Jimmy Fallon, Rahm Jump in Icy Chicago Lake, Raise $1M

'Tonight Show' host even dressed for the occasion

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 2, 2014 11:40 AM CST

(Newser) – The 32 degrees of Lake Michigan presumably drew a few blue words from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but a suit-and-tie-clad Jimmy Fallon outright screamed and raced for the shore this morning as the pair headlined the Windy City's Polar Plunge—and helped pull in more than $1 million for Special Olympics Chicago, reports the Tribune. Emanuel got roped into the frigid endeavor last summer after city schoolkids met his challenge of reading 2 million books, beating it handily by a spare 100,000 books.

Emanuel later challenged Fallon to join him via Twitter; after some trash talk, Fallon agreed. The effect was noticeable: "When Mayor Emanuel announced, we saw a little increase then," says Special Olympics Chicago's president. "And when Fallon committed, that's when we saw the big increase"—to the tune of an additional 700 participants over last year. Emanuel will now appear on the Tonight Show.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Chicago. Emanuel joined Jimmy Fallon in the event.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Chicago. Emanuel joined Jimmy Fallon in the event.   (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.   (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.   (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.   (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.   (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.
Jimmy Fallon quickly exits the water during the Chicago Polar Plunge, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Fallon joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the event.   (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Kay Golden, of Chicago, wears a Jimmy Fallon mask on the back of her head while waiting for the start of the Chicago Polar Plunge on Sunday, March 2, 2014.
Kay Golden, of Chicago, wears a Jimmy Fallon mask on the back of her head while waiting for the start of the Chicago Polar Plunge on Sunday, March 2, 2014.   (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
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