Jimmy Kimmel Live! wrapped up a week of Brooklyn-filmed episodes by reflecting one last time on how much the borough has changed since Jimmy Kimmel’s childhood here decades ago. To illustrate how different Brooklyn is now, Kimmel reimagined one of the greatest films about the area – Spike Lee’s 1989 classic Do the Right Thing – as the gentrified Do the White Thing, an all-star sendup of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s hipster transformation.
In the sketch, many of Do the Right Thing‘s famous scenes and characters are lampooned to reflect the neighborhood’s current trends: Instead of the boombox-carrying Radio Raheem, there’s portable record player-toting Vinyl Raheem, played by Mr. Robot star Rami Malek. Even Samuel L. Jackson’s radio DJ Mister Senor Love Daddy is replaced by Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman in the quasi-sequel.
At Sal’s Pizzeria – where Jimmy Kimmel and Girls‘ Alex Karpovsky play the roles previously occupied by Danny Aiello and John Turturro, respectively – Zooey Deschanel asks why there are no photos of people wearing “thrift shop finds” on the walls. In the original, it was Spike Lee’s Mookie asking where the framed photos of black celebrities were.
The role of Mookie in the updated version is now filled by a mustached, ponytailed Billy Crudup, while his girlfriend – portrayed in the original film by Rosie Perez –features that actress reprising her role. However, the seductive ice cube sequence from Do the Right Thing now features “ice cubes crafted from water hand-pumped from a sustainably harvested spring frozen using bicycle power.”
Perez isn’t the only mainstay from Do the Right Thing making an appearance: Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” was constantly projected out of Radio Raheem’s boombox in the original film, and when the sketch ends with a folk version of that Fear of a Black Planet cut, Flavor Flav appears to note, “Hey, I know that song! Yeah boy!”
Flav returned later in the episode with Public Enemy to put the finishing touches on Jimmy Kimmel Live!‘s Brooklyn vacation by performing a “Fight the Power” medley, featuring Flav wearing a Mets hat and riding a drift board: