Jimmy Fallon might just be the luckiest man in show business. Sure, the guy is talented – he can sing, dance (sort of), and make people truly laugh to the point of tears. However, he’s not the first multitalented talk show host to ever grace the world of entertainment. Conan O’Brien, for example, can also sing (sort of), play guitar, and cause a theatre full of patrons to burst out with uproarious glee. Yet, somehow, Jimmy Fallon has convinced many-a-luminary to actually let him sing and perform alongside them. In fact, it’s sort of become his modus operandi. No doubt, Fallon’s career (beginning with the days of SNL) has been built on the man’s ability to connect, not only with fans, but find amazing common ground with headliners and guests. The latest was last night’s The Tonight Show wherein Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel performed twice, including an “impromptu” doo-wop number. (see videos below)
One may recall Fallon’s days on Saturday Night Live. Funny and charming, he always seemed to “buddy up” to his cohorts and the celebrity guests in a way that made it appear as though he was everybody’s best friend. It was always Jimmy Fallon who would initially break character, leading everyone in any given sketch to follow suit. It was this kind of boyish, innocent aura that seemed to infectiously infiltrate the headlining guests as well. Circa 2000, when Jimmy Fallon was 26-years-old, he did a duet with Christopher Walken as part of an opening monologue. The two sang a parody rendition of Gershwin’s “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off”. This was a model for many hysterical Fallon moments to come.
In more recent times, Fallon has taken on the role of talk show host. First, on Late Night, he performed alongside musical stars such as Robin Thicke, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, and long-time-pal Justin Timberlake. Not only are these performances funny, often poking fun at current events or the eccentricities of the guests themselves, the choreography and harmonies are also astoundingly on point. These collaborations become legendary and artists seem to relish in the performances with smiles, comfort, and satisfaction. The tradition of these audience arousing bits continue on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’s latest duet, side by side with Billy Joel.
On the March 20 episode of The Tonight Show, Billy Joel made a sensational appearance, most likely to promote his upcoming Sirius Satellite Radio show and monthly gig at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. During the course of the interview, we find out that Jimmy and Billy have a history together. Apparently, Jimmy and his father hung out with the legendary New Yorker at a previous show, backstage where they all sang doo-wop together (of course). This was, in hindsight, a clear lead in for Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel to perform a doo-wop rendition of Solomon Linda’s “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, with assistance from iPad and eventually backup from The Roots. Yet, the fun did not end there.
To end his time on the show, Billy Joel shared the microphone with Jimmy Fallon as the two did yet another duet on last nights The Tonight Show. They performed Joel’s famous hit You May Be Right to a cheering crowd. Jimmy hammed it up, jumping around on stage, getting on top of the piano, and even mimicking (very well) Billy Joel’s voice as the two crooned away. Billy Joel was smiling the whole time and didn’t seem at all upset that Fallon’s convulsive antics stole the show. In fact, Joel looked satisfied as if everything had gone “according to plan”. What is it with these celebrity’s and their affection for Fallon? Is it their immense desire to get in on the comedy? Or do they just like the guy? Probably both. In any case, Jimmy Fallon, talented as he is, is one lucky human being. Somehow, he has made his guests feel as if they are the lucky ones. Good work, Jimmy.
Opinion by Josh Taub