I’m not what you would call a late night TV fan. If it’s 11:30 and I get still, this old man is asleep.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate late night TV. If only through the kindness of YouTube link-sharing co-workers, I see my share of Conan, Dave, Jimmy, and the other Jimmy.
What I love about the other Jimmy (Fallon) is that he’s never afraid to ask a guest to do anything. It’s part of the charm of the show: he asks superstars to ride roller coasters, to play Pictionary, and engage in lip sync battles.
But my favorite recent “ask” had to be when Jimmy talked Morgan Freeman into taking a hit off a helium balloon in order to continue the interview. Here’s how it went down (RSS readers / email subscribers click here):
Morgan Freeman has to be one of my all-time favorite actors. He’s played everyone from Malcolm X to Nelson Mandela to God to several different presidents. Morgan is suave. Morgan is cool. He’s 77-year-old-man-with-an-earring cool. He’s “Hey-I’d-really-like-that-guy-to-narrate-my-life” cool.
He’s not the kind of guy that you’d expect to speak in a high voice after sucking down helium on national TV, but that’s what he did. And all because Jimmy Fallon asked him to.
I don’t know about you, but I’m often scared of the “ask.” I’m scared to ask volunteers to step up. I’m scared to ask leaders to take on more responsibility. I’m scared to ask people who give a lot to give even more. But people like to be asked. They’re generally honored to be asked. And we’ll never know their answer unless we take the risk.
So ask. Ask with the same passion and delight of Jimmy towards Morgan. You never know the kind of coolness that might just erupt.