Behind every great talk-show host is a great house band. Letterman has Paul Schaffer, Carson had Doc Severson, and Conan O'Brien has Max Weinberg. Former Saturday Night Live rubber-faced man Jimmy Fallon will be joining the late-night talk-show ranks next year, and (brace yourselves) accompanying him musically will be...
...noted Philadelphia-based hip-hoppers The Roots, says The Philadelphia Daily News. Yep, Fallon and The Roots. That certainly qualifies as a nomination for shocker of the century.
Fallon will take to the desk at 12:30 a.m. sometime in early 2009 (think March or April), replacing the slot vacated by O'Brien's departure to the 11:30 p.m. slot. The domino effect was caused by NBC's announcement that it would be parting ways with Jay Leno and his duties as The Tonight Show host on May 29, 2009. O'Brien is due to take some time off from Late Night before taking over for good for Leno in June.
The pairing of Fallon and The Roots is quizzical, with Fallon being a white boy and star of "comedies" such as Taxi and The Roots' fusion of jazz, R&B;, and hip-hop garnering critical acclaim and establishing the act as one of the "realest," but it's clearly an angle geared toward marketing to the kids.
The Roots are no strangers to the comedy circuit, having worked with Stephen Colbert and Dave Chappelle previously (you may remember the superior-coiffed Roots drummer ?uestlove pounding the drums at a barber shop in an episode of Chappelle's Show).
Is anyone out there as shocked as I am?