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About (Late) Last Night: Bruce Springsteen takes over Jimmy Fallon

November 17, 2010 |  7:37 am

The presence of Bruce Springsteen on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" had the host simply giddy. On Tuesday night, Fallon prolonged his own good mood by allowing Springsteen to stick around for the entire show, including two performances with his house band, the Roots, in celebration of Springsteen's "The Promise," a collection of rare material from his "Darkness on the Edge of Town" era. The Boss delivered, but he was also a good sport on Fallon's home turf.

The Roots, for instance, played the "Who's the Boss?" theme song as Springsteen entered, just after Fallon announced the singer as "one of the greatest American rock icons of all time." Springsteen smiled and waved; he may have not even noticed the song choice. The calls from the crowd were not boos but a chorus of "Bruuuuuuce!" ("The ear can distinguish between that and actual booing," Springsteen insisted later.) Best of all, the Boss joined Fallon (as Neil Young) early in the show for a version of 9-year-old Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair."

Springsteen also stomached Fallon's impression. Fallon opened by thanking Springsteen for allowing him to use the song "Born to Run" in his opening number from the Emmy Awards. "You did very well, and I don't ever want to see that again," said Springsteen, handing Fallon back his replica of the Boss' Telecaster electric guitar, complete with fake scuffs and dirt.

The pair casually nerded out about live shows and Springsteen's recent viral exploits, including appearing unannounced in a pretty couple's engagement photos and a surprise performance with his brother-in-law in a small New Jersey bar. Both were big hits on the Internet. (Springsteen's brother-in-law plays in a cover band called Timepiece, in case you were wondering.)

Later, Springsteen's E Street Band guitarist Steven "Little Steven" Van Zandt waltzed out from backstage to the theme from "The Sopranos," the show on which he played Silvio for six seasons.

The night for Fallon seemed as if he had won a No. 1 fan contest. The grand prize, then, was the live performances -- "Because the Night" and "Save My Love" -- which you can watch below, joining Fallon in his bliss.

-- Joe Coscarelli

"Whip My Hair":

"Because the Night":

"Save My Love":