Wrapping up his first week as host of The Tonight Show with a bang, Jimmy Fallon teamed up with the multi-talented superstar Justin Timberlake this past Friday in order to bust a move on the fifth volume of the History of Rap. A popular element of Fallon’s Late Night program since the first instalment back in 2010, the Fallon-Timberlake rap medley has been a fan favorite since its original appearance. Kicking off the performance with LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad,” the mega duo of Fallon and Timberlake quickly powered through a lineup of classic rap hits by artists such Salt-N-Pepa, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Kris Kross, Drake and Kendrick Lamar before finishing the segment with an uptempo delivery of no less than two Run D.M.C. and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.”
Justin Timberlake proved to be the perfect guest on Friday’s airing of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, closing out a week of musical highlights with a bang. With four other volumes of the History of Rap under their belts, Fallon and Timberlake had hardly uttered a word to one another before the audience cheered in a manic frenzy, knowing what was about to unfold even before the duo began to bust out the beats. Showcasing their rapping skills for a music-hungry audience is no new feat, though with the astounding success of each History of Rap, the miniseries is likely to continue on, despite some insistence from critics that the Fallon-Timberlake team-up is beginning to turn stagnant.
Timberlake’s guest spot on The Tonight Show luckily agreed with his current touring schedule, which happened to place the heart throb singer in New York, set to perform a series of shows at the nearby Madison Square Garden. Not one to pass up a great opportunity for a little extra screen time and publicity, Timberlake joined his frequent associate Fallon once again, no doubt with the intent of pleasing his entertainment-hungry fans while adding yet another powerful push of momentum for his latest music tour, the “20/20 Experience World Tour”. Timberlake also found time to deliver a stellar performance of his track “Not A Bad Thing”, generating some excitement for his upcoming concert dates.
Putting together an impressive compilation of 23 hit tunes for their fifth instalment of the History of Rap, Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon have once again managed to launch their collaboration into viral status, although Timberlake’s guest spot on The Tonight Show wasn’t the newly re-imagined program’s only first-week high point. Fallon managed to secure cameo appearances by many high-profile celebrities including First Lady Michelle Obama, socialite-turn-reality television queen Kim Kardashian, the Fresh Prince himself Will Smith, Lady Gaga and even Fallon’s late night rival, Stephen Colbert, just to name a few.
Partially thanks to Justin Timberlake’s guest appearance and their collective bust-out of the History of Rap 5, Jimmy Fallon’s presentation of the first week of The Tonight Show generated critically impressive ratings, averaging 8.490 million viewers throughout the week. Fallon’s first week as host of the esteemed late-night television program (he took over for the legendary Jay Leno) was a rousing success, as the franchise’s ratings went above and beyond previous weeks’ performances, making the former Late Night host’s first week of presentation of The Tonight Show the most-watched week in roughly 20 years.
By Christopher White