With the second season of Fox’s smash hit drama Empire premiering tonight, it’s only fitting that Jimmy Fallon spoofed the show last night on The Tonight Show. Remaking the show as “Jimpire,” the hilarious take features Fallon as a comedic version of main character Lucious Lyon and his ambitious aims to remain atop the comedy, ahem, empire.
Fallon’s impression of Terrence Howard’s Lyon is so spot on, down to the hair, outfit and voice. It opens up with Fallon, playing “Juicy Jim,” monologuing to a boardroom speaking of his tough time on the streets of Brooklyn and how his “jokes” and “funnies” got him where he is today. As it’s often done in the actual Empire show, a flashback of Fallon’s comic mogul as a boy appears and shows his humble beginnings.
As Juicy Jim tries to retain his hold on the “Tonight Show Jimpire,” he speaks about his failing health, much like Lyon, but it’s simply an injured finger that spells out his doom. As fans of Empire know, Lyon spent much of the season trying to divvy out his vast holdings to his children but all with insidious intentions he failed to make known until it was too late.
Juicy Jim does the same, inviting The Roots and Tonight Show bandleader Amhir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter to run the Jimpire. Trotter’s character spoofs Hakeem Lyon in the most epic fashion but it’s The Tonight Show’s Stephen Higgins, here playing “Higgy,” that literally steals the show. And yes, there’s an important pair of cameos in the skit as well.
Our explanation does nothing for the video, so we invite to watch Jimmy Fallon’s Empire spoof, “Jimpire” in the clip below. We dare you to try and keep a straight face too.
Empire returns to Fox at 9 p.m. tonight!
Photo: YouTube/The Tonight Show