Do The Roots Think That Listening To Jimmy Fallon’s “Comedy” Is More Appealing Than Grinding It Out On The Road?

Nov 17th, 2008 // 13 Comments

A few weeks ago, anybody who knew of The Roots would think they had a pretty clear career path going. One of the few near-universally respected musical entites, The Roots could happily spend the rest of their days backing up big-name artists, playing expansive and adventurous shows, and putting out albums totally unencumbered by commercial expectations. They’d pulled off one of the hardest tricks in the cultural book–achieving auteur status–which meant that they could do anything they want as long, as it seemed in line with their overall aesthetic. Their idiosyncrasies and vision would continue to be rewarded as long as their fans lived. So why in the world have they allegedly decided to be the house band for Jimmy “What Fourth Wall?” Fallon?



There’s always the “they drove a dump truck full of money up to ?uestlove’s house” possibility, though it’s likely the band made a more than comfortable living already. The more likely explanation is suggested by the Roots’ simultaneous retirement from touring. As any entertainer who’s gone to Vegas can tell you, playing shows is great, but being on the road sucks. The band isn’t going to stop making albums, presumably, but the actual process of traveling from place to place is unpleasant. If there’s any way to avoid that while still making money, it’s understandable that any working musician would jump at that chance–especially when a slot on a late-night show seems to set you up for life.

The Roots To Be Jimmy Fallon’s Band; We Are Old And Sad [Gawker]

  1. westartedthis

    “they drove a dump truck full of money up to ?uestlove’s house”

    i’m glad to see i’m not the only one who busts out this particular simpsons reference in everyday usage.

  2. Anonymous

    I’d prefer to think of Fallon as the lame standup opening up for the Roots every night, but I doubt that the spotlight will be shining in the appropriate direction.

    Jimmy: Hey quest?
    ?Love: Yes Jimmy?
    Jimmy: Did you hear about the industrious prostitute?

  3. Audif Jackson Winters III

    Assuming the show lasts for a reasonable length of time, what a sweet gig. Steady, well-paid work that leaves them time to do pretty much whatever else they want.

  4. Michaelangelo Matos

    If they were really smart they’d give ?uestlove the host slot and stick Fallon behind an amp with a tambourine.

  5. Michaelangelo Matos

    Hahaha how many nights per week will John Mayer “guest” with the band, I wonder?

  6. Anonymous

    A house band has no need for a rapper, right? It would mean the breakup of the band. Also, that picture is old. Hub (far left) is no longer in the Roots, they now have a white guy and someone with a really big tuba in the lineup. Is he included in the TV deal?

  7. Al Shipley

    @Job: Lots of talk show house bands have singers or guest singers perform with them when they do full songs during the longer commercial breaks, so I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t have Black Thought or any other MCs with them on Late Night.

  8. Psicosis

    I look forward to Black Thought busting out the CSI theme when Lauren Lee Smith is on the show to plug some movie.

  9. loudersoft

    I think they’re ready for just about anything. Evidence:

    [loudersoft.com]

  10. Anonymous

    The individual members of The Roots are FAR from loaded. This gig pays HUGELY. Nuff said.

  11. loudersoft

    @Halfwit: Quite the opposite — I said they were ready for anything and I meant it. Can’t I say what I mean and mean what I say?

    Yo Gabba Gabba and The Roots are both the ish. I wish them nothing but the best.

  12. Halfwit

    @loudersoft: You’re acting as if there’s a damn thing wrong with this. Yo Gabba Gabba is the ish.

  13. AL

    The ?uestion is, will they play classic hip-hop covers?

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