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Jimmy Fallon's Parents Nearly Set His In-Laws' House on Fire When They First Met

"What's going on? Is that smoke?! Mom, are you lighting this family summer house on fire?"

By Christopher Rudolph

Having in-laws meet each other is always stressful, and things got heated — literally! — when Jimmy Fallon introduced his parents to his future in-laws.

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In a Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon clip from 2020, Fallon shared the story of when his parents, Gloria and James Sr., first met the parents of his then-girlfriend and future wife, Nancy Juvonen. The plan was to spend a week at Juvonen's family vacation home in New Hampshire, which is where Jimmy's parents accidentally almost set the house on fire.

"My wife's family has this old summer home. It's been like five generations of the family in New Hampshire, in this beautiful place," recounted Fallon.

The Tonight Show Host's impression of his mom is a highlight of the tale.

"So my parents come up [to the house], and my mom calls me before she comes. She goes, 'Hi honey,' and I go, 'Hey mom' — and she goes, 'Don't hang up.' Which usually means she has something that's gonna make me mad, and I'm gonna hang up."

"So I go, 'What's going on?' and she's like, 'It's not a big deal, daddy lost his front tooth last night. He bit into something," he continued. "I go, 'Well, go see a dentist! What are you talking about?' and she goes, 'The dentist is on vacation. He can't go.' I go, 'What are you gonna do?' And she goes, 'He's just not gonna smile this week.'"

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"I go, 'All right, I'm gonna hang up,'" Fallon said. "She goes 'Don't hang up! I have one more thing. I rubbed my eye in my sleep last night, I have a real bloodshot eye.' So I go, 'This is my parents, you know. A pirate and a jack-o'-lantern.'"

Jimmy Fallon sits at his desk on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon episode 1859

Jimmy Fallon's story about his parents is like a zany sitcom plot: "Daddy wet his money"

The antics continued once Fallon's parents actually arrived at the summer house, which resulted them almost having to call the local fire department.

Shortly after they arrived, he heard a knock on the door of the bedroom he was sleeping in. Fallon opened the door to see his mother, soon realizing that he smelled smoke.

"I go 'What's going on? Is that smoke? Mom, are you lighting this family summer house on fire?'" he laughed. Before continuing with the story, he explained how earlier in the day his dad "jumped in the lake for fun. He did a handstand in the lake. It was funny, it got a laugh."

"She goes 'Everything's fine. Daddy wet his money when he jumped in the lake. So he put it in the microwave," said Fallon, as the audience cracked up. "My dad lit $500 on fire. And there were burnt $20 bills all over the kitchen."

"I go, 'What are you guys doing? You just got here!' I'm like, 'She's never going to marry me.'' And of course, he's piling up all the 20s, not smiling," Jimmy said, pretending to be his toothless dad handling the money. It's a plot fit for National Lampoon's Summer House Vacation.

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Thankfully, they did not burn the house down.  And, down the line, Fallon eventually proposed to Nancy on the dock at the lake house. 

“As soon as I even remotely pulled the ring out of my pocket, I started crying,” Jimmy said in a later "At Home Edition" of The Tonight Show that featured Juvonen. “And I get down on one knee, and I’m shaking. And my voice is quivering. It looks like I’m having a heart attack. Nancy’s like, ‘Are you OK, dude? Are you gonna be all right?’ And then I just said, ‘Hey, will you marry me?’ And you said yes.”

“And then the whole family started cheering from inside the house," added Nancy.