When Jimmy Fallon succeeded Conan O'Brien to the Late Night throne, he added The Roots as the house band, with the band's drummer Amir "Questlove" Thompson as Fallon's Max Weinberg. The band not only adds the commercial break cutaway and guest walk-on music (usually a play on the guest's name or show/movie they are promoting, or a thematically appropriate song, to comedic effect — e.g., Lil Wayne's "Stuntin' Like My Daddy," for Colin Hanks), it also also jams with the show's musical (or not) guests.
Choice cuts: Bruce Springsteen (with Steve Van Zandt and Roy Bittan) joining The Roots for "Because the Night" and "Save My Love", and Jeff Goldblum sitting in for Biz Markie's "Just A Friend." Earlier this year, Mark Paul Gosselaar (in character as his legacy role, Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell) played guitar and sang "Friends Forever" by that show's fictional band Zack Attack.
Tonight, Kermit Ruffins performs with the band as one of Fallon's guests. The show airs at 11:35 p.m. on NBC. Check out NBC's pre-show interview with the trumpeter (and hit the jump to find out what he keeps under his ubiquitous fedora.)
On what’s under the hat
“I’ve got a ’fro. See?” [Pulls out his driver’s license, whereupon we ask if he and the Roots’ Questlove are going to have a ’fro-off on the Fallon set] “Maybe. Maybe. His is pretty crazy, though—I got to get to work. Got to get a pick like him.”