Throughout his late-night tenure, Jimmy Fallon has reigned as King of the Musical Impression. (Remember his take on Neil Young singing the Fresh Prince theme? ‘Nuff said.) But the comedian faced stiff competition on Tuesday night’s Tonight Show, as Maroon 5 frontman/The Voice coach Adam Levine unleashed an eclectic arsenal of sonic send-ups in a game called “Wheel of Musical Impressions.”
At the start of the clip, Fallon introduces his competitor by praising his abilities, but Levine responds with borderline embarrassment. “I’m not Jimmy Fallon style,” he says modestly, “but I can do some things.”
The first of those “things” is a solid approximation of Frank Sinatra‘s smooth croon on “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes.” (“Give me something snappy and take that bass line for a walk,” the singer instructs house band the Roots, referencing the classic jazz flute scene from Anchorman. We’ll let it slide, Levine, but the quote is technically, “Keep the cymbals splashy, and Jerry, let’s take the bass line for a walk.”)
Levine fares even better impersonating Michael Jackson‘s quivering vibrato on the Sesame Street theme, though Fallon evens the score with a surefire staple: Bob Dylan singing Magic!’s reggae-tinted “Rude.” (“Why you gotta be so ruuuuuuude?!” he whines in Dylan’s trademark nasal tone.) Fallon’s falsetto-fueled take on Iggy Azalea doing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” is less impressive (though props for “Let’s get drunk on the mini-BARN”), and Levine clinches his victory with a brooding impersonation of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder singing nursery rhyme “The Muffin Man.”
Even Fallon acknowledges the defeat, declaring Levine “the champ” after the pair tag-team the melismatic “Muffin Man” outro through a series of passionate grunts.