Jimmy Fallon is a master musical impressionist, with his Neil Young impression alone the stuff of late night legend. But the Tonight Show host found his equal during Tuesday’s episode, teaming up with pop singer Ariana Grande for “Wheel of Musical Impressions.”
In the clip, the duo take turns pressing a “magic button,” generating an artist and song. Grande’s first challenge is Britney Spears interpreting “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and she nails every nuance of the vocalist’s odd style, rendering the nursery rhyme unintelligible. Fallon follows with Aaron Neville tackling OMI’s “Cheerleader,” playing up the R&B veteran’s oddly clipped vibrato.
Grande channels Christina Aguilera for “The Wheels on the Bus,” showing off her impressive vocal range and nodding to the Voice coach’s diva-like growls. Fallon draws from his Saturday Night Live past for his Sting impression: the Roots launch into a Police-like groove, as the host explores the singer’s reggae phrasings on the Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face.”
But the show-stopper is Grande’s take on Celine Dion’s “Can’t Feel My Face” – from the spot-on French-Canadian accent to the overhyped onstage crowd banter. Fallon revives his Sting impression for the Grande finale, teaming with the singer for a call-and-response duet.
“Wheel of Musical Impressions” is a Tonight Show staple. Past highlights include Maroon 5’s Adam Levine channeling Frank Sinatra’s suave croon and Eddie Vedder’s grunge howl; Christina Aguilera’s hilarious version of Shakira; and Jamie Foxx’s soulful John Legend take on the Toys R Us jingle.