Tonight Show in Century Hall: Jimmy Fallon Films Skit with SJU Students


St. John’s University’s Queens campus had a surprise visit from the number one rated late night host, Jimmy Fallon, last Wednesday Sept. 11. Fallon, who was accompanied by Michelan Star chef Éric Ripert, came to campus to film a skit for NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. 

The skit, where Fallon and Ripert teach St. John’s students how to cook “gourmet” dorm room meals, was filmed in sophomore residence hall Century Hall. 

In the skit, which can now be found on Youtube under “Jimmy and Chef Eric Ripert Teach College Students How to Make a Gourmet Dorm Room Recipe,” Fallon and Ripert can be seen in front of Century Hall and inside suite 511 with a handful of sophomore students. 

The episode aired on NBC on Monday, Sept.16, during an episode that was filmed in front of a live audience made up of primarily college students. 

“I bet you guys don’t cook very much because you’re too busy studying,” Fallon said to the live audience. “But did you ever think how great it would be to have a four-star chef come to your dorm and cook for you?”

Sophomore Kenneth Carter got the opportunity to be a part of the sketch — and to see it air in the show’s audience during the live show on Monday night. Carter himself was as surprised as the rest of campus to find that Jimmy Fallon was going to be in the residence village last week. 

“My suitemates and I got an email saying there would be people coming in our room, so we assumed it was a room check,” Carter, a sports management major from Washington D.C., said. “But the people that came in were actually from Jimmy’s show… the day before Jimmy was on campus a St. John’s rep came in and explained everything to us.”

The seemingly impromptu menu by the dorm room chef featured “leftover burger bolognese,” “dormét Cheeto omelet” and “mom’s ice cream sandwich.” 

All of the dishes made by the chef included food items commonly found in a college dorm, such as ramen noodles or a bag of homemade cookies that one student said his mom had sent him. Although the crew supplied all of the food items (except for the cookies), Carter and his roommates got to keep all of the leftovers. 

The skit that aired during Monday’s episode came out to just under three minutes, but the filming took significantly longer. Carter recounts shooting the skit for most of the day. Students did not have any set lines; instead, they got to be their normal selves in front of the camera as they bantered with the popular TV host and the renowned chef. 

“Since I watch a lot of late night TV, to be on the number one late night show was pretty cool,” Carter said. “He told me I was hilarious before I left, so that’s pretty cool, too.”

Sophomore biology major Elise Faulk also appeared in the video. And she was still in awe of the experience days after the fact. 

“It was unbelievable, honestly,” she said. “Just being on TV was electric, then Jimmy walked in and I was a little star struck. He’s a pretty chill guy though, so it was really fun and easy the whole time.”

The students involved had to keep the experience under wraps until the day of the show, even as they were understandably bubbling with excitement for several days to see themselves on television in their own dorm room. 

 “I was itching to tell [my family and friends] all week, and once I could on Monday after the taping I called everyone back home,” Carter said.

Faulk also didn’t tell anyone before she saw it during the taping.

“I definitely waited to see myself on TV,” she said. “I had it on in my dorm and even made my mom record it at home. Everyone has been really excited and nice. My friends all put me on their [Instagram] story, and I loved it.”

So what did students think of the actual dorm room food prepared on the spot by the well known chef? 

Faulk was impressed. 

“I’m not gonna lie, the ice cream and ramen stuff was pretty valid — but I wouldn’t eat an omelet from a microwave for fun,” she said.

In the closing of the video, Fallon gives students some words of advice for surviving both dorm room cooking and college overall: 

“This is what you can do: you always have to be creative, always thinking of the next thing,” he said. “That’s what you can learn in college – always be creative, always make things better.”