Jimmy Fallon celebrated Teacher Appreciation Day on Tuesday’s Tonight Show with the latest installment of “Freestylin’ With the Roots.” The house band improvised education-themed pop and rap covers using lyrics themed around New York City teachers in the audience.
The Roots first played a variation of the Jackson Five’s “ABC” based on a Brooklyn STEM teacher and his strange student gift of Russian nesting dolls with origami inside. They also twisted Migos’ “Stir Fry” into a tribute to a Brooklyn ESL teacher and reworked ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” to honor a Manhattan seventh grade science teacher who loves dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”
Later in the show, Fallon recruited Gabrielle Union for another teacher-themed bit, “Musical Morning Announcements.” The two performers played nerdy faculty members at Saugerties High School who parodied hit songs with lyrics about conduct policies.
Portugal. The Man’s “Feel it Steel” became a fire drill announcement, with a nasally Fallon singing, “Wee-ooh, that’s a sound you shouldn’t ignore/ Just take the stairs and file out the back door.” The duo duetted on a version of Camila Cabello’s “Havana”: “Amanda, ooh-na-na/ The lost and found has your new camera, ooh-na-na,” Union sang, with Fallon adding, “Diana, ooh-na-na/ There’s some bad news about your grandma – … I’m sorry, we should have read these.” They also reinterpreted Shawn Mendes’ “There’s Holding Me Back” into a graduation celebration and used Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” to remind students not to grind on each other at prom.