Salem High, Roanoke College graduate makes late-night debut on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
By Shawn Nowlin email@example.com
Appearing as a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is a massive accomplishment for anyone, regardless of their notoriety or occupation. Seen by millions of people nationwide every week, host Jimmy Fallon took over the NBC aired late-night talk show in 2014.
Eighteen years ago, Brooks Allison was a typical Salem teenager who enjoyed hanging with friends and participating in athletic endeavors. After earning his high school diploma, Brooks continued his education at Roanoke College.
Brooks’ father Scott Allison, now in his 30th year at the helm of the Roanoke College Athletic Department, is one of the longest-tenured and most respected administrators in NCAA Division III. Under Scott’s supervision, Maroon teams have won over 100 Old Dominion Athletic Conference titles and made 131 NCAA Championship appearances.
Growing up, Brooks played multiple sports. As he aged, Scott said, he fell in love with music. At a young age, Scott continued, he was in a band with his buddies, and spent hours at a time creating his own digital music.
After earning an undergraduate degree from Roanoke College, Brooks looked for opportunities in the music and entertainment business. Today, he is a Brooklyn-based actor, improviser, musician and writer.
In addition to making themes for podcasts like Forever Dogs Book of Ye and Dead Meet, Brooks also releases original music under the name Boy Brooks, and is one half of the music duo Black & Blonde, both of which can be found on Spotify and iTunes.
On November 22, Brooks took center stage on the Tonight Show by participating in a segment titled “Battle of Instant Songwriters.” His opponent was Marcia Belsky, a fellow Brooklyn resident. Currently the bass player for the band Slothrust, Brooks was on tour when he got the call to be on the show.
When Fallon asked him on national television, “What is the song title we gave you this evening and what instrument will you be playing?” Brooks responded, “Stuck in the Elevator with Ed Sheeran and I’ll be playing the guitar.”
Fallon then replied, “It’s very possible that it probably did happen, you know? Elevators are kind of an old technology, but I’m sure even Ed Sheeran uses an elevator.”
Wearing some black slacks, a solid white button-up and a Tar Heel blue sweater, the audience chose Brooks over Belsky which earned him $1,000 and a Tonight Show notebook.
Known for its friendly late-night format, some of the greatest musicians of all time have graced Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show stage, including Rihanna, The Roots, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, SZA, J. Cole, Drake, Lenny Kravitz and Lady Gaga, just to name a few.
Across social media, Brooks Allison has about 6,650 Instagram followers and 1,230 Twitter followers. He is known as the co-creator of the web series Walking with Jordy and Brooks. The New York Post wrote about Brooks’ Andrew Cuomo parody “Dining” Video, and Stephen Colbert even featured one of Brooks’ videos on his Twitter page.
Those who know Brooks best say they couldn’t be prouder of everything that he has accomplished. Brooks’ dad and stepmom, Bobbie and Scott, currently reside in Salem and his younger sister, Claire, a hair designer and make-up artist in Baltimore, is a 2013 Roanoke College graduate.
“We are 100 percent supportive of both of our kids and encourage them to chase their dreams. Specifically for Brooks, we bought him both his first and second guitars and attend his shows whenever we can,” Scott said. “One of my fondest memories is joining him ‘on stage,’ if you will, to play Stone Temple Pilot’s ‘Plush’ at a fraternity property. His bandmates and I killed it.”