The Tonight Show was special tonight because the show featured as the only guests the members of the Irish band, U2, in an All U2 episode. They had been previously scheduled to be guests on the show for an entire week, previous to when lead singer, Bono, had a devastating bicycling accident in Central Park last November, and questioned if his guitar-playing days might be forever ended. He is now back with the band, though, and they are going to be touring in support of their latest album, Songs of Innocence. The Innocence & Experience Tour will begin in less than a week. Oh, and Fallon also did his weekly “Thank You Notes,” comedy bit, as well.
Host Jimmy Fallon began this special episode of the Tonight Show by being greeted by a standing ovation from the studio audience. He then did his monologue, or, as he called it tonight, his “bono”-logue, by saying “They weren’t supposed to be here tonight, but when I opened up my iTunes, they just popped up.”
Then, Jimmy Fallon joked about qualities that Americans said they wanted and did not want in a President, based on a recent poll. After that, Fallon did a comedy bit called “Meme the News.” The “Memed” versions of photos he showed were much funnier than the original photos.
“Here’s a crazy story,” Fallon said. Grocery store employees in Germany discovered $16 million in cocaine in a shipment of bananas. People said “Oh, my God! These Smoothies are amazing!” Fallon mentioned guacamole, and then a member of The Roots, Tariq, said that “I like guacamole!” He then did a segment demonstrating his recipe for guacamole dip.
After the monologue, Jimmy Fallon said that “They’re taking over the entire show! U2 is back! It’s a game-changer once again!”
Then, Jimmy Fallon did his weekly “Thank You Notes” segment. Some of the “Thank You Notes” were “Thank you, old age, for being defined as the moment you start taking pictures with the iPad. Thank you, Fun Run, for being half true. Thank you, kids with Mohawks, for letting us know that your parents think that it looks cool. Thank you, Paint Ball, for being great for people who like to paint but wish it would hurt more.”
Jimmy Fallon then said “Bono earlier this week got back on a bike. It was a pretty historic moment. Let’s take a look.” Fallon introduced the clip. He came riding up riding a bike with a basket on it. Then, the video showed a dummy dressed up like Bono getting ran into three times, the last time by the van with his own band members in it. After that, the Tonight Show went to another commercial break.
Following the break, Jimmy Fallon said “We’re so excited to have U2 back on the show!” Fallon said that the members of U2 were going to get dressed up like buskers and play in the subway. Fallon showed a clip of what went down. Bono had a white beard and a blue cowboy hat on. Some people paused and looked kind of amazed, but then they walked by.
“No, it’s not working! Plan B, everyone!” Jimmy Fallon yelled. The members of U2 took off their disguises, and cranked up the volume, singing their hit song, Desire. Then, they got a big crowd that gathered to film them, listen, and take Selfies with Bono. It was totally AMAZING!
After the break, Jimmy Fallon said that the band U2 has more Grammy wins than any other band, 22, and they have been nominated 57 times. Rolling Stone called Songs of Innocence 2014’s Album of the Year. The members of U2 came onto the stage and took their seats. “I want to set the stage for this moment,” Fallon said. He mentioned when they had been on the show and had performed on the rooftop.
As a follow-up, they set up an entire week that the band would be on. However, stuff happened, like a door of a plane that Bono was on, suddenly flying off; and, Bono’s unfortunate cycling accident in Central Park. Jimmy Fallon said he thought to himself, “Someone’s trying to kill Bono!”
Bono said “There was nothing cool about the accident. There was lycra involved….”
“But, you were also wearing a leather jacket,” Fallon said.
“Yeah, and my humerus bone was sticking out of the leather jacket,” Bono said. They talked a little bit about the unfortunate reaction they got about trying to make the album free to users of iPhones. Then, the Tonight Show headed to another commercial break.
Back from the break, Fallon asked the other members of the band questions, like “The name of the tour is the Innocence & Experience Tour. What is the ‘Innocence’ part and what is the ‘Experience?'” One of the other band members answered, and then The Edge talked about what a great stage and sound system was going to be used for the tour.
Bono said that just this morning, he got a tweet from the two firemen who had helped him following his accident. He said that they were called “The Fighting Irish,” and they had invited him to eat at their firehouse. Fallon showed a cool clip of U2 to give viewers a small taste of what the upcoming tour will be like.
When the Tonight Show returned from yet another commercial break, Jimmy Fallon once again introduced U2, this time performing Beautiful Day — a song not on the Songs of Innocence album but it is one of the band’s biggest hits. The entire audience were on their feet, waving their arms in the air and jumping up and down as Bono sang. Bono got up close to audience members, and they got the performance of their lives. It was definitely a highlight of the show.
Back from the last break of the night, U2 performed Song for Someone from their new album, Songs of Innocence. It was another excellent performance, and the entire album contains some great songs, despite the bad feedback that U2 got from people who do not like the band and were ticked off that the album somehow wound up on their iPhones.
That was the conclusion of this awesome episode of the Tonight Show, featuring U2 as Fallon’s only guests. The two words that perhaps best describe the “All U2” episode of the Tonight Show, for fans of the band, would be “uber” followed by “amazing.”
Written By Douglas Cobb
U2 Busking in Subway/Thanks to: Donna Massari, Jimmy Fallon, YouTube, & U2