Summer Fun!

Photo: AP Photos

The rich, the saying goes, are different from you and me—certainly when it comes to leisure. So it stands to reason that Jimmy Fallon—who isn’t necessarily rich (yet) but is, one can assume, reasonably well compensated after five seasons on Saturday Night Live —is somewhat different from us. Certainly when it comes to leisure, and especially during the summer, because the lucky bastard has five whole months off.

But it turns out Fallon’s Everyman persona (he’s like the funniest guy you knew in college—okay, make that a much funnier version of the funniest guy you knew in college) extends to his idea of summer fun. In that, like you and me, he’s entirely at a loss. Really, he’s clueless. The minute he wrapped the show, he thought, This summer, I’m going to do … what?

SNL, you see, drives Fallon straight into the ground each fall, winter, and spring. When you’re as hot on the show as he is—making “Weekend Update,” with his co-host, Tina Fey, funnier than it’s been since the days of Chevy and Jane, and regularly plowing through a gauntlet of endearingly wacky characters—you’re pretty much stuck at SNL’s Rockefeller Center offices nonstop.

No, comedy isn’t pretty. Or at least making it isn’t. “I miss out on so many good things during the year because I’m at work, you know?” He’s got a ton of episodes of PBS’s Manor House and MTV’s The Real World: Paris to get through.

“This summer, I’m really looking forward to cleaning out my TiVo.”

The truth is, Fallon’s never really had great summer vacations. When he was growing up in Saugerties, a typical family vacation involved piling into the car with his mom, dad, and sister for a drive to Lake George, the humble Adirondacks resort town. “My sister and I would roll our eyes for a week. At the end of the summer, all my friends were coming back from Florida, from Disney World. I’d have a plastic cup from the Great Escape Fun Park that said SHIT HAPPENS.”

Weirdly, Mom and Dad decided a couple of years ago that a reprise was in order. “I was already on Saturday Night Live , and my parents go, ‘Hey, let’s all go to Lake George again.’ ” The trip lasted half a day. “We tried to be, you know, the Swiss Family Fallon, but we didn’t pull it off.” Therein lies the moral of our story: Summer Fun requires more than a little forethought (hence the litany of options presented in these pages).

As for Fallon—who is single but is known to paint the town with his drinking buddy and cast mate Horatio Sanz—his plans include a steady diet of blockbusters (he’s dying to see Hulk—“Shrek for adults”—because he loves watching pissed-off green things), and he’ll definitely get in some punk-rock karaoke with Sanz at, well, Punk Rock Karaoke night (Mondays) at Arlene Grocery on the Lower East Side (“It’s brilliant—I’ve done the Clash, AC/DC”).

He’s also thinking about … water. “I might want to sail—or go boating—or something. When you’re driving along the FDR, you see all these boats and you go, ‘That’s so cool.’ I think I could probably sneak my way in there.”

Yes! Thank you, Jimmy Fallon, for neatly crystallizing the entire point of our Summer Fun issue: sneaking your way into having some of the fun that everyone else seems to be having.

And so let the envy subside, and let the sailing—or boating, or something—begin.

The 2003 New York Summer Fun Guide

Summer Fun!