He walked out to roaring applause, and at that moment, we settled in for what would be an extremely enjoyable hour of Jimmy Fallon's new "Tonight Show."
Back in the Big Apple after 41 years in Los Angeles, the legendary talk show reclaimed Studio 6B in Rockefeller Center, once the home of Johnny Carson from 1962-1972.
Fallon came out, guns blazing, firing off his first joke: "I am Jimmy Fallon and I will be your host -- for now," making reference to the infamous 2009 "Tonight Show" shake-up that saw Jay Leno replaced by Conan O'Brien, only to have Leno return less than a year later.
But before he got on to the rest of his monologue, the 39-year-old former SNL alum expressed gratitude for his new position, introduced his parents in the studio audience and heaped love on his new (and old) viewers.
In a surprise appearance, Robert De Niro -- and a host of other celebrities including Stephen Colbert, Lady Gaga, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Tyson and Sarah Jessica Parker -- came on-stage to pay off bets they made claiming Fallon would never be the host of "Tonight." A star-studded entourage, so to speak, for Fallon's debut show.
Getting back to business, the likable host welcomed his first guest, Will Smith, to the studio and participated in an evolution of hip-hop sketch with the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star.
Musical guest U2 performed their new song "Invisible" on the observation deck on the G.E. Building in Rockefeller Plaza, a backdrop so beautiful that it highlighted why Fallon moved the show back to NYC.
But back inside, the night ended with an even better performance of the band's Oscar-nominated song "Ordinary Love," an acoustic version, which Fallon's in-house band "The Roots" helped bring to life.
"I just want to do the best I can and take care of this show for a while," Fallon said, wrapping up his first hour. "If you guys let me stick around long enough, maybe I'll get the hang of it."
Check out the comedian's first "Tonight Show" monologue below!
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