Long before hoping that “Jolene” wouldn’t take her man, Dolly Parton probably wished a bear or bobcat did take the young man she was on a date with when she was 18 years old. That’s the short story version of the incredible tale Parton told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show this past Friday evening.
The country and pop culture icon played a game of “True Confessions” with host Jimmy Fallon and guest Noah Centineo where each player had to guess whether confessions made were true or false.
“I dated a guy, and he kicked me out of a car and made me walk home through a forest with bears and bobcats,” Parton said.
Centineo replied, asking, “Did you encounter bears and bobcats?”
“Absolutely. I heard them, felt them,” she explained. “It was a ’put out or get out’ situation.” She added that she was only on the date because the boy had a car. Once telling both Fallon and Centineo that the story was true, she shared the moral she learned from the story: “I thought, if that ever happens to me again, I’m definitely giving it up. I would rather be chewed on by a boy than a bear.”
Now, some 55 years after marrying her husband Carl Dean, Parton’s far past being chased through the woods by wild animals. Most recently, she flipped the lyrics of her 40-year-old, superstar-making single “9 to 5” into “5 to 9” for a Squarespace commercial that aired during Super Bowl LV. Plus, she’s also podcasted for Apple’s new Fitness+ innovation.
Of course, none of this would’ve happened had she not escaped the clutches of those bears and bobcats years ago…