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Levittowner Named As FOX News Host

Jimmy Failla finds humor in all things culture, politics, lifestyles
He does it all, folks. While continuing as the host of a nationally syndicated radio program, FOX Across America (weekdays from noon to 3 p.m.), Jimmy Failla has been named the new host of FOX News Saturday Night (Saturdays, 10 p.m.), in addition to releasing the book, Cancel Culture Dictionary, which earned a spot on The New York Times bestsellers’ list and having a one-hour stand-up comedy performance recorded, Jimmy Failla: They’re Just Jokes. All of this, credited to the funny guy from Levittown.
Since joining the FOX network as a writer in 2016, Failla has brought his signature comedic take across FOX News Media’s platforms during daytime and primetime programming. His nationally syndicated talk radio show, FOX Across America with Jimmy Failla, launched in March of 2020 on 27 radio stations and can now be heard on over 150 stations across the country. Prior to his role on television and as a stand-up comedian, Failla was a New York City cab driver.
We spoke with Failla amid of all of these career achievements, here’s what he had to share.

CH: Did you always know that you were funny?
JF: I guess I did, because everyone around me was funny; my family told a lot of jokes. I had an Uncle Sonny who was a socially dominant figure. He knew street jokes, ‘two guys walk into a bar…’ and it was silly. My dad, my brothers, my uncles, my cousins, everyone was a cop in the family except me. It was a lot of tough love because cops like to pick on each other. Their affection is shown through a put-down. I didn’t know any different; I thought everyone was fun and funny and always had a good time. It was one of my teachers [Mrs. Pascana] who told me to go home and watch The Tonight Show. She said, ‘You’re kind of a talk show host; you don’t realize that; you should watch it and see.” I loved The Tonight Show. She encouraged me and said I could do that one day. I was in fifth grade. As a kid, you believe authority figures like that. I took it with me the rest of the way; it took me 40 years, but here we are.

CH: Tell me about the new book, Cancel Culture Dictionary.
JF: I might be the first community college graduate to get on [The New York Times] bestseller list, so I want credit for that. I went to Nassau Community College “Turnpike Tech”. The thing about community college is that it’s no nonsense. If you’re there to do something great, you can really help yourself. When I was there, I was exactly the opposite. I was one of the dudes that was enrolled just to stay on his parents’ health insurance. The whole hook of the book, Cancel Culture Dictionary, is that I believe in the age of social media and incentivized outrage. I say it’s a guide to winning the war on fun, like a call to chill out.

CH; Tell me about growing up in Levittown.
JF: I graduated from Division Avenue High School. I was known for heckling in baseball games. This is a very important part of my story. The late and great Doug Robbins, baseball coach at Division, won a bunch of state titles as coach. He had two sons, Dougie and Steve. I graduated in 1995 with Steve, who is a coach at Division now. From my freshman year through my senior year, I would sit in the bleachers at every home game and heckle the other teams to the point that it was comedic; it was disruptive. It was so effective that [Coach Robbins] used to take me out of eighth period class and give me the dirt on who we were playing. Dennis Schneider won the Diamond Award that year for being the best player on Long Island as a pitcher. He went on to C.W. Post. Dennis threw a no-hitter on Memorial Day, but I got the game ball from the coach because of how rattled the other team. It was so silly. That’s kind of how I got my start as a performer, by sitting in the bleachers and ragging on the other team. When this goes to print there are going to be hundreds of people who say,
“I remember that guy!”

CH: Who are some of the most memorable people from growing up in Levittown?
JF: That was Mrs. Pascana at Abbey Lane. Sadly, she is sadly no
longer with us. I wanted to find her when the show launched. I have connected with one of my fourth-grade teachers though and had her as a guest at my stand-up special. At Division Avenue High School, my biggest influences were the coaches like Coach Robbins (late) and the principal John Allen, who was the Division Avenue principal through the late ’80s, he’s probably retired now. He was a no-nonsense guy, but he had a sense of humor. He had real authority, almost a military vibe, but I could get a thunderous laugh out of him. I am sure he wanted to kick my ass most of the time.

Check out Failla on the new show
FOX News Saturday Night with Jimmy Failla for cultural, political and lifestyle issues airing weekly from 10 to 11 p.m. on FOX. Visit www.longislandweekly.com
for more of our interview with Failla.

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