Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

On The Tonight Show, Paul Rudd doesn't bring Mac & Me, does channel Dead Or Alive

Jimmy Fallon, Paul Rudd
Photo: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

Paul Rudd, apart from clearly being one of the immortal ones bound to entertain us with his trickster’s games until the end times, makes for a consistently fine talk show guest. Like Will Ferrell, Rudd seems to approach every rote, studio-mandated PR couch stop as an opportunity for some conceptual sketch work and general deadpan silliness. Which serves him well these days, since his seat on the Marvel money train comes with the sort of high-security, lawyer-vetted restrictions that make talking about, say, Avengers: Endgame more than a little difficult.

It’s the opposite problem studios have with Rudd normally, especially since he’s fiendishly fond of plugging a rightfully obscure E.T. knockoff with the most egregious product placement in movie history, rather than whatever indie comedy he’s in that could really use the publicity. No word yet on whether Rudd will be visiting traditional clip-victim Conan O’Brien’s revamped Conan for some Endgame anti-plugging, but, since Rudd was on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show on Thursday, he gamely continued his other ongoing late-night bit. Following up on Fallon and Rudd’s shot-for-shot remakes of iconic 80s videos for the likes of Styx and Go West, the pair dolled up in full, flowing locks, rocker blouses, and the occasional eyepatch as members of Dead Or Alive.

Giving full-throated performances as Dead Or Alive frontman Pete Burns (Rudd), and that other member of Dead Or Alive (Fallon), the two recreated the video for “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record),” with Rudd especially committing to Burns’ stentorious posturing with customary aplomb. Admitting in their interview (in which Rudd threw to a clip of Rudd earlier in the interview) that he’d really wanted to meet the Wu-Tang Clan when they were on Wednesday’s show, Rudd explained that he just couldn’t bring himself to meet the hip-hop legends while kitted out for filming like 1980s pop not-legend Burns. Probably a decent coolness move, as Rudd revealed that his son assessed his video star look as one of the Real Housewives. Presumably after some horrible wine-throwing-gone-terribly-wrong eye injury.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.