WATCH: Dolly Parton Tells Hilarious Story About ‘All I Want For Christmas’ Duet with Jimmy Fallon

by Atlanta Northcutt

In October, a rather surprising Christmas duet took place between Dolly Parton and the comedic TV host Jimmy Fallon.

During the musical collaboration on The Tonight Show, Parton partnered with talk show host Fallon as they performed Mariah Carey’s rendition of “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Dolly Parton and Jimmy Fallon Team Up

Fallon isn’t especially known for having the most talented singing voice, although he has performed with musical guests on the show. Instead, Jimmy brings his own light through his comedic stylings.

However, when the powerhouse voice and positive radiance of Dolly join together with the laid-back attitude and humourous spirit of Jimmy, magic happens, and smiles form.

She appeared on The Tonight Show upon the Oct. 2 release of her new Christmas album A Holly Dolly Christmas. The two collaborated to grant viewers an early holiday gift.

But, what is the background story of this unusual collaboration? Dolly gives us all the details.

“There’s a little story with that,” she says. “First of all, I love Jimmy Fallon. I’ve always loved Jimmy Fallon. And we just have a special connection. We just like each other.”

“All I Want For Christmas”

“I don’t know him outside the dressing rooms or on the panel. But I loved watching Jimmy perform with all the different artists on his show,” adds Dolly. “I’ve always thought he had a really good voice. A few years back, I was on his show during the holiday season. And he wanted me to sing “All I Want for Christmas” on his show. I did not know it well enough to sing it.”

The host of the Apple Music interview, Zane Lowe, points out how Parton is in the one percentile of people who haven’t heard Mariah Carey’s version of the song.

“Well, and the fact that Mariah is so great a singer,” says Parton. “I don’t want to be crucified for trying to mess up her great song. Anyway, I couldn’t do it. So this year, when I got ready to do my album, I called him up and said, ‘Jimmy, I really think you have a great voice, and I learned that song that you loved. So I’m going to put it on my album.'”

A Christmas Duet

Parton then asked Fallon the coveted question of if he would sing the song as a duet with her for her album.

“‘He said, Oh Dolly, I don’t take myself seriously as a singer. I don’t think anybody else would,'” she says.

As the inspirational person Parton is, she encouraged Jimmy to join her in singing the duet.

“I said, ‘I think they would. Well, I do,'” she says. “Would you be willing to try it?”

Of course, when Dolly Parton personally asks you to perform a song with her, you agree, even if you’re Jimmy Fallon.

“He says, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it, but would you promise me, though, if I do my part, and it doesn’t sound good, will you take me off and sing it on your own?'”

The two made a deal, and the duet was recorded.

“He loved it!”, says Dolly. “So it’s one of my favorite things on the whole album.”