Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, what is it with you and comedy albums? Jimmy’s first comedy CD, the now decade-old album titled The Bathroom Wall, was pretty dreadful. However, in the last decade, Jimmy has undoubtedly grown as both a comic and a performer. Plus, Jimmy comes across as an incredibly likeable guy. So, despite my reservations, I listened to his latest effort -- Blow Your Pants Off -- with relatively high hopes.
Unfortunately, this “comedy” album is nothing more than a compilation of the humorous songs performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. It would have been better marketed as “The Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Featuring The Roots”. Disappointment doesn’t begin to cover it.
Granted, the songs are very funny and I enjoyed them a lot ... the first time, while I was watching the show. Even the second or third time when I was watching them for free online they were still entertaining. When I saw the track titles, I felt a little betrayed.
It includes Let Us Play with Your Look, which is better as a visual skit than a song. Slow Jam the News with Brian Williams, while humorous, is just as it suggests, a slow jam while Brian Williams does a news report, giving pauses for Jimmy to add sexual innuendo and The Roots to sing a catchy line about it. His impression of Jim Morrison while singing the Reading Rainbow theme song to the artfully combined tunes of Light My Fire and The End is a heartfelt tribute originally aired on the anniversary of The Doors’ final show. Of course, Neil Young singing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is the most memorable and uncanny performance that he tested the waters with, but there is a lot missing without the video of him stooped on the stool with the harmonica around his neck. I don’t know what was funnier, the great impression, or watching him struggle with trying not to break character and laugh.
His innate ability to emulate, not only the voice and inflection of these performers, but their character and gestures as well is something that is great to see on the show, so when he noted with the release of the album that Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder, and Paul McCartney would be featured, it made sense. The success of The Lonely Island on SNL with their digital shorts was the perfect example to follow for these comedy performances on his show. However, The Lonely Island includes material that isn’t shown on SNL. When you buy their album, it has the digital shorts as well as original material. Jimmy Fallon’s album is strictly sound-only copies of what was aired, including the studio audience laughter.
There really isn’t anything else to say. If you like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and you would like to own the songs performed on the show, buy this album. If you haven’t seen the show, but enjoy Jimmy’s musical impressions and ironic cover songs, buy this album. If you’re a fan who’s seen these bits a few times already, skip it.
Other Jimmy Fallon Reviews
Bathroom Wall: A coaster