The Tonight Show returns to its former home of Los Angeles this week. To mark the occasion, host Jimmy Fallon opened Monday’s show with a tribute to one of the most fabled sagas of moving from the East Coast to the West Coast: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.
Swagged out in eye-popping Nineties gear, Fallon regaled the audience with a tale of how some of the Tonight Show crew were “sick of the cold, said that maybe I should take the show on the road. Higgins packed up my bags, cause we’re leaving today, he said, ‘It’s time to take The Tonight Show to sunny L.A.'”
The clip is packed with on-point recreations of the original title sequence, from Fallon sitting in a spinning throne and pretending to use his spray paint can as deodorant to announcer Steve Higgins dressing up like the Fresh Prince’s scolding mother. But nothing tops Fallon, Questlove and Black Thought’s rendition of Carlton’s famed “It’s Not Unusual” dance, assisted by Alfonso Ribeiro himself (a pink pastel sweater tied perfectly around his shoulders).
The cameos continue as Fallon hops in a cab with a license plate that says “HOST” and DJ Jazzy Jeff at the wheel. “The studio’s 3,000 miles away, but I thought, ‘Nah forget it — yo, homes, to L.A!'” Fallon instructs, before closing out the homage with: “I pulled up to the park about seven or eight, and I yelled out to Jazzy, ‘Yo homes, smell ya later!’ I looked at the city, said today is the day, we bring The Tonight Show from New York to LA.”
While the clip ultimately lacked an appearance from Will Smith, the one and only Fresh Prince will appear as a Tonight Show guest this Thursday alongside Rosamund Pike and Jack White. Other guests slated to appear during Fallon’s L.A. week include Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Young, Carl Reiner, Kobe Bryant and Jennifer Lopez.