Watch Questlove Talk About His Oscar Win on ‘The Tonight Show’

On Monday’s episode of The Tonight Show, Questlove spoke about winning an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for Summer of Soul.

Questlove needed a quick breather before taking the Oscars 2022 stage. On Sunday, the creative multi-hyphenate and The Roots drummer won his first Oscar for directing the 2021 concert film Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised). After his directorial debut win, Quest, born Ahmir Thompson, took a step away from the drummer’s seat on The Tonight Show and spoke with host Jimmy Fallon about accepting his first Oscar.

Thompson also spoke about DJing for Beyoncé and JAY-Z‘s Oscars afterparty, and Fallon jokingly asked if Thompson played Smash Mouth. Although neither mentioned the Will Smith and Chris Rock debacle during the conversation, Thompson briefly alluded to the incident, which happened before the Best Documentary Feature award was presented.

Thompson said he meditated before his acceptance speech, unaware of why the crowd was so quiet during the commercial break.

“I realized that that was a real moment, like, maybe three seconds before I spoke words,” Thompson said. In my mind, they’re just doing a sketch or whatever and I’m just like, ‘OK Ahmir, remember to thank your mom, your dad, thank Tariq [Trotter or Black Thought of The Roots]…’ So I was not present at all. I was just in a blank slate.”

To lighten the mood, Fallon shared a candid of Thompson with his mother, Jacqui Andrews, who attended the ceremony.

Although Thompson was thrown off by the Smith-Rock incident, on Monday, he responded to a Twitter user who said “I think the whole Will Smith assault rattled @questlove who had to give a speech like 90 seconds later. He couldn’t even remember the names of his co-winners. #Oscars.” Thompson simply responded with the fax machine emoji, agreeing that the user’s claim was in fact, facts.


Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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Jaelani Turner-Williams

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