Back on March 11th, 2000, when Jimmy Fallon was just a year and a half into his stint on Saturday Night Live, there was a sketch that involved Regis Philbin looking for a new cohost after the then-recent departure of Kathie Lee Gifford. This was a chance for the SNL cast members to show off their impressions of various celebrities and was a pretty common approach for the time.
One of the impressions in the sketch was Jimmy Fallon as Chris Rock. This was an impression that he had been doing for years in his stand-up act and he even did it in his audition for the show, although this was the only time he did it in black face. In the sketch itself, his impression lasts less than a minute.
Well earlier today, Fallon started to come under fire as the clip started to resurface online and went viral. And as we’ve seen before, it started drumming up all sorts of backlash and controversy, against both Fallon and SNL, despite being a decades old clip. And this put a lot of pressure on Fallon to apologize for something he did over 20 years ago.
Fallon himself finally responded this afternoon in a tweet, stating “ “While on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this. I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.”
The sketch itself does remain on the NBC website, however Fallon’s impression has been seamlessly edited out, as if it was never there.