TV history was made last night when after weeks of anticipation, Jimmy Fallon took the stage of NBC’s Tonight show as its host. 11.3 million people watched his debut episode, which featured cameos from Tina Fey, Mariah Carey, Kim Kardashian, Stephen Colbert, and several others. In addition taking a moment to recognize that moment in history, and watching him chat it up with superstar guest Will Smith, that sizable audience, which is nearly double the size of his Late Night finale numbers, got to see some cool music moments too.
The first of these, was when Jimmy took a moment to recognize his house band, which are known to many hip hop fans as the legendary Roots Crew. They came to the Tonight Show by way of working as Fallon’s house band when he was the host of Late Night, but prior to joining the NBC late night family in 2009, The Roots were known as one of the most credible and artistically innovative bands in hip hop culture. They released eight albums before linking up with Jimmy. Seven of those eight were for different Universal Music Group labels. Scholars of the genre have often recognized them as one of the most musically aware bands currently in the biz, even though there have been times that their acclaim hasn’t been matched by commercial success or mainstream exposure. Fallon naturally aware of this, put the last breakthrough nail in their “need for exposure” coffin, and praised their diverse musicianship and reputation to mainstream America on the largest platform possible. It spoke volumes for hip hop, and their decades of hard work.
The next of these music moments also came from hip hop, but in a silly way. Will Smith got his “Fresh Prince” on when he joined Jimmy for a skit called “evolution of hip hop dancing.” In the skit, which you can see embedded below, Jimmy and Will do comedic interpretations of different “hip hop” dances made famous throughout the years. Some standouts included, the two of them doing “the Carlton” made famous by Will’s Fresh Prince Of Bel Air co-star Alfonso Ribeiro, and “the Twerk”, which was most recently made infamous by Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke.
Of course, the biggest of the show’s musical moments came from its musical guests U2. They did two songs at different points in the broadcast. The first of them was “Invisible”, performed live on the rooftop of NBC’s headquarters, Rockefeller Center. The second was a semi-impromptu acoustic version of “Ordinary Love”, which progressed to include the accompaniment of The Roots. If you missed, watch! It made for great TV!
All the mentioned moments are embedded below. Check them out and enjoy. Cheers!
“The Evolution Of Hip Hop Dancing”
From: The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon