Jimmy Fallon_Will Smith_Tonight Show

Although some of us – mainly me – are still feeling as though Conan O’Brien got a raw deal in terms of taking over NBC’s The Tonight Show after Jay Leno left the helm, the new heir to the throne, Jimmy Fallon, was coming in with high expectations. He not only introduced The Roots to previously mostly oblivious late-night white American audiences during his tenure as the host of “Late Night,” but there was something about Fallon’s natural comedic genius that shone and made his personality likable.

Last night, Jimmy Fallon officially began his tenure as the new host of The Tonight Show, bringing it back to NBC’s home studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. He received a warm welcome, but perhaps nothing set a better tone for the start of this new era better than Fallon’s opening skit, “The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing.”

With The Roots Band providing all the necessary instrumentation, Fallon barreled onto the stage wearing overalls and a colorful print short-sleeved shirt, eventually being joined by Will Smith himself, and the two proceeded to go through a myriad of classic hip-hop dances over the course of two and a half minutes. They might have missed a few – no Kris Kross “Jump?” No cripwalk? No Shake That Laffy Taffy? No Tootsie Roll?! – but they managed to incorporate The Humpty Dance, The Running Man, The Carlton (sadly, sans Alfonso Ribeiro), Will seems a little winded up until the “Spank That” and Fallon himself masters the Twerk. Well, the Miley Cyrus form of The Twerk, anyway. Oh, and props to Dallas for the “Stanky Legg” (and Fallon’s attempt at it is PRICELESS) making the cut.