On June 9 2016, Madonna appeared as musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, singing a soulfully spot-on take of her classic 1984 hit, Borderline.
With nothing in particular to promote, Madonna accepted the offer to perform as a means of meeting the featured guest, U.S. President Barrack Obama. An uncharacteristically starstruck Madonna posing for a picture with Obama backstage offered proof that Madonna’s wish was indeed granted.
Forgivably opportunistic photo ops aside, there was a poetic twist behind the nostalgia of her rare throwback performance that went typically unnoticed: Madonna’s very first appearance on the The Tonight Show had occurred exactly twenty-nine years earlier to the day – on June 9, 1987 – with late-night legend of the era, Johnny Carson. In that flirtatious first appearance she effortlessly accomplished her modest goal of having a smitten Carson in the palm of her hand.
Twenty-nine years, three hosts and four Presidents later, Madonna returned to The Tonight Show to deliver the definitive performance of an under-performed classic, and capped it off with a spontaneous roll on the floor with Fallon and some snapshots with Obama. Cuz that’s just how she rolls.
On November 26 2003, Madonna appeared on The Tonight Show (with host Jay Leno) at NBC Studios, in Burbank, California.
Madonna handed out gifts to new dad David Letterman when she appeared on the Late Show earlier in the month, and she didn’t want to leave his TV rival Leno out.
“I brought you some Thanksgiving presents.”
Madonna handed the TV host a baseball jersey and a framed illustration from her new children’s book Mr. Peabody’s Apples.
Most odd about this appearance is that Remixed and Revisited was released on November 24 and Madonna never mentioned it. The Nothing Fails single was also released on November 21, and an upcoming single for Love Profusion (December 8) was also never mentioned. Very few artists would skip mentioning new releases in such a high profile interview. It makes me wonder how involved Madonna was with these releases – or if Warner Bros. was forcing the singles and the remix collection to be put out. All Madonna chose to talk about was her marriage to Guy, her father’s winery, her children’s books and Kabbalah.
For the record, I think this is an adorable interaction between Madonna and Jay. She’s funny, sweet and articulate.