Jimmy Fallon cranked up the love for Ariana DeBose’s viral rap from this year’s BAFTAs ceremony, donning a wig, a tan Stetson and strumming a guitar as he nailed an impression of the iconic musician Neil Young — singing “Angela Bassett did the thing.”
“The Tonight Show” announcer Steve Higgins introduced the act on Monday, saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, Neil Young,” and pointing to a darkened center stage. The camera panned to a single yellow light shining down onto a man sitting on a black stool. Although unable to see his face in the shadows, the hat, the long hair, the guitar resting on his leg and a harmonica held below his mouth gave hint to what was to come.
And then Fallon began to sing. Or was it Neil Young? Hard to tell because it was that spot-on! Listen to Fallon in the clip at the top and decide for yourself.
DeBose had the internet in a craze days after her performance of the girl-power rap at the BAFTAs on Feb. 19 that was a combination of a tweaked “Sister Are Doing It for Themselves” and “We Are Family.”
A sampling: ” Dame Emma, I’m so fond. Ana, girl, you were great in ‘Blonde.’ Danielle D., you broke my heart. Michelle, I’ve loved you from the start. Angela Bassett did the thing. Viola Davis, my ‘Woman King.’ Blanchett, Cate – you’re a genius. Jamie Lee, you are all of us,” she rapped, as the camera panned to the women in the audience.
Although there was some online mockery of the whole thing that same night – Bassett even checked in with the Oscar winner to make sure she was OK after she deleted her Twitter account — it was outweighed by lots of shoutouts and parodies on social media over the days that followed.
On Saturday DeBose, reposted an Instagram video of Lizzo matching her rap at a concert in Amsterdam. DeBose wrote, “The internet is wild y’all.” Melanie Lynskey and Gabrielle Union were among the notable names showing their love and support in the comments.
Watch Fallon’s spin on the viral moment in the video above.