The actor channeled Bob Marley, R.E.M. and Frank Sinatra while singing nursery rhymes during the Tonight Show segment

By Benjamin VanHoose
October 28, 2019 10:51 AM
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Keegan-Michael Key may have a music career ahead of him.

The former Key & Peele actor showed off his vocal skills last Thursday as part of The Tonight Show‘s Wheel of Musical Impressions segment. For the recurring game, host Jimmy Fallon and his guest took turns impersonating iconic artists, chosen at random, as they sang a variety of different songs.

For this particular segment, the Wheel of Musical Impression featured a catalog of nursery rhymes.

“Wow, that is terrifying,” Key said after his first impersonation pairing: Bob Marley singing “Hush Little Baby.”

Following his best Marley impression, Key went on to belt “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” as R.E.M. First unsure if he could capture the rock band’s iconic sound. “We’ll give it a whirl,” he said.

Pulling off the challenge, the lyrics to the children’s song proved to be the more trying aspect, with Key repeating the same lines. “Are there any more words to that song?” he joked.

Keegan-Michael Key
Keegan-Michael Key and Jimmy Fallon
| Credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC
Keegan-Michael Key
Keegan-Michael Key and Jimmy Fallon
| Credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

Seeming to thoroughly enjoy the silly singing segment, Key then told Fallon, “Screw the interview — we can do this all night.”

For a final song, the lights dimmed, setting the mood for the Dolemite Is My Name actor to channel Frank Sinatra and a jazzy take on “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

Key got out of his seat for a full-on cocktail lounge performance of the nursery rhyme, not breaking character as the segment faded out.

Fallon also joined in on the fun, performing as both Dave Matthews and Bruce Springsteen for versions of “Yankee Doodle” and “BINGO,” respectively. The tunes for the pair’s songs were provided by The Tonight Show‘s famous in-house band, The Roots.

Keegan-Michael Key
Keegan-Michael Key and Jimmy Fallon
| Credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

The musical challenge portions of Fallon’s late-night show has proven to be such a hit that NBC ordered a 10-episode series called That’s My Jam, based solely on the Tonight Show host’s music segments. While no premiere date is set yet, the new reality show will feature Fallon with his celebrity friends as they take part in his various musical activities.

Other stars who have nailed the Wheel of Musical Impressions on Fallon’s show include Ariana Grande, Christina Aguilera and, most recently, Alessia Cara, who gave her best Lorde, Alanis Morissette, Shakira and Nicki Minaj impersonations while singing Billie Eilish‘s “Bad Guy.”