Lin-Manuel Miranda stopped by Friday’s (Nov. 6) Tonight Show to discuss Hamilton, his Broadway musical that has a diverse cast performing hip-hop about American history and has left all of Hollywood clamoring for tickets.
Miranda first outlined the eventful life of Alexander Hamilton, the founding father who was an immigrant, established the country’s treasury and was killed by fellow politician Aaron Burr in a duel. “The vice president shot him! Dick Cheney was not the first VP to shoot his friend!” he joked to Jimmy Fallon.
The Hamilton creator and star, who recorded Fallon’s outgoing voicemail message, then discussed the viral phenomenon behind the chart-topping soundtrack, produced by The Roots‘ Questlove and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter. Beforehand, “musical theater and pop haven’t been friends for so long, they don’t know each other anymore,” said Miranda, who recently partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to offer student tickets to the production’s matinees.
Miranda then helped Fallon debut the Tonight Show “Freestyle Generator” for a rap battle opposite Black Thought. In the first round, he managed to spontaneously mention “rainbow,” “pancake” and “slam dunk” between references to Drake and Michael Jordan. A second round had him effortlessly connecting “dinosaur,” “pumpkin pie” and “Darth Vader.”
Meanwhile, Black Thought waxed poetic about Mars, hot pockets and Channing Tatum.
This article originally appeared in THR.com.