Jimmy Fallon details his first meeting with The Roots and more.
Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show and general hip-hop fan, recently hit up The Breakfast Club for an extensive interview. While ample ground is covered, one particular highlight arises when Jimmy opens up about initially hiring The Roots.
Charlamagne proceeds to call hiring The Roots "an edgy" move, prompting a laugh from Jimmy. "It wasn't easy," he explains, citing a conversation with his friend Neil Brennan, producer of The Chappelle Show"He was like, who is the band going to be?" reflects Jimmy. "I needed a good band cause I'm following Max Weinberg, a fantastic band. And so [Brennan] goes, you should ask The Roots!" When Jimmy thought Brennan meant asking The Roots to be his house band, Brennan instantly corrected him - "Oh no, no I was saying you should ask them because they know a lot of people!"
Still, Jimmy felt optimistic, and took it upon himself to call their manager. "I didn't hear back from them for three weeks. They were on tour, in Paris. They toured three hundred and twenty-five days out of the year, all over the world." Eventually, Jimmy heard back from The Roots' camp, and a meeting date was set. At the time, Jimmy didn't have an enough, so he asked SNL's Lorne Michaels if he could "borrow" his. "So I had their manager, Questlove, Tariq, and my producer. We had a meeting, and I said two things. One, if you do this you'll be the best band in the history of TV. Ever. None better. Cause you can play with Jay-Z but you can also play with Tony Bennett. Number two, we're a train ride away from Philly."
Quest countered with his own pair of questions. "If we have like, a jazz group or someone who can't normally get booked, can we have them sit in with the band?" Upon Jimmy's immediate approval, he continues. "Number two, if this is Lorne Michaels' office, where is the popcorn?" Apparently, Quest is somewhat of a "comedy nerd," and knows that Lorne Michaels tends to keep a bucket of popcorn in his office at all times. From that moment, a friendship was born.
Peep the full interview, which covers topics like cultural appropriation, alcoholism, fatherhood and more. Roots talk starts around 21:00.