Not even a pandemic-mandated video chat can stop Jack Black. Jack (a.k.a. Jables, J.B., the human rock dynamo-god), who traditionally kicks off his various Jimmy Kimmel Live appearances with a bombastic, acrobatic, and altogether rock-godlike grand entrance befitting his status as one half of the self-proclaimed greatest band in the world, Tenacious D. Starting out sitting in front of his computer in the deflated posture of all mid-pandemic late-night interviewees, Black seemed doomed to socially distanced dullness (although his bushy salt-and-pepper beard remains glorious). That’s until he remembered he was Jack-freaking-Black. And that he had a long hallway behind him in what Kimmel termed “Castle Black,” son Tommy with a Nerf Mega-Blaster, a handy acoustic guitar, a model AT-AT to hurdle, and room to move.
As ever, the robust Black spent much of the subsequent interview slightly out of breath, but nobody said being a rock god, movie star, and recently crowned TikTok dance king was an easy gig. With everything in the entertainment world essentially on forced hiatus, Black didn’t have anything to plug (except for his contribution to the nightly Jimmy Kimmel Live charity roster, plugging the good people at United Way). He did have a pet tortoise named Leggy, though, which Tommy happily held up in front of the camera as Black explained that his family had inherited a clutch of tortoise eggs from his mother-in-law, only to discover that the resulting, impressively long-lived creatures will happily and lethargically outlive not only him, but several generations of the Black clan.
Happily taking part in another of Kimmel’s nightly coronavirus good deeds, Jables chimed in on a video call with one of the country’s medical professionals bravely doing the job of caring for the mounting number of COVID-19 patients in her native New Orleans. And while nurse Jenelle Melancon of New Orleans’ Ochsner Medical Center was hearteningly upbeat about the truly sobering realities of her work, a surprise visit from Jack Black and Leggy was just the pick-me-up a beleaguered nurse (and her frankly adorable two little kids) needed. (Especially since the kids had to do their recent Easter egg hunt without mom.) And, sure, maybe Kimmel’s gift of a $10 thousand Postmates gift card to help out one of his #HealthCareHeroes in this trying time contributed to the mood. (Plus similar gifts for her hospital coworkers.) But did we mention that Leggy was also involved? Leggy makes everything better.