U2 finally made their long-awaited visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, an appearance that was delayed six months as Bono recovered from a major cycling accident. “I had the humerus bone sticking out of the leather jacket,” the singer told Fallon during the episode. While the accident forced the band to postpone their weeklong Tonight Show residency in November, U2 made amends by spending the entire episode with Fallon, resulting in a pair of sketches, an interview and a three-song performance.
The highlight of U2’s Tonight Show visit came when Bono took his first ride on a bicycle since the accident that left him with serious injuries. In the sketch, soundtracked by Richard Strauss’ “Also sprach Zarathustra,” Bono and Fallon take a leisurely spin outside the NBC studios when the singer veers off path and crashes into a van. Bono picks himself up and dusts himself off only to get hit once again by the van going in reverse. “I’m good, Jimmy. Just a couple of scratches. I’m ready to do the show,” Bono says before getting hit by the same van – driven by the Edge, it’s revealed – a third time.
The other U2 sketch found the band and Fallon dressing up in disguise to busk on a subway platform. With the late night host serving as hype man, the Irish rockers – with Larry Mullen, Jr. using plastic buckets for drums like a true busker – performed a loose rendition of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” When even that failed to draw a big crowd on the subway platform, U2 stripped off their costumes and delivered “Desire,” resulting in pandemonium (and maybe $3 worth of change in their open guitar case) at the 42nd Street and Grand Central station.
During the interview portion of The Tonight Show, Bono poked fun at his cycling accident, especially his mismatched wardrobe of biker shorts, sweatpants and a leather jacket, which he was wearing when the ambulance arrived. “There’s nothing, nothing cool about coming off a push bike,” Bono said. “It’s not a Harley-Davidson. There’s nothing cool, there’s Lycra involved.” The Edge quipped, “At least it wasn’t a scooter.”
U2’s Innocence + Experience tour kicks off May 14th at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena.