Monday, April 22, 2013

More Parody: Fallon as Morrison

Continuing last week's subject of musical parodies, I stumbled upon this last week (yeah, I know it's from last year): 

Who is that, strutting around in leather pants and singing like Jim Morrison? It's Jimmy Fallon. While Weird Al did pretty good at Jim Morrison, I think Jimmy Fallon does it better.

While Fallon changes the melody of the Reading Rainbow theme, we can still recognize the song because the rhythm remains basically the same. Fallon also gets Jim Morrison's delivery just right, with the swagger, understated beginning, and musical build up to a screamed repetition. And of course, the musical lull for poetry in the middle of the song.

Fallon's choice of lyric was also inspired for this parody. As the Door's songs were often thinly veiled treatises on drug use, the words of "Reading Rainbow" could come straight out of a book of psychedelic imagery. For example, the first line: "Butterfly in the sky, I could go twice as high." In one blow, Fallon manages to poke gentle fun at the Doors over-serious antics and the strange lyrics of the Reading Rainbow theme.

Fallon never ceases to surprise me with his musicality. Either with his acoustic classroom instrument versions of pop songs, or his imitations of famous musicians, usually doing famous TV show themes (Check out Fallon as Neil Young singing theme song of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). I hope his quirky, gently parodic musical numbers continue as he takes over the Tonight Show.

Do you have a favorite Jimmy Fallon musical vingette?

Vocab: lull

1 comment:

  1. Over the past year I have probably watched this two dozen times. It speaks to me as a long-time Reading Rainbow fan and to my inner Doors-obsessed teenager.

    In addition to the parody elements you mentioned, this is also a parody of the Doors' infamous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. He had told the band that they were forbidden from singing the line "Girl we couldn't get much higher" but Morrison sang it anyway on live TV. Fallon plays this up by looking defiantly at the camera when singing "twice as high."