The Tonight Show is experiencing a serious revival since Jimmy Fallon took the reigns from Jay Leno earlier this month. As the weeks have passed, it seemed like the hilarity was too good to be true and perhaps unable to last, but The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon proves why televisions as well as studio audiences are in love with this guy as he pokes fun at Lebron James in a basketball spoof. Guests include Shaun White talking about his latest showing at the recent Sochi Olympics in Russia and Denzel Washington.
The show starts with the monologue, which I have liked since Fallon took over, as it is edgy without going over-the-top. Especially appealing is his ability to “keep it real” and uncanny wit on the improvisational addition of characterizations. This evening is no different. He botches a joke about junk food still behind healthy food ads taking three tries to finally pulls it off but did it with flair. He references the Survivor premiere from last night and the three camps…brains, beauty, and brawn…with clips showing how utterly inept the brains group was and how unappealing beauty could be at times. The funniest joke was when he talks about Paula Deen opening a new restaurant called “Paula Deen’s Kitchen: because “White Castle” was taken.
He shifts gears and talks about Michelle Obama’ visit and promotion of her “Let’s Move” health initiative. If enough people posted videos she would include one of the President and Vice President moving which was showcased. Denzel Washington will be going to Broadway to appear in “A Raisin in the Sun” and snowboarder, Shaun White, as well as Sara Bareilles will perform. Special guest (may be) the greatest basketball player of all time…Lebron James. It is how he shows up that is hysterical.
The Twitter #hashtags segment had me in stitches. This week was about #misheardlyrics in support of the return of The Voice; the hashtag trended. A couple of the highlights include otg2014’s tweet “I heard ‘If you start me up’ by the Rolling Stone as ‘In Yugoslavia, you’ll never starve.'” which causes Fallon to bust out in song including an imitation of Mick Jagger and one by Timb0Russell who tweets “When I was young, I thought The Lion King started with ‘PENNSYLVANIA!'” to which Fallon sings about The Groundhog King who obviously saw his shadow earlier this month as indicated by all this continued crazy winter weather.
After the commercial break, Jimmy Fallon returns with a video tape of wastepaper basketball. It starts out with really bad cheerleaders leading into a rap about basketball with him throwing down paper wads with friends before being joined by Lebron James who schools him in paper slam dunks. Oh my gosh…too funny! The clip will appear at the bottom of the post for those who missed it.
Jimmy returns with Tony and Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington, to discuss his upcoming role in “A Raisin in the Sun” to open on Broadway on March 8, 2014 stating his uncle played basketball at Fordham while Washington was there. Jimmy reveals another connection through Spike Lee who directed Washington as well as doing the introduction for the new Tonight Show. Washington states the theater is an actor’s medium which would be agreed to by Joan Steiger who I recently interviewed. I can lead to many improvisations. Washington tells about spending time with Sydney Pointier to get pointers about the role.
Shaun White is introduced looking as dapper as ever. Jimmy asks if the conditions in Sochi was as bad as reported. White tells about the house he rented instead of staying at the dorms; it had one wall missing. He tells about a shower incident at Olympic Village causing flooding onto the beds of bob sled team members. White tells about how fire hoses were used to condition the tracks and he is extremely gracious about not winning. He reveals how the “Tomahawk” was named after a steak he had eaten. Shaun White will return next week (Thursday) to perform with his band, Bad Things, to debut their first release with Warner Brothers.
The show ends with Sara Bareilles performing “I Choose You” from The Blessed Unrest album which was nominated for a Grammy. She performs with The Roots. I love her voice and this was a great performance which was not pre-recorded or lip synced as evidenced by periods of pitchiness. Wonderful to see true performances that got better as she went along.
Image courtesy of CBS and video courtesy of YouTube