Jimmy Fallon on Getting His Daughters to Say "Dada"
Our June issue Man of Style, Jimmy Fallon, has many talents. Besides hosting The Tonight Show, the 41-year-old also has invented phone accessories for J.Crew, masterminded a new kind of sports fan jersey, dreamed up a new theme park attraction for Universal Studios, and authored a New York Times bestselling children's book.
About that last accolade ... Fallon's 2015 book Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada was inspired by his own quest to have his first daughter, Winnie, say "Dada" before any other word. Below, in an exclusive outtake from our interview, he tells us if he was successful:
Jimmy Fallon: I'm sure you know, it’s a secret battle between husbands and wives to be their baby’s first word. I was trying everything for Winnie to say "Dada" first, so I was, like, pointing at her bottle and going "Dada!" I didn't care as long as she says my name first, so it’s in the history books. I’d point at anything, a ball and go "Dada!" The dog: "Dada!" And… "Mama" was her first word.
InStyle: Aww. What about for your second daughter, Frances?
JF: It worked for number 2. But I think my wife had a hand in that. She was like, "Let’s just shut him up a little bit. Let’s quiet him down." So then I came up with this book and, it’s unbelievable, now kids are reading it back to their parents because [the story] is just animal sounds and the word "Dada."
InStyle: So you can improvise a little bit.
JF: Exactly. I love all the kids' books I've read to my daughters. I memorized them. But this one you can go, "QUACK!" and they laugh at it. They think it’s funny.
JF: People send me videos of their kid reading the book back to them. It’s just amazing. Now I think there’s talk of maybe a sequel because I’ve gotten a lot of mamas going "… really? No love? No love?" So we’re thinking about something that could be really fun.
Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan) is available now on Amazon ($6; amazon.com) or wherever books are sold.