Jimmy Fallon Fans Freeze for Hours for Chance to See 'Tonight' Show Debut

By Trevor Kapp on February 17, 2014 11:21am 

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 Fans lined up outside the NBC Studios late Sunday night for tickets to the "Tonight" show.
Fans Line Up Outside "Tonight" Show for Fallon Stand-By Tix
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MIDTOWN — Mickey Steenberghe, 26, Esther Morren, 23, and Helen Van Den Elcen, 25, are too young to remember Johnny Carson and could only watch Jay Leno from 3,000 miles away.

But they're willing to freeze to see Jimmy Fallon film his “Tonight” show debut.

The friends, from the Upper East Side, were the first of about 30 people standing in line outside 30 Rock. They arrived at 10 p.m. Sunday, braving bone-chilling temperatures overnight for a chance to get stand-by tickets.

“Today may be President’s Day, but it’s really Jimmy Fallon Day,” said a bleary-eyed but exuberant Morren, a food and beverage manager at a hotel.

“It was freezing. It felt like jumping into an ice bath, but it’s worth it.”

Fallon, who was born in Brooklyn, replaces Leno to become the show’s sixth host since it first aired in 1954.

Steenberghe and Morren said Fallon has the personality to fill Leno’s void.

“It said it was 18 (degrees), but it felt like 0,” said Steenberghe, lips shivering as he stood in a heavy black coat with a black winter cap.

“But I’ve followed Jimmy Fallon for years and, if we can get in, it’s gonna be awesome."

Morren said it’s Fallon’s common-man characteristics that make him so appealing.

“There’s no fake show business stuff about him,” she said.

“He’s just one of the guys and if I never tried, I’d blame myself forever. I mean, how many times does this happen?”

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