The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

Jimmy Fallon seeks an heir to the ‘Tonight Show’ in ‘Empire’ send-up

In which Taraji P. Henson calls Steve Higgins 'Little Debbie.'


Michelle Jaworski


Published Sep 23, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 10:29 pm CDT

Jimmy Fallon is taking the future of his Tonight Show empire into his own hands.

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He, Steve Higgins, and the Roots take on Empire in their latest TV parody digital original, and the drama soon follows. Fallon, channeling Lucious Lyon, is looking for an heir to take over for him in case another injury takes him down. Higgins’s Cookie impression is a wonder to behold (along with his “This is an ass” moment) as Fallon’s crew fights for the job.

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There are a couple of Empire cameos along the way, with Taraji P. Henson’s Cookie in particular making an impression both on the audience and on Higgins, whom she calls “Little Debbie” because he’s a “fake-ass Cookie.” Terrence Howard, however, isn’t amused.

As for the true heir of The Tonight Show? Well, if the presidency doesn’t work out for him, he’ll still have himself a hefty job.

Screengrab via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube

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*First Published: Sep 23, 2015, 12:31 pm CDT