If you haven’t watched Jimmy Fallon say goodbye to Late Night by singing “The Weight” with The Muppets, please do so. I’ve embedded it here for you. Go ahead, I’ll wait:
In a review on NPR, Linda Holmes had this to say:
“…I had forgotten over the course of five years that I didn’t know in 2009 that Jimmy Fallon even had an animating principle, let alone know that it would turn out to be joy, which is the animating principle of entirely too little of popular culture. In fact, the show turned out to be, much of the time, all point of view. Less plugging, more beer pong. Less anecdote-sharing, more getting Tom Cruise to break eggs on his head. It’s 12:30 in the morning, this show always seemed to be saying. You can learn stuff tomorrow. Everybody here likes each other.”
Joy. The animating principle of this show, and “entirely too little of popular culture.” I like that because it’s exactly right. And I’m working to make it the animating principle of my own life.
When NBC aired that Best of Late Night special that highlighted all of Jimmy Fallon’s delightful goofiness, the bit that had me grinning the biggest and most shamelessly was this one:
It’s Jimmy, Carly Rae Jepsen, and the motherfucking Roots singing her airy pop hit “Call Me Maybe” using classroom instruments. Why can I not stop watching this? I think it’s a combination of Carly’s guilelessness, sweet voice, and the charming innocence of the lyrics of that song against the backdrop of one of the most talented, well-regarded, and flat out cool hip hop bands in the history of everything, just cutting loose and having a good time with no vanity whatsoever.
There’s no reason The Roots need to do this, and in fact, they don’t. Which is why it works so well. They’re fully bought in to Jimmy Fallon’s vibe, and The Roots have nothing left to prove to anyone, so why not just milk this thing for all it’s worth and have a great ass time doing it? Just watch Black Thought in the back with the tamborine, or the dude with that silly little xylophone or ?uestlove bobbing his head to the tune. That’s what TV should be all about.
Fuck… that’s what life should be all about.
I’m actively working to change my life to be this way more. That’s part of what this podcast will be about. And that’s what you’ll see more of at Eks Axis. I’ve dealt with more angst than I know what to do with, and it’s time to put down that bag of rocks. So, every Friday you’ll get something funny, light-hearted or that’s in the name of kicking your weekend off right. This site will still be about me and whatever’s going on, but in the name of living life the way it ought to be lived, Fridays will be about fun.
The rest of the time, do your best to find the spirit that Jimmy Fallon embodies every night on the air. I found recently at Twist & Shout record store, and then in Fort Collins.
I generally loathe small talk, but if I’m going to start interviewing people I don’t know that well for this podcast, I ought to get better at it. So I’ve been practicing. Yes, when you have social anxiety as I do, you have to actually practice making small talk with people.
While in line at the record store, the dude behind me noticed the Ting Tings record I had on top. He complimented my choice. I showed him the other record I was buying, which was by the band Muse. He appreciated that as well. I told him it wasn’t even for me, it was for my buddy’s birthday, and that in addition to the records, we were heading to Fort Collins the next day for sandwiches, breweries, and more friends. With a genuine grin, he told me how fun that sounded and wished me a good weekend.
I walked up to the cashier, started paying, and then I heard this dude’s voice again. “‘Twisted by Design’ is one of my favorite albums of all-time.” Heh. Mine too, but what the hell? Oh right, I’m wearing my Strung Out hat. He continued, “Man, I probably haven’t heard it in years, but GOD! What a great album.” I made this dude’s night, and it was all thanks to me just changing my normal standoffish dickishness with strangers.
And then in Fort Collins, we started drinking. And then this happened with me, Jason, and this dude who’s dating our friend Kaycee whom we hadn’t met until that very day.
Where have I seen something like this before? Oh right…
Why does my drinking seem to disproportionately involve the use of temporary tattoos lately? Answer: Joy. And it feels great. More to come.
See you Friday.
3 comments on “Joy”
This is great. I share your love for Jimmy Fallon’s unapologetic joy. It’s contagious! Also, I am jealous that he got to sing with Muppets… Damn it, that would be awesome!
Spread the joy, man!! I used to think it was weird to just start up a conversation with strangers, but now I look forward to it. I made a friend here in Seattle who has never met a stranger. The guy talks to everyone. At first, when he starts chatting with people and asking them questions about their lives, they tend to be a little suspicious, but after a couple of minutes they’re always won over. It’s really endearing to watch, and something I now aspire to. I sense you have the same need to connect, and that you also see the energy that connection can bring.
Happy happy joy joy!
P.S. I still love “Call Me Maybe.” Even after hearing it at like 50 weddings over the past couple of years. Carlie Rae Jepson, I wish I could quit you.
Thanks for the comment. In general, people on a one-to-one basis are delightful. Kristin is really good at small talk, while I pretty much eat hog at it. I’m working on it though.
Appreciate you stopping by the blog and leaving a comment. You’ve clearly got my (internet) number, so call me maybe. =)
I see what you did there… High five!