If you weren’t one of the thousands of people who went to see Jimmy Fallon perform at Brick City Homecoming, I feel sorry for you: “I think this is my first college performance in like six years,” commented Fallon, age 34.
Fallon is a six season veteran of Saturday Night Live (SNL) and star of several feature-length films mostly filling comedic roles. He is the creator of the album titled “Car Wash for Peace” and has co-written a book with his sister called I Hate This Place: The Pessimist's Guide to Life. He took the stage in the Gordon Field House, expressing his nervousness, since “it’s always hard to do comedy for a large group.” His anxiety was unwarranted, as Matthew Wolff, a first year Advertising and Public Relations major, noted that it was “easily one of the best comedy acts [he had] ever seen live!”
Matt Kirshen of Last Comic Standing set the tone for the night with a great performance, consisting of topics ranging from his inability to perform accents (including his own English accent according to some Americans he had met while on tour) to the types of vehicles one could use to be able to go through a Jack in the Box franchise drive thru. Students even commented that they preferred his act to Fallon’s.
Surprisingly, neither performer resorted to the standard “What’s the sign for (insert dirty phrase here)?” in an effort to try to connect to RIT students in the least imaginative way possible: messing with the sign-language interpreter. In Fallon’s case, he described Rochester’s very own garbage plate in detail and remarked that he had been “blessed by the deliciousness that ensued.”
Beginning the main set, Fallon gave the audience a taste of the unique combination of standup, impressions, and parody music that constitutes the strongest aspects of his work. From his original songs like “Car Wash for Peace” and “You Spit When You Talk” to the two medleys he performed, his skill shined through. Some may compare him to Adam Sandler, but Fallon definitely has the upper hand in terms of musical ability.
Fallon’s tale, with guitar accompaniment, of a ‘Green’ concert featuring an all-star lineup of recording artists probably brought the most laughter of the night. Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” will be forever ruined thanks to the images burned into our brains by Fallon singing, “I kissed Al Gore and I liked it!” The same goes for Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” - “I’m bringing bottles back / sixty cents rebate on a twelve pack!” His famous ‘80s medley over MC Hammer’s “You Can’t Touch This,” which also cracked some giggles, can be viewed on YouTube.
The stand out song of the night, however, came from complete improvisation on the part of Fallon. After interacting with the front row earlier on in the show, Fallon invited second year Fine Arts Photography major Jen Stack (otherwise known as the one who would “be homeless in four years,” commented Fallon) onstage as a part of his “Barry Gibb Talk Show” skit from SNL. After learning some more information about Jen, he sang a song for her in front of the audience. “I was really happy with it,” commented Stack. “It’s my favorite sketch that he did on SNL.”
Despite the fact that I’ll probably never get a second opportunity to ask Jimmy Fallon where he would take Bill Nye if he could take him anywhere (Editor’s Note: See this week’s Word on the Street), Fallon's performance was really good. He still remains one of my favorite comedians of all time.