Throughout the episode, Mayer sat in with house band the Cletones while disguised as an over-the-hill rock star, decked out in a bandana, fake beard and latex beer belly. Kimmel introduced the guitarist as a “living legend,” fooling at least some of the audience. “Knutley,” promoting his fake live album “Knutley In Your Face!,” was assisted by his adorable service bulldog, Henry, who reclined nearby unfazed.
Mayer’s character offered banter at various points, loudly tuning his guitar and explaining how he came to earn his “Hawk” nickname: “Originally, it started as a sex move I invented, which then I adapted into a fighting style. So I’ve just become known for both of things simultaneously.” (Unfortunately, the fake-rocker didn’t have time to play his songs “Trapped in the Garage,” “Trapped in the Garage Part Two,” “Watch Your Mouth” and “Stabbed to Life.”)
Toward episode’s end, Mayer ended the ruse by removing his costume. Pretending to be depressed about his career, he pitifully admitted, “Ed Sheeran is killing it right now. And I thought maybe if I played a different person, I could get another chance to make it.”
After some encouragement – and a magical spin – he returned to his normal clothes and unleashed “Still Feel Like Your Man,” a funky post-breakup jam full of falsetto swoops and intricate dual-guitar fills. The song features on recently released EP The Search for Everything, Wave Two, the second of three EPs previewing his seventh LP, out April 14th.
Watch Jimmy Kimmel’s hilarious Oscars 2017 monologue.