Questlove: Michele Bachmann almost got me fired from Jimmy Fallon show
One of the best things about the Jimmy Fallon show — maybe the best thing — is that it's a test of ingenuity every single day. It sent me back to the days of working with Dave Chappelle. But that show was brilliant guerrilla comedy; it happened on the fly and then some. The Fallon show is a day job in the best sense. We're in by noon and gone by seven, and in between we make a show. It's highly structured, and as a result, the opportunities we have for creativity are really distilled: not reduced at all, but disciplined, forced into existing forms and packages. "Freestylin' with the Roots" is one of the highlights for us. One of the others is the walkover.
The walkover, or walk-on, for those who don't speak backstage, is the song that the band plays as a guest comes out from behind the curtain and walks over to the host's desk. Once upon a time, maybe, it was straightforward, a little musical cue or song associated with the artist. But then came Paul Shaffer's work on "Letterman," and the walkover became its own little art form — an obscure musical reference that the audience (and sometimes even the guest) had to decode.