(USATODAY.com) - Considering the Hollywood heights he's climbed, it's hard to believe the funk Jimmy Fallon says he sunk into after leaving Saturday Night Live a decade ago.
Living in L.A., acting in mostly unmemorable movies, Fallon tells February's Vanity Fair that he was a little lost.
"I was probably drinking more than I should have been drinking," he says. "It wasn't, like, sitting and watching old tapes of me on SNL with the screen flickering in front of me. But I was like: 'I can't figure out what I want to do.' "
In stepped his old SNL mentor Lorne Michaels, who suggested the Late Night hosting gig. But it turns out that Michaels has been as much a father to Fallon as a friend.
"Lorne helped me with everything - with relationships, with me getting famous," Fallon says. "I was going through certain steps, and there were certain things I couldn't talk to my dad about because he wouldn't know. Like 'I have money now. Do I still rent? Do I buy an apartment?' Or 'I'm in L.A. and I have to rent a car.' (Lorne voice) 'You should get a Lexus, because you want to be quiet.' Or 'Should I date this actress?' (Lorne voice) 'You can date her, but you probably shouldn't marry her.' And he'd be totally right."