Sunday, December 10, 2017
TV and Media

A USF professor was featured during Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show' opening

A University of South Florida professor had a moment in the limelight Tuesday when he was called up on stage during the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Tuesday, Fallon told his crowd, was "National Teacher Day." He asked if there were any teachers in the room, and soon about a dozen audience members were walking down toward the stage. At the end of the pack was Rick Kelso, a beloved instructor in USF's marketing department.

"I was quickly surrounded by Jimmy Fallon and a dozen other teachers on the Tonight Show stage," Kelso said on Wednesday.

Fallon, who shook each teacher's hand, joked he had no idea if any of them were lying. But Kelso was obviously telling the truth — he once received his campus' Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Kelso's daughter Jessica, a USF business student, was in the audience cheering on her father. The two were in the Big Apple for vacation. Their plans included lots of cheesecake and shopping, but they decided to try to snag standby seats for Fallon. They were some of the last people waiting who got tickets.

Once the teachers were on stage, Fallon asked the group to stand around him for a photo. They did so almost effortlessly lining up like it was for a class picture.

"Thank you, thank you for being teachers," Fallon said.

Kelso, the tallest of the group, stood in the back smiling.

Kelso said the talk show host even hugged his daughter after the show ended.

"It was a remarkable night," he said.

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