Jimmy Fallon Looks Absolutely Miserable As He Sings A Terrible COVID Song
The only thing as protracted and exhausting as the ongoing global pandemic is the epidemic of late-night writers’ rooms attempting to create a silly song and dance about COVID-19.
Last week, a clearly miserable Jimmy Fallon was seemingly forced at gunpoint to perform a “tiny song” about the COVID Variant XBB.1.5 on The Tonight Show. A frowning Fallon spent ninety of the worst seconds of his life side-stepping and swinging his arms while talk-singing a B-52’s-style song which stole all of the low-hanging jokes about the new variant’s cumbersome name that Twitter had already been making since the new strain first made headlines weeks ago.
Commenters from across the political spectrum have been panning the mediocre performance as flippant and low-effort – you know it’s bleak when even Fox News thinks something is “cringe.”
We’re not sure exactly what behind-the-scenes politics took place in order for a typically jovial Fallon to spit this silly song through gritted teeth. Perhaps he lost a bet on his beloved New England Patriots making the playoffs, or maybe one of his writers threatened to release the extended cut of his Saturday Night Live blackface sketch. Regardless of the origin of this ill-conceived ditty, the result was a weird dissonance between an ever-enthused Questlove laying down a catchy beat while a visibly furious Fallon shouted mediocre bars while internally planning his revenge.
Conservative commentators have bashed the performance for being a cringey attempt at creating concern over the 37th iteration of a disease they stopped caring about years ago, and many have compared the song to Stephen Colbert’s much-maligned “Vax-Scene” segment, in which the late-night veteran attempted to draw awareness for the COVID vaccine through singing cartoons and a poorly choreographed dance number.
Others have criticized Fallon's performance as being insensitive and tone-deaf, with author Mark Bourrie tweeting, “I bet all the people whose mothers and fathers die of this will think the act was funny as hell…”
However this segment came about, it seems from Fallon’s face immediately after he finishes singing that he knew the song would be a flop. Perhaps it’s time for late-night writers to admit that there’s no way to dress up the pandemic in a cutesy, colorful song-and-dance, and that the thin veil of the “satire” label doesn’t protect them from being – as Fox News puts it – cringe.
If one of Fallon’s writers goes missing this week, we’re going to email this link to the NYPD under the subject line: “Motive.”