Jimmy Fallon went through all the emotions while recalling his dear friend Kobe Bryant. “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” host ended his Monday night telecast with a tearful tribute to the fallen Lakers star. Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash along with 7 others in Calabasas, CA on Sunday morning. Jimmy Fallon, who met Kobe Bryant over 20 years ago, posted the tribute video on Twitter with the caption, “I will remember you 24/8.”
“The world was heartbroken yesterday by a helicopter accident in Los Angeles that claimed the lives of nine people, including that of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna,” Jimmy Fallon said in the video. The late-night talk show host got emotional when describing the first time he met the basketball star. Kobe Bryant was 17 years old and Jimmy Fallon was 21 when they met at a party in Los Angeles and “hit it off.” Kobe was already a Laker but Jimmy was just beginning his comedy career.
Jimmy Fallon remembered the beer ran out at the party so a young Kobe Bryant offered to go on a beer run and asked the comedian to join along. He recalled going to the famous Pink Dot on Sunset Blvd. but it was closed. Jimmy tried to coax the worker to unlock the door and sell him beer but he got turned down. Laughing while recalling the 17-year-old coming up to the window, flashing his I.D. and simply saying, “I’m a Laker,” Jimmy Fallon said that did the trick.
The store employee opened the door, they walked out with 5 cases of beer and the duo “saved the party.” Fighting through tears, Jimmy Fallon said they’d often talk about that time but it was when they both became fathers to daughters that their connection became even stronger. “When we’d run into each other over the years we’d laugh about that night that we first met,” he stated. “We’d laugh about how much fun it is to raise kids and all the stupid mistakes we made trying to figure out how to be good dads.”
I will remember you 24/8. pic.twitter.com/9IdJTbFPN2
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) January 28, 2020
The talk show host begged everyone at home to honor Kobe Bryant and GiGi’s legacy by living through example. “Love your family, love your teammates and outwork everyone else in the gym,” he said. As tears streamed down his face, Jimmy Fallon directed his attention to his longtime friend and promised, “Kobe, when we meet again we’re going on a beer run.” Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed and burst into flames on Sunday while he was heading to his daughter’s basketball game with 8 others. He was only 41 years old.