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Jimmy Fallon, Steve Higgins Explain Why the SNL Writer Is The Tonight Show's Announcer

Their story involves Fred Armisen, a Paul Weller concert, and a friendship that dates back to Fallon's Saturday Night Live days.

By Christopher Rudolph

Working on Saturday Night Live can be a bonding experience for some; a place that forges relationships beyond the walls of Studio 8H. Look no further than Seth Meyers and Late Night with Seth Meyers' music director Fred Armisen — and Jimmy Fallon and his announcer, Steve Higgins, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The latter two shared a bit about how Higgins wound up holding *two* jobs in NBC late night on May 14, during the episode following the Tonight Show 10-year anniversary special.

How to Watch

Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC weeknights at 11:35/10:35c and next day on Peacock

"Crazy looking back on all the stuff that we've done all these years," Fallon said of the two-hour primetime clip show, speaking to The Roots and Higgins after his monologue. 

"Me and you, Steve Higgins," Fallon said, pointing to Higgins as the audience cheered.

"I couldn't do this show without Steve Higgins," he told the audience. "We've known each other since 1998. Steve writes and produces on Saturday Night Live, and we did so many bits together."

Higgins has been an SNL writer and writer supervisor since 1995 (Fallon was a cast member from 1998-2004), and is a current executive producer on the sketch show.

RELATED: All About The Tonight Show's House Band, The Roots

Fallon went on to name just a few of the sketches the two collaborated on, including "Barry Gibb Talk Show" with Justin Timberlake, "Corksoakers," and "Celebrity Jeopardy."

"Do you remember when I first came and asked you to be my sidekick and announcer?" Fallon asked his emcee.

Steve Higgins and Jimmy talk on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon episode 1973

Steve Higgins has been the announcer on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon since its debut

"Oh yeah," Higgins replied, standing at his usual position behind the standing microphone. As he remembers it, Fallon broached the idea "at the Paul Weller concert with Fred [Armisen]."

"We went to Irving Plaza, and I was running over there, and I didn't know that you were going to be there," Fallon recalled.

"I went with Fred Armisen and he goes, 'Want to go see Paul Weller?' and I go, 'Yeah.' So I see we're standing behind you, and I think I put my knee in your leg so you went like that," Higgins continued, as he mimed putting his knee into the back of Fallon's.

RELATED: Why These Celebs Settled a $100 Bet with Jimmy Fallon on His First Tonight Show

"You did some type of joke for me, but I go, 'Higgins, I was actually going to talk to you,'" said Fallon. "And you go, 'Before you say anything, I just want to let you know I want to help you with whatever you do with your show." 

That's when Fallon says he popped the question, telling Higgins, "'That's what I was going to ask you. I want you to be my sidekick — my announcer.'"

"I said, 'Oh my God!'" Higgins responded, shocked, putting his hand on his chest.

Steve Higgins announces on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon episode 1898

"Yeah, that's where it happened, and now here we are," The Tonight Show Host added. "Thank you very much for all of the laughs, and all of the fun."

Like "Classroom Instruments" or the joke-filled monologue, Higgins is a The Tonight Show staple, and we couldn't imagine the show without him.

Are Steve Higgins and John Higgins related? 

Yes. Please Don't Destroy member John Higgins is Steve Higgins' son.

John Higgins, Martin Herlihy, and Ben Marshall's comedy trio joined Saturday Night Live in 2021, after their homemade viral sketches gained popularity online.

RELATED: Please Don't Destroy's Funniest Pre-SNL Sketches

Lisa and John together with their arms around each other in the middle of grassy land.

Higgins and Herlihy acknowledged their familial connections to SNL during a 2023 Tonight Show visit: Herlihy's father is a former writer for the show and a frequent Adam Sandler collaborator. 

"My dad is actually another famous late night guy too," Ben Marshall joked. "Guillermo from Kimmel."

Please Don't Destroy Was Shocked Taylor Swift Agreed to Three Sad Virgins SNL Sketch (Extended)

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: 10th Anniversary Special is streaming now on Peacock.