Late Night PerformancesNews

Watch: Billy Joel performs on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon geeks out

on March 21, 2014, 1:38am

You’d think by now Jimmy Fallon would be at least a little jaded. This is a guy after all who has performed alongside Springsteen and Vedder, reunited Jesse and the Rippers, and had the President of the United States slow jam the news. But last night, Fallon was in full-blown fanboy mode as Billy Joel serenaded The Tonight Show with a rendition of “You May Be Right”. Mid-way through the performance, Fallon joined in and gave his best James Brown impression, singing, dancing, playing hot sax, even dropping to his knees. Just when you thought Letterman was stealing all of Fallon’s thunder, Jimmy has reclaimed his crown. Watch below.

During the interview portion, Fallon and Joel formed a two-man doo-wop group and sang “The Lion King” theme song using the help of an iPad. Check that out below.


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Trish Svoboda Garone
May 31, 2014 at 2:58 am


This video has been removed due to a breach of the Terms of Use. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT??? WAS BILLY REALLY UPSET????

March 22, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Jimmy Fallon is a huge talent. Billy Joel has nothing to prove. He’s a rock ‘n’ roll giant. They had a blast singing together and I enjoyed it immensely. Billy Joel’s band worked with Jimmy like he was one of them. Billy Joel treated Jimmy like teacher would treat a student. It appeared Billy was complimented Jimmy took the time and made the effort to get it right. Joel got a big kick out of it. By the way, the two are pals.

Billy Joel Tickets
March 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Still and always. This man is as good a songwriter as anyone, Dylan and The Beatles included. The Pope of Long Island, Billy Joel.

March 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm

OK, Lakawak.

I couldn’t disagree more.

I LOVE Jimmy Fallon -he and Billy Joel rocked both songs last night. I do understand, though, how Fallon haters will say he stole the spotlight from Joel. I think Jimmy’s producers did him a huge disservice last night.

It’s obvious that Fallon and Joel rehearsed and Jimmy had Billy’s approval for the duet. Yes Jimmy improvises, but please….he would NEVER disrespect a guest. He is arguably the kindest nighttime talk show host who also happens to be the most versatile. The fact that he’s funny, sings, and dances makes him a triple threat, and that’s what makes him SO MUCH FUN to watch. He truly hits his goal of putting a smile on my face before I go to bed.

But last night his producers let him down. As I was watching, I cringed. I KNEW there’d be people who’d say….It’s all about him.”

This is what SHOULD have gone down:

Joel should have started “You May be Right” and motioned for Jimmy to join him. Fallon could have had his “deer in the headlights” look that’s so funny and endearing and reluctantly gone to the mike. He could have started tentatively and then built to that crazy crescendo.

I’m not a TV producer (although my son was for a while), but this seemed like a no-brainer to me. Just as Jimmy is so careful to cast his guests in the best possible light, so should his producers be cognizant of erroneous conclusions ignorant viewers can make about Jimmy based on their decisions.

By the way, I was lucky enough to score a ticket for Jimmy’s monologue rehearsal in NY yesterday. I came in from Philadelphia specifically for it. I can truly say he was hysterical and a true gentleman. There was nothing pretentious at all about him, although with his rocket-like success, one might expect he’d have “attitude”. He didn’t come off as any more important that the security guards at NBC–in fact some of them could have used an attitude adjustment. Jimmy’s parents did a damn good job, and I think he’ll retain his humility.

Now, if I could only get tickets to see the ENTIRE show, I’d go to bed ECSTATIC!
Please, NBC? You can surprise me at

March 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm

pretty sure you mean “the lion sleeps tonight” song

AJ (@AmandaJoy)
March 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Really, guys? “The Lion King Theme Song?” George David Weiss is rolling over in his grave… Not to mention The Kingston Trio and The Tokens.

Tommie Bell
March 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm

It was awesome, but I do think Fallon was trying to upstage Billy. He needs to learn when to chime in and when to let BJ fans get their fix. I could even see one time during the song (You May Be Right) where Billy was actually getting irritated at Jimmy. He such a nice guy in public, that I doubt he would ever state the truth. Once, Fallon even messed up with the words. Billy was hindered from doing his great work, having to accommodate Jimmy’s shenanigans.

March 21, 2014 at 12:57 pm

“Mid-way through the performance, Fallon joined in…”

This is incorrect reporting by Mr. Young. Mr. Fallon didn’t wait until mid-way through “You Must Be Right” to begin singing. He started soloing during the fourth line of the song “I was only having fun” and basically took over the performance. It was completely egocentric and whether intentional or not, disrespectful to Mr. Joel.

