It seems like they've been friends since the dawn of time, but Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake have actually only been 13 years. On The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night, the best buds performed their sixth "History Of Rap," which might have been their best installment yet. They've been hamming it up together for years and it seems like they were born perfectly in sync, but how did these two huge goofy goobers meet? For their serendipitous meeting, we can all thank MTV.
Fallon and Timberlake met at the Video Music Awards all the way back in 2002. It was a different time in both of their lives and their careers, and in many ways, that VMAs ceremony was a turning point for both of them. Fallon, who was a 26-year-old Saturday Night Live cast member at the time, was making his debut as a host of the MTV awards show, and Timberlake, just a fresh 21 years old at the time, was about to debut his solo career for the first time without the comfort of the rest of his *NSYNC boy band bros with him.
When they were both honored in the GQ Men of the Year issue in 2011, Fallon and Timberlake reminisced on that fateful day when their friendship began, and both remember being a bundle of nerves. Fallon told GQ,
I remember talking backstage during those VMAs. I was totally nervous and you were nervous and we both ended up having good night. We’re good luck to each other — like each other’s rabbit foots.
Well gee, I wish someone would call me their rabbit foot. Fallon even fondly remembered how Timberlake came out in a giant boombox during the show. (Timberlake remembered, too, but it seemed like Fallon was particularly proud of his pal for that VMAs performance.)
Since then, Fallonlake/Timberlon (there's still not the greatest portmanteau for their name) have been a streak of hope in a cynical world. Sure, they have a lot to be happy about — both are at the top of their games right now, with Timberlake one of the biggest musicians in the business and Fallon at the helm of The Tonight Show. When they met, though, their current careers were just a whisper. Timberlake was only just about to released Justified, and Fallon was still lovably and charmingly breaking character on SNL.
But, of course, Studio 8H at SNL was where their "bromance" truly blossomed. When Timberlake first hosted the show in 2003 (he's since become a part of the esteemed Five Timers Club), he turned to his then-new pal for some help. And the metaphorical bros played some literal brothers when they debuted The Barry Gibb Talk Show skit, playing the Bee Gees (Fallon as Barry and Timberlake as Robin, respectively).
The buddies brought it full circle back to the VMAs stage in 2013, when Fallon was there to present Timberlake with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award after the singer performed a medley of his music (that was incredible, of course; he's quite the showman). The audience loved him, but no one loved him more than Fallon giving him that Moonman.
Thirteen lucky years later, the guys still share that same boyish enthusiasm that is refreshing in the entertainment world, where it seems like everyone is Not There To Make Friends. I hope these famous BFFs take their pure, unencumbered love for each other all the way to the end. And in the meantime, let us all witness their song and dance glory.