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Up Close and Personal With TV Host Jimmy Fallon

The top 5 ways Late Night changed the comedian's health habits.
By Lauren Paige Kennedy
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Meet Jimmy Fallon, the Saturday Night Live alum who not only finessed his standup chops before launching the all-new (and super-successful) Late Night, he cleaned up his health act, too. Here are the top 5 ways (top 10 lists are so old school) Fallon’s gig helped him to be the comedian who, health-wise, laughs longest -- and best.

No. 5. He got LASIK to help him see the teleprompter.

While most nearsighted folks resort to wearing glasses or simply pop in a pair of contact lenses, Fallon says, "No, I can’t do glasses. It’s goes back to Saturday Night Live.” An SNL cast member from 1999 to 2004, the comic is best known for co-anchoring “Weekend Update” with Tina Fey. “I tried to wear glasses,” he tells WebMD. “But she’s so well-known for wearing hers, and it was just too goofy, the two of us with our glasses, reading the news, so I went without.” He also has a phobia about “putting something onto my eyeball every day ... ugh”, so contacts weren’t an option, either.

Instead, Fallon got LASIK to read the cue cards during his monologue. The procedure is done by an ophthalmologist, who numbs the eyeball and shoots a laser into the cornea to reshape it for better vision. “[Afterward], my vision was a little blurry, he says. “They prepared me for it ... but it was still nerve-wracking. It took two-and-a-half weeks, and then, wow! I could see.”

No. 4. He realized he only gets sick on vacation -- and wanted to know why.

“It’s always when I take a week off -- that’s when the body falls apart,” says the funnyman. Type A personalities like Fallon tend to burn the candles at both ends, and then seem surprised when they start sneezing the second their suitcases are packed. Consider what Phyllis Kozarsky, MD, travel health expert for the CDC, says: “Stress plays a role in making us sick. By the time we are on our so-called ‘break,’ we’re utterly drained and susceptible to catching whatever bug is floating by.”

Kozarsky coaches her patients to schedule a full 24 hours after landing in their new clime to unwind, sleep, and take care of themselves, “but rarely do they listen to me. Most get off the plane at 8 a.m. after flying all night into some other country, only to rush to a meeting [or destination] at 9 a.m., without any real sleep.” It’s this nonstop mentality “that wears down our immune systems and lowers our resistance to staving off infectious diseases.”

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