It’s a crossover approximately zero people expected to happen, but somehow, it kind of works. Ever the visionary, Jimmy Fallon showed his Tonight Show viewers what it would be like if Ariana DeBose’s viral BAFTAs rap — “Angela Bassett did the thing,” you know the one — was performed by, of all people, Neil Young.
In a hilarious skit on the late-night show Monday (Feb. 27), Fallon took the stage dressed in his familiar Neil Young cosplay (bootcut jeans, a cowboy hat, long, straight hair covering his face) and performed an acoustic guitar version of DeBose’s polarizing performance, occasionally accompanying himself on harmonica. “Viola Davis, my woman king,” Fallon sang, mimicking Young’s folksy cadence. “Blanchett, Cate, you’re a genius, Jamie Lee, you are all of us.”
DeBose reacted to Fallon’s take on her Instagram Story, re-sharing the video and leaving a mind-blown emoji.
The Tonight Show host is one of many to recreate the West Side Story actress’ viral rap, which she performed while opening the BAFTAs earlier this month. Soon after clips of a breathless DeBose earnestly paying tribute to the night’s female nominees hit Twitter, a flurry of jokes, memes, compliments and critiques ensued, making the song one of the first truly iconic internet moments of 2023.
Adele even shouted out DeBose at one of her recent concerts after the clip went viral, as did Lizzo. “Angela Bassett did the thing,” the “Truth Hurts” musician quoted onstage, mimicking DeBose’s now famous shoulder shimmy.
Watch Jimmy Fallon perform Ariana Debose’s viral BAFTAs rap as Neil Young above.