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Lampoon Crowns Jimmy Fallon ‘Emperor of Comedy’

By R. Blake Paterson and Daniel P. Wood, Crimson Staff Writers

Parading down the streets of Harvard Square in a purple and yellow Roman chariot on Saturday afternoon, the Harvard Lampoon crowned comedian and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon the “Emperor of Comedy.”

The semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine presented Fallon with the Elmer Award for Excellence in Humor on Saturday following a brief parade that began at the Inn at Harvard, proceeded down Massachusetts Avenue, and concluded at the steps of the Lampoon. There, Fallon was roasted and officially given the award.

Comedian and "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon parades through Harvard Square on Saturday, when the Harvard Lampoon crowned him the "Emperor of Comedy."
Comedian and "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon parades through Harvard Square on Saturday, when the Harvard Lampoon crowned him the "Emperor of Comedy." By Saul A. Urbina-Johanson

Along the route, members of the Lampoon fanned the laurel-crowned Fallon with palm leaves, while crowds of excited fans lined the streets snapping selfies and holding up signs. During a short stop, Fallon autographed two signs that read “Yaasss Jimmy” and “Werk Jimmy Werk.”

Standing next to Fallon in the white Clydesdale-guided chariot were Calvin W. Willett ’16 and Sierra L. Katow ’16, president and ibis of the Lampoon, respectively. The Belmont High School band and the Harvard Crimson dance team led the procession, and two additional chariots, one carrying a jester and the other a panda-suited ’Poonster, followed the honoree.

Upon arriving at the Lampoon’s Bow Street castle, Fallon exited the chariot and joined members of the Lampoon on the steps overlooking a crowd of several hundred people. Among the crowd of onlookers stood both students and parents, who descended on Cambridge for Freshman Parents Weekend.

Playing off Fallon's “Tonight Show” tradition of writing irreverent and witty thank-you notes, Katow presented a series of “sorry” notes, to which Fallon said, “I’m thankful that you’re sorry.”

Following that spoof, members of the Lampoon stepped up to the microphone and weighed in with their thoughts on who the real Jimmy Fallon is. “People love Jimmy because he’s the boy next door,” one ’Poonster declared. “He’s the boy next door who has us have a massive Roman-style parade for him and insists on being called the ‘Emperor of Comedy.’”

“When Jimmy told his parents that he was going to be hosting a late-night show, they made him promise that he wouldn’t be up a minute past 12:30 at night,” another ’Poonster joked.

Before receiving the main award, Fallon was given a series of smaller prizes. First, the Lampoon awarded him a giant check, for 85 cents, to which Fallon said, “I could get a sugar packet at Starbucks. This is amazing,” adding that he had “a giant wallet [he] could put that in."

Fallon then received a fake diploma, which jokingly read “James ‘Jimmy’ Kimmel,” and a Lampoon necktie. Finally, he earned the Elmer Award. Previous recipients include Jay Leno, John Cleese, and Robin Williams, among others.

Fallon accepted the award, and before retreating into the Castle with members of the Lampoon, concluded the festivities with a short speech.

“This is a great day for me, but it’s a greater day for the Harvard Lampoon,” he said.

—Staff writer R. Blake Paterson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BlakePat95.

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