Jimmy Fallon, the Saturday Night Live comic turned sometime actor turned late night television host has a whole slew of talents, from mimicry (he's hilarious as Barry Gibb) to rapping to having a pretty decent singing voice. We admit to going down a YouTube black hole on some days watching clips of Fallon and his guests (heck we went down that hole writing this very article).
Whether they're imitating Mick Jagger or banging on children's musical instruments, the celebrities on his show genuinely seem to be having a whale of a time. With the backing of his house band, The Roots, a lot of Fallon's gags and impressions have a musical spin to them. Here are our favourites from lip sync battles to the history of rap.
1. The one that only Justin gets to do
When Justin met Jimmy, an education in rap music happened. Those who grew up in the 80s and 90s will recognise a lot of the pioneering rappers that paved the way for the Drakes and Kendrick Lamars that rule the genre today. Fallon — with the help of singer and actor Justin Timberlake — performs a condensed version of rap and hip-hop classics from groups like NWA and The Beastie Boys that will have you grooving, and trying unsuccessfully to rap along to. Currently six parts have been created. Watch the latest clip below.
2. The one with a wheel of musical impressions
When bonafide singers come on the show — think Jamie Foxx and Christina Aguilera — Fallon makes them show off their own impersonation skills by doing a silly or current song in the voice of another famous singer. Ever wanted to hear Britney Spears singing This Little Piggy or Adam Levine doing his best Michael Jackson? This is the game for you. Check out Ariana Grande doing a mean Celine Dion in the clip below:
3. The one that spun off a whole new show
Fallon and his guests take the art of lip syncing to a whole new level. The skill is obviously not about vocal gymnastics, but rather about creating a big, side-splittingly-funny performance. Originally created by British comedian Stephen Merchant and his friends John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, the spot was so successful it warranted a spin-off show hosted by LL Cool J, attracting big names like Anne Hathaway and Dwayne Johnson. One of our favourite clips? This one starring the adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the game's creator Merchant himself, that's been viewed 50 million times on YouTube.
4. The one with the inside joke involving musical legends
Legends playing legends? Only the brilliantly twisted minds on The Tonight Show staff would think of this one. Two members of hip hop royalty The Roots, drummer Questlove and guitarist "Captain" Kirk Douglas play the fictional duo 'Black Simon and Garfunkel'. Performing hits like Thrift Shop and Roar in the folksy, earnest style of the 60s folk-rock giants can only result in deadpan hilarity — and the stirring refrain from The Boxer. Bonus: Art Garfunkel performs Can't Feel My Face with them in this one:
5. The one that made kindergarten cool again
Parents, did you know your little tykes' toy musical instruments could play pretty groovy tunes when placed in the hands of talented musicians? Jimmy Fallon did which is how this segment probably came about. Feeling Christmas-y and all nostalgic? Check out this one with the Fallon, The Roots and the now Zayn-less One Direction:
6. The one where a barbershop quartet sings inappropriate songs
Taking a dig at the geeky, goody-goody image of barbershop quartets everywhere, Fallon and his friends formed one called the 'Ragtime Gals'. Famous guests sometimes join them for their covers of slightly risque tracks like I Wanna Sex You Up and B***h Better Have My Money. Here Sting joins them for a very different take on the Police hit Roxanne:
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon airs Tuesdays to Saturdays on E! at 11pm, on the same day as the US telecast.
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