His hotdogging gives new meaning to the first line of the song. “Friday night I crashed your party”.

March 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Agreed…he already sang once with Billy. Why twice? I tuned in to hear Billy Joel sing, and Jimmy thinks he can sing just as good? Never in a million years would he try to upstage his BFF Justin Timberlake! I would be pissed if I was plugging an album and someone was trying to take over my song. Jimmy…have some respect for your guests!

March 21, 2014 at 10:33 am

They already a bit together at the desk, let him do his song solo. But what I really came here for was his interview with Chelsea Clinton – she had hipped him to a Korean restaurant and he recounts his (and his wife’s) experience there – how HE was embarrassed by her kissing a stranger’s baby on the mouth. I’m sure they dealt with it privately afterward BUT TO AIR IT
OUT TO THE WORLD?! I saw the look on Chelsea’s face ( like, you jerk). If I had thrown my wife under the bus like that, I’d be sleeping in the car when I got home. Jimmy, you gotta reel it in a little.

March 21, 2014 at 8:02 am

Thank you. I thought I was the only one out there that was embarrassed for Jimmy Fallon. I’ve never watched the show, but if he has a habit of talking over his guests and then upstaging them during their performance, I will not be tuning in again. I guess he’s catering to the “me” generation. He may have talent, but he lacked humility and respect last night.

March 21, 2014 at 6:25 am

I think that jimmy has to be one of the most talented people….I really look forward to his show as he always brightens my spirits!!! He just seems like a real sweet kind and hilarious man…anyway about tonight’s performance with Billy Joel…he did not disrespect him…Billy consented to it…it is show business they rehearse and plan these segments…Jimmy would never had done the two musical segments without Billy Joel’s input and consent…they practice so it appears to be off the cuff…but believe me it is rehearsed..Jimmy is respectful and I could imagine him calling up Billy and saying “look I have some ideas for when you come on the show” and they collaborate before air time….I will agree that the du wop was fine together because Jimmy is musical and it is always fun to see him perform with singers that really should have been it and let Billy have the floor for the You May Be Right segment…I could see where fans of the legend would be upset because they perhaps only wanted to hear the legend…but on the other hand it was funny and a good collaboration…and they both looked like they were having a great time….Also why Jimmy is so relatable he plays the part of the truly humbled fan…just like us if we met Billy…so when he sang with Billy he did it for all of sitting at home who love to be singing and jamming with Billy…heck when I was watching the segment I wanted to be up there just like Jimmy…how fun would that be? Anyway love Jimmy…talented,endearing and hilarious…also very easy on the eyes!!!!

March 21, 2014 at 3:44 am

I believe!! Awesomme… performance! Billy Joel & Jimmy!! When i have the chance to come?…i too will perform with the Tamborine.. Is all i need!!
Congrats Jimmy…you are the new Johnny! xoxo

March 21, 2014 at 2:12 am

This is why Jimmy Fallon will ultimately fail. He is doing this show for HIS benefit. Not caring that there was not ONE single Billy Joel fan who was thinking “I really wish Jimmy Fallon would turn this segment into being all about HIM.” He acted like an 18 year old (if that) instead of a 38 year old adult.

Jimmy…as the host of the show, you get the firs 20 minutes. That is your time. The monologue, and the comedy segment after the first commercial break. After that, the show is for the GUESTS. Not you. You say you want to be like Johnny Carson, but Carson would never even have CONSIDERED shoehorning his way into a music legend’s performance the way you did. He had far more class, respect for his guests, and confidence in himself to not let his guests shine.

Billy may have been politely smiling while Fallon was rolling around on the floor like an idiot…but you could tell he was a little pissed off. And rightfully so.

tara (@taragatcha)
March 21, 2014 at 2:58 am

Jimmy doesn’t want to be like Carson. Let’s also not let anyone over 30 be energetic. That’s only for toddlers. Old monotonous cynics are the only ones allowed to entertain on television.

Joel has had no reason to appear on tv. From the interview they clearly know each other already, and Joel came on specifically to have a good time playing some old material with a fun energetic guy.

It was an opportunity for him to play around and spice up a 34-year old song. The only ppl who are upset are Billy Joel fans, but you’ve already seen him do that song a million times. You think he didn’t know exactly how that performance was going to go down? Yeah, that smile on his face was SooOoo forced.

March 22, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Finally, someone who was just as irritated with this as I was! It seems no one can sense Jimmy’s arrogance when it comes to “comedy”, and his insecurity when his guests (or band) get more applause, or laughs.


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