There’s no question late night talk shows have played host to a great number of musicians who went on to become the world’s greatest. Think when The Beatles made an American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in the 60’s – we never seem to stop talking about that. Or how today’s massive names like Adele or Foo Fighters started out on the stage of Late Night with David Letterman. But what happens when artists take their musical flair off of its usual showcase platform and channel it into a (seemingly) spontaneous skit? Comedy gold, that’s what. Here are our top 8 hilarious unplugged moments made by your favourite songsters and songstresses.
8. Paul McCartney – “Scrambled Eggs” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
It’s safe to say Sir Paul is one of Fallon’s favourite people to have on the show. And we totally feel him. Who wouldn’t want to just sit down and talk to the Beatle about how he’s the one who set the the selfie trend? Or, even better, hear him sing a mouthwatering parody of “Yesterday”?
7. Idina Menzel – “Let It Go” (with classroom instruments) on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Is the Adele Dazeem joke too old? Not really when we still see anything related to Frozen and this song. The day after the 2014 Oscars, the wickedly talented Tony Award-winning actress joined force with Fallon and the Roots to create this delightful rendition of the one soundtrack that defines 2014. Just check it out if you haven’t. It’s also Tonight Show’s best classroom instruments segment ever done in our opinion.
6. Jennifer Lopez – “Tight Pants” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that she got, she still wears the tightest pants in all the blocks.
After Will Ferrell did the bit in 2012, Jennifer Lopez seems like the most unlikely celebrity to take on “Tight Pants” given her diva status. But a minute into the competition, we see what a tight contender she actually is and we’re left with one thing to say: how could we ever doubt the Jenny of the Bronx?
By the way, good luck trying to get the song out of your head.
5. Ariana Grande singing Broadway Versions of Rap Songs on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
The “One Last Time” singer may have recently delivered a spot-on impression of Celine Dion in the Wheel of Musical Impressions game, but we’re more impressed with her first appearance on the show in September 2013, singing broadway renditions of famous rap songs. Our favourite? “Insane In The Membrane”.
4. Christina Aguilera’s Wheel of Musical Impressions The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Sure, we like Ariana Grande’s Wheel of Musical Impressions. But we love Christina Aguilera’s. Thanks to the dead-on impression of her fellow Mickey Mouse Club alum, we finally get an answer to a very important question: “What would Britney Spears sound like if she sang ‘This Little Piggy’?” (Not that it’s ever been asked).
3. Will Smith, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Alfonso Ribeiro on The Graham Norton Show
God, Will Smith never stops being cool, does he? This episode of The Graham Norton Show sees the actor/rapper/songwriter and his son Jaden improvise a rap together. Well, it seemed like an impromptu for a while until Smith surprised the entire studio by introducing not one but two of his former partners-in-crime, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Alfonso Ribeiro, and the rest is history.
2. Jennifer Hudson’s Carpool Karaoke on The Late Late Show with James Corden
Alright, bear with us. This is technically not a traditional musical skit but James Corden’s carpooling with celebrities gets us all wishing we had a ride like his every morning. From a wedding dress fitting with Iggy Azalea to a tearjerking connubial moment executed by Stevie Wonder, the British host shows us anything can happen on one’s way to work. And it’s sheer magic that’s happening in our pick at number 2, which features Jennifer Hudson singing a drive-thru order and making this carpool the carpool to slay them all with “And I’m Telling You”
1. Justin Timberlake’s History of Rap on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Oh, to have a bromance like Justin and Jimmy’s.
The duo have done many other late-night musical sketches together but none of them is quite like our no. 1 spot, History of Rap. Over the years they’ve brilliantly delivered six editions in total, each more epic than the last. None hip-hop fans will enjoy the bit as much as ardent listeners – there’s simply going to be some infectious tunes you jam to no matter how hard you try not to (Kriss Kross’s “Jump” is our total guilty pleasure). Check out the latest instalment that will make you crave for more. Not to worry, though. Even if Timberlake once teased History of Rap 4 would be “the last time,” he did come back to do 5 and 6. There’s no use trying to screw with us, JT. We’re pretty sure you want more of it just as much as we do.