When it was announced that Justin Timberlake would be closing Jimmy Fallon’s first week on The Tonight Show, it was expected that the two would close things with a bang, and the comedic duo certainly didn’t disappoint.
No one really knew if Fallon’s Friday show with Timberlake would result in a revisit in sketches, like the two performed during Timberweek, or if the famous pals would bring another installment of “The History of Rap”. Even though there was a strong indication that NBC was glad to have Fallon with his old Late Night fan favorite segments, there was question if his date with Justin would introduce a whole new set of comedy.
After the airing of Justin Timberlake’s episode we can safely assume that you can take Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake out of the Late Night sound stage, but you can’t take the comedic chemistry away from the SNL duo. The two decided to not fix what wasn’t broken to begin with, so for fans of Timberlake and Fallon this meant for another rousing and hilarious performance of The History of Rap.
Previously to Fallon making his Tonight Show debut, the two had performed four different installments where they jumped around, danced, and rapped to some of the most popular tunes that spanned almost four decades of hip hop greats. This time was no different as there were more artists Timberlake and Fallon wanted to tackle. Those artists included Drake, Kanye West, Jay Z, the Beastie Boys, Kendrick Lamar and NWA.
Besides performing the “History of Rap” for the fifth time, Timberlake performed his new single “Not A Bad Thing.” As guest he sat next to Jimmy to participate in their special brand of “bro comedy” as they ribbed each other. While it would have seemed like a disconnected interview with anyone else, this particular duo really makes even the slightest hint of an inside joke all-inclusive for audiences with their hard to resist chummy friendship. Timberlake and Fallon covered a lot during their segment, from Jimmy seeing Timberlake at the Barclays center, to a hilarious on the fly rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.”
To no one’s surprise the ratings for Justin Timberlake’s episode of The Tonight Show were huge and ended Fallon’s first official week off on a really high note. Timberlake’s episode garnered 8.8 million viewers in the ratings and boosted Fallon’s debut week for being the most watched week of television since the 1993 series finale of Cheers.