Jimmy Fallon

Source: Jimmy Fallon via Twitter

Jimmy Fallon is the new king of late night. As star of NBC's Tonight Show, Fallon continues to earn rave reviews; the Tonight Show topped Nielsen's most recent quarterly rankings for viewership and key demographic ratings. At an average of 3.9 million viewers, the Tonight Show easily surpassed its closest competition, The Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, both of which came in with average audiences of less than 2.8 million. That victory marked the fifth consecutive quarter that the Tonight Show dominated Nielsen's rankings since Fallon took over as host from Jay Leno in early 2014. 

How it all began
It seems that comedy was in Fallon's blood from the very beginning. When he was a kid his parents would let him watch the "clean parts" of Saturday Night Live, which Fallon and his sister would re-enact for family and friends.

Years later, his mother encouraged him to perform at a local comedy club Those performances would continue throughout Fallon's time at college, which he ultimately decided to leave in order to pursue a full-time comedy career in Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, retail jobs helped pay the bills while Fallon practiced his comedic skills with the famed improv troupe The Groundlings. Fallon also put together a standup act that eventually gained the attention of the producers of Saturday Night Live. The then-24-year-old landed a job in 1998 on the show he grew up loving, and he quickly became a fan favorite as co-host of the Weekend Update sketch.

Fallon would remain with SNL until the 2004 season, after which he began a moderately successful acting career with movies like Fever Pitch and Taxi.

Becoming a talk show star
In March 2009, Fallon returned to television and took over as host of NBC's Late Night show. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon garnered critical acclaim, including three consecutive Emmy nominations for outstanding variety series (2011-13) and multiple People's Choice Awards for favorite late-night talk show host.

Fallon's superstar status was further cemented when he took over for Jay Leno as the host of NBC's The Tonight Show in February 2014, where he has excelled ever since.

What is Jimmy Fallon's net worth?
Talk shows may be relatively inexpensive to produce, but when it comes to hosts, the biggest stars command huge salaries.

That's worked out extremely well for Jimmy Fallon, whose annual earnings are believed to be $12 million per year. That, in turn, has helped Fallon amass a net worth estimated at more than $25 million.

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.