Could he become Jimmy Fallon’s resident animal expert?
Robert Irwin was back on The Tonight Show for a second time after his debut in February that scored 54 million views on Facebook, bringing with him a few guests that terrified the host but delighted the audience.
The 13-year-old son of the late Steve Irwin appears to share the same confidence in front of a camera that has taken his sister Bindi to fame on TV, including her Dancing with the Stars victory in the US in 2015.
On the show Irwin enthusiastically told Fallon that he was feeling “beaut bonzer”, which had the US host asking for a translation of the Aussie-ism.
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“Beaut bonzer just means amazing, just terrific. It’s the best you can be,” Irwin said.
It was very reminiscent of the buoyant energy of his father, who died in 2006, and a resemblance which was brought to light even further as Fallon held up an image of Robert against one of his father at the same age.
“When my mum first showed this to me, I thought it was me,” said Robert. “I can’t tell them apart, I said it’s me, what’s the big deal, and until you look at dad’s [’70s-style] shirt, you don’t even realise it’s two different people.”
Bindi Irwin posted a touching tribute to her brother, pictured at The Tonight Show studio along with their mother Terri ahead of Robert’s appearance.
Animal guests brought on by Irwin to a nervous Fallon included a scorpion and the admittedly freaky-looking legless lizards.
On the cuter side of things were two baby black bears, one of which chewed at the host’s jacket a couple of times.
“This is the closest I’ve ever come to a bear, this is so cool. I survived this, so I’m happy about this,” said Fallon.
Also up was Orville, a binturong or Southeast Asian bearcat, which Irwin encouraged Fallon to greet by letting it smell his head which is how the animal identifies other creatures.
“This is like skydiving for me, I don’t like this,” said Fallon, on his hands and knees in front of the bearcat.
After a few stunts with a toucan called Beatrice, Irwin didn’t miss the opportunity to plug his Crikey Club channel which runs through the Australia Zoo website (followed by Fallon asking him to spell out the word crikey).