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What Are Emmys Host Jimmy Fallon's Favorite Drinking Games?

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 25th 2010 5:02PM
Jimmy Fallon plays beer pong with Gabourey Sidibe on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'
Before Jimmy Fallon takes to the stage to host the Emmys this Sunday night, I wanted to pass along this fun conversation I had with him at the NBC TCA party last month. I didn't ask him about hosting the awards or his first year as the host of 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.' Maggie Furlong talked to him about all that, and you'll see her interview with him later this week.

No, I touched on a topic that's near and dear to the hearts of anyone who used to have fun in college: drinking games.

We got on the subject because Fallon has guests play beer pong on 'Late Night;' of course, it's the paddle-free latter-day version of beer pong that used to be called Beirut. When I asked when the change happened, he thought for a second. "I think in the late nineties? People in colleges just started calling it beer pong because it made more sense than Beirut. What is it? Beer pong. If you say 'Beirut,' people say, 'I don't know how to play that.'"

This sent Jimmy off on a conversation about various drinking games, starting with one that I had never heard of but it sounds like fun: Sink the Biz.

"Sink the Biz, you ever play that game? You have a bucket of beer then you get a tiny glass you fill that and everyone goes around and has a pour out out of their beer... it has to be the actual pour," he said. When I looked up the game, it involved making sure your uninterrupted pour, no matter how long or short it is, doesn't sink the glass. "Then it's your turn. Whoever sinks it, you have to drink the whole bucket."

When he said "tiny glass," I thought he was referring to a variation on The Century Club, where you have to manage to drink one shot of beer per minute for 100 minutes. But it's not like that game was unfamiliar to Jimmy. "Oh, yeah, Century Club. I've done that, too."

I then asked him to name some of his favorite drinking games. "Flip Cup was a good one. Anchorman. A**hole was a great game."

All good choices, but Fallon's favorite is a true classic. "I'd have to say Quarters is my favorite. With the thumb rule in effect. When you're the thumbmaster and you put your thumb on (the table), the last person to put their thumb on (the table) has to drink. You and your pals are having a normal conversation with your thumbs on the table, and when the dude puts his thumb on and you put your thumb on, until you go, 'Aaaaah, you didn't put your thumb on.' It's great."

Ah, random drinking game rules. Thumbmaster has been listed as part of other games, but it was cool that Fallon remembered it as part of his version of Quarters. After all, the fun of it is that drinking games morph, they get changed and modified, and different eras play different games. Fallon cited another random rule that I wish I would have thought of in college.

"You know, a fun one is middle names. You can't call each other by their actual names, it has to be their middle name. My middle name is Thomas, so I'd be "Thomas." Or else you'd drink."

The most interesting part of the conversation was that, even though I'm only three years older than Fallon, I managed to name a couple of games that completely stumped him, as if they were from a bygone era. For instance, when I mentioned Whales Tales, he had no idea what that game was, even though it was widely played at my school.

But he was able to translate it to a game that he remembered: "Is that almost like Zoomy Zoomy?" Indeed it was, or at least it was close. If there's any better evidence of why Fallon has been able to connect with college audience, I can't find it.

(Follow @joelkeller on Twitter.)

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Jimmy is the best thing on Late Night right now. He has a freshness and he is very funny (good writing) and his personality is endearing. Fun to read about that conversation you had.

August 25 2010 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Haven't heard Beirut in ages. Used to play @ Lehigh University quite a number of years ago.

August 25 2010 at 5:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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