Jimmy Fallon rose to the task of putting on a live edition of his late-night show after the Super Bowl, palling around with longtime mate Justin Timberlake, the cast of NBC’s This is Us and Dwayne Johnson.
As agreeable as the show was overall, no moment resonated quite as much as an earnest musical number (see video below) that combined the live show’s setting — the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis — with Fallon’s Bob Dylan imitation. (Dylan helped rescue the former vaudeville palace, which he owned from 1979 to 1988.)
Riffing on “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” Fallon-as-Dylan took on a range of contemporary topics, showing a sharper edge than usual. “Come women and men who hashtag #MeToo,” he sang as cameras followed him in black and white, just as Dylan was once captured on the same stage. “And believe me when I say that we believe you. We give the man who calls out ‘fake news,’ #TimesUp. Our silence we’re breaking. Even though Mel Gibson was in Daddy’s Home 2, the time’s they are a-changin’.”
Later, he hit on the NFL’s anthem protest controversy, with a couplet that merits President Donald Trump’s attention, especially since it came from the same late-night jester who once tousled his hair. “Come athletes with platforms from throughout the land, who by taking a knee are taking a stand,” he sang. “Before you shout out that they should be banned, listen to what they are saying. Perhaps they’d stand up if you’d reach out your hand, for the times they are a-changin’.”
Justin Timberlake opened the show with his new single “Supplies” and closed the show in a duet with Chris Stapleton. In between, he visited the couch to reflect on his tribute to Prince during the Super Bowl halftime show, which caused a stir on social media given the always-delicate prospect of marrying a deceased star’s image with a live performer. “He’s always been the pinnacle of musicianship for me,” Timberlake said. “I wanted to do something for this city and for him that would be the ultimate homage to who I consider the GOAT of musicians.”
Here is the full video of the Dylan performance: