Since Lip Sync Battle on Spike — soon to be the Paramount Network — landed and raised the standard for the titular showdowns that used to be a staple of Jimmy Fallon’s repertoire, the Tonight Show host has only used the segment sparingly. So when it returned to close out Miley Cyrus’ residency on the show this week, the bar was pretty high and new tricks had to be brought in to make the segment something special.
That means Fallon brought out puppets, Cyrus broke out some choreography, and both tried to emulate some famous rock stars with their iconic looks. Doing ventriloquism is definitely the weakest part of the segment, so Fallon automatically loses points there, even if it’s not true puppetry. Jeff Dunham is weeping. Also Miley immediately does a gymnastics routine in her first performance, easily winning out and forcing Fallon to bust out the eyeliner while covering Hole — making Courtney Love proud in the process.
But it is Miley Cyrus’ doing her best David Byrne in the giant suit while lip syncing “Once In A LIfetime” that is likely the big highlight of this battle. The lights go dim, Cyrus starts to dance around like Byrne in the Talking Heads’ music video for the song, and the entire thing transforms into a pleasant surprise instead of the typical silliness.
We’ll always accept a Talking Heads reference in late night television.
(Via The Tonight Show)