The Beastie Boys have just put out a new book and so, once again, they are out doing a promotional tour. This, as we can see in clips of Mike D and Ad-Rock guesting on last night’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, is a very good thing.
Since the Beasties disbanded following the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch in 2012, there have been too few opportunities to get Mike D and Ad-Rock in one place to show how effortlessly charming they can be. Their interview with an adoring Fallon is a reminder of just how nice it is to hear from them and how much their presence in pop culture is missed.
Here, they do the usual late night talk show “quirky story” routine, but the story, which involves MCA pranking Ad-Rock with a “haunted” ring, is actually quirky—and funny.
Then, they look back at the formation of the Beastie Boys, revealing that Mike D enters a verbal tailspin whenever he says “an acronym” and making fun of the birth of their name. “Boys Entering Anarchistic States Towards Inner Excellence,” Mike D says. “It was a stupid name. Here we are, supposed to be grown ass men, and it’s still the name of the band.” We also get interesting trivia about their introduction to hip-hop, the legality of “Cooky Puss,” meeting Rick Rubin, and an anecdote about MCA trying to guest on bass with an unimpressed Aerosmith during a Run-DMC tour.
Fallon’s enthusiasm, which is so constant on his show that it’s hard to ever peg as genuine, is on full display, but proves sincere as the interview goes on and he fluently discusses Beastie trivia (even correcting Ad-Rock on a story he thought he was first sharing during the show). Capping this off is a warbled old VHS tape of a teenaged Fallon lip-syncing “So What’cha Want” and a good, quick discussion of the lost art of creating a mixtape, ending with Ad-Rock and Mike D receiving boom boxes, Questlove-curated mixes, and a dang cookie puss cake as gifts.
The whole thing is genuinely pleasant and funny and informative. It’s also just nice, at the end of the day, to see Mike D and Ad-Rock talking about the Beastie Boys a bunch again.
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