On the occasion of Jimmy Fallon‘s debut as the new host of the Tonight Show, Questlove let Okayplayer TV shadow him for the entire day, allowing our cameras unprecedented access to his personal rituals of preparation before the show’s first taping, featuring Will Smith and U2. Questo gave us so much access, in fact, that what started as a vignette became a two-part mini-documentary giving us glimpses of Questlove’s training regimen (gloves up); his new crib (arguably the best view in New York City); his infamous sneaker & t-shirt collections; his grooming secrets (the secret is: french toast) and the rare moment of reflection for the new hardest working man in showbiz–before plunging into the backstage madness at 30 Rockefeller Center, that is.
In Part 2, Questlove takes us backstage and into his confidence, sharing his fears of living up to “the three greats” (Michael Jackson, Prince & J Dilla, naturally) and his formula for maintaining his zen in the face of all the opening night jitters and jinxes:
“We’ve done this show 969 times, what I don’t want to do is pretend this is show #1. I want to pretend like this is show #970.”
We get to sit in on The Roots‘ rehearsal, hear the behind the scenes backstory of how the show’s new theme song was created, and bug out with Captain Kirk and James Poyser of the Legendary while Questo gets his yearly facial hair shape up. In other words, it’s just like actually being there in 3-d on the buzzing 30 Rock set, getting the stage door view as TV history is made (did we mention that The Roots & Jimmy Fallon’s opening night attracted a record 11.3 million viewers? And, more importantly, brought the Tonight Show back to New York where it belongs?). So come follow we as Questlove takes us on a guided journey through a career-high day as the leader of Jimmy Fallon’s house band AKA The Greatest Job On Earth. The safe word is ‘Grapefruit’. Let’s go:
Videographer + Editor: Jake Remington (Collabo!)