Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

On The Tonight Show, stay-at-home dad Ice-T has no time for your weak-ass COVID skepticism

From left: Chanel, Ice-T, Jimmy Fallon
From left: Chanel, Ice-T, Jimmy Fallon
Screenshot: The Tonight Show

Even when he’s not rapping, acting, owning social media, playing himself playing John Mulaney’s version of him, or brushing off right-wing has-been fools trying to front, Ice-T is always busy. Or, rather, he used to be, before settling down with his in-laws in Arizona to sit out this whole pandemic nonsense. Telling Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday’s Tonight Show that he and his family left coronavirus hotspot New York for the supposedly clean air of Arizona a few months ago, the Law & Order: SVU star was initially aghast—and pissed—at how many Arizonans weren’t taking this shit seriously. “There are still non-believers,” Ice-T told Fallon incredulously, confiding that since he personally knows “about eight” people who’ve died from COVID-19, he’s not here for that foolishness. (He also says that his Arizona neighbors have finally, if belatedly, gotten their act together, mask-wise.)

Explaining that someone online recently made the mistake of saying that he seemed “scared” for taking the necessary precautions against catching and transmitting an unprecedentedly deadly virus, Ice reenacted his contemptuous response as, “Yeah, I’m scared—I’m scared of your contaminated breath.” Take that, dumbass. Noting that his father-in-law (“a Harley Davidson-ridin’, no-mask-wearing type of dude”) recently spent a month in the ICU battling the virus (he’s out of the hospital, with serious lung complications lingering), Ice—occasionally with his frankly adorable 4-year-old daughter Chanel on his lap—said, definitively, “I don’t wanna play with it.”

As to what a multimedia workaholic like himself is doing during an extended Arizona lockdown with his in-laws, Ice told Fallon that, apart from promoting his movie Equal Standard (a nothing-if-not-timely drama about a racially motivated police shooting), he’s in the same sealed-off, underfunded boat as the rest of us. (Like bored teleconferencers everywhere, he is having fun screwing around with Zoom backgrounds.) Noting that SVU was shut down mid-scene over coronavirus safety months ago, Ice admitted that while he’d put some money aside from his many enterprises for “a rainy day,” “I didn’t know it was gonna be a rainy year.” Still, the ever class-conscious multi-hyphenate was explicit in pointing out that he’s got it a hell of a lot easier than most. “Even though I’m unemployed, I’m not in the same boat as people who are living day-to-day.” Telling Fallon about re-releasing longtime side project Body Count’s slogan-reappropriating anthem “No Lives Matter,” the sometime hardcore metal frontman pointed to his TV day job as proof of the song’s message about economic inequality in America. Citing how his stalwart cop Fin Tutuola is often told to “tread lightly” when questioning wealthy suspects, Ice told Fallon of the song’s title, “When it comes to the poor, nobody’s important, no lives matter.”

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

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