Fallon Files: Blake Shelton vs. Jimmy's Beard

Blake won

Todd Owyoung/NBC
Southern Charm

Welcome to the Fallon Files, a weekly-ish series chronicling only the lowest lows of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.


Before we discuss Blake Shelton’s near constant presence on last night’s episode of the Tonight Show, we have to discuss Jimmy’s beard. He debuted it this week after a brief end-of-summer break, and, well, it looks like shit. It’s patchy on the cheeks and overall looks like someone has been holding his razor captive for the past 10 days. I don’t know what he thinks he’s doing with it, or perhaps what he’s hiding under there. Another mysterious injury? We’ll never know. Let’s talk Blake.

Blake Shelton, another NBC company man, appeared in four different segments on Thursday’s episode. We’ll touch on all of them, but not in chronological order. Rather, we’re going to go from worst to best, because the country singer ran the gamut from A+ guest to completely unwatchable over the course of the hour-long Blakefest.

Worst: “I’ll Bring the Ice”

The NFL season started last night with the Buffalo Bills trouncing reigning champs the Los Angeles Rams. Go Bills. After that match ended, you could watch Jimmy and Shelton sing a football-themed song about bringing ice to the party. To put it bluntly, it sucks. The joke is that Jimmy is obsessed with ice, heightening to the obvious endpoint: He forgot the beer!!!! I feel completely neutral about Shelton most of the time, but this made me want to defend him with every fiber of my being. He doesn’t deserve this.

Only Sort-Of Bad: “No Body”

Shelton’s music is the kind of country music that people who like “everything except country” make fun of. It’s all about drinking with your buddies and eyeing a girl wearing either short shorts or a sundress. “No Body” is exactly that, but phoned-in. It sounds like Shelton trying to reheat “Honey Bee” but it’s still frozen in the middle.

Fine, But Too Long: Impossible Pictionary

The problem with Jimmy’s penchant for games is that they always go on past the point of being entertaining. By the time you’re watching Gwen Stefani try to draw buffalo wings seven minutes into the segment it’s like, let’s speed this up. Like “I’ll Bring The Ice,” this segment was football-themed. No sexism, but obviously Shelton and Fallon were going to be better than Stefani and Gigi Hadid. Do you think Stefani knows who the Washington Commanders are? Give me a break.

Surprisingly The Best Part: The Actual Interview

I love when a guest cuts through Jimmy’s bullshit. Shelton went meta, referencing the talking points on Jimmy’s notecards and refusing to let us believe that they were having a natural conversation. As far as late night guests go, he was basically Charlie Kaufman. Shelton was there to promote his new line of clothes at Lands’ End, his album, his tour, and the new season of The Voice, and any straying away from those topics would (jokingly) not be tolerated. I do not think he and I would get along in real life but in these 10 minutes I found him to be incredibly charming. I guess that’s how you keep a job on The Voice for what I think has been 25 years now.