Tiffany Haddish and Jimmy Fallon squared off in an eclectic “Lip Sync Battle” on Thursday’s Tonight Show, channeling James Brown, Post Malone, Nineties dance-funk act Deee-Lite and rapper the Lady of Rage.
Fallon opened with a spastic take on Deee-Lite’s signature 1990 hit, “Groove Is in the Heart.” The host pulled out a variety of moves: flailing his arms, falling to the ground and brandishing an air-lasso.
Later, the comedian tipped his cap to recent Tonight Show BFF Post Malone, tackling the rapper’s meditative track “Psycho.” He even incorporated props, slapping on some temporary face tattoos to match the emcee’s. (“Impromptu tattoos, huh?” Haddish cracked in response.)
Haddish introduced the Lady of Rage’s 1994 cut “Afro Puffs” by referencing her roots. “When I was growing up in Los Angeles, this artist was one of my favorite female emcees, and she still is today,” she said, before her straight-ahead take.
The Girls Trip star asked to switch stage spots with Fallon for her final song – standing next to the Roots, who offered miming assistance on her version of Brown’s 1970 funk anthem “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine).” She nodded to the “Godfather of Soul” by recreating the singer’s fancy footwork, even throwing in some modern flourishes like “the Robot.”
Fallon, in his usual gracious style, crowned Haddish the “clear winner.”