saturday Night Live”: “We wanted to wait until this show got off the ground…maybe next season.”
On the Late Night Wars: “There are no late night wars,” he said on the panel, noting that he’s good friends with everyone, especially Craig Ferguson.
On his new Ben & Jerry Ice Cream: “We were gonna call it balls in your mouth…that didn’t happen.” Of course, the title “Late Night Snack” won out instead.