Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Paul Rudd reminds Jimmy Fallon about their 1980s pop star past on The Tonight Show

The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon (Screenshot: NBC)

Paul Rudd, in addition to possibly being an immortal charm god, is one of those talk show guests who rarely comes to the couch empty handed. Whether as a product of his genial eagerness to entertain or a restlessness with the traditional chat show chit chat, Rudd, as he’s proven via a decades-long prank on Conan O’Brien, is always packing something worth watching. Case in point, on Friday’s Tonight Show, he stopped his interview with host Jimmy Fallon cold, ostensibly angry that Fallon would bring up their time as 1980s pop duo Go West.

It’s all a setup for a meticulously recreated video of Go West’s low-rent, bananas music video for their 1990 hit song “King Of Wishful Thinking,” which was fortunate enough to be included on the Pretty Woman soundtrack. And it’s pretty delightful, even for those weary of Fallon’s cutesy game playing, musical impressionist schtick. For one thing, the video itself faithfully reproduces in shot-for-shot verisimilitude the original’s blue-screened parade of seemingly random elements. (A mariachi band? Hockey players? Guy in a gorilla suit? Rudd—as fist-pumping Go West frontman Peter Cox—lovingly brandishing a wrench, receding hairline gleaming in the lights? Check.) For another thing, Fallon (as Go West other guy Richard Drummie) keeps himself mostly in the background, wisely allowing the spectacle of Paul Rudd’s signature comic commitment and inexplicable dance moves carry the whole silly, undeniably entertaining enterprise along. (Fans of Rudd’s physical comedy chops know that that thing where his upper torso and hips appear about to take off in two separate directions is eminently watchable.)


Oh, Rudd was actually there to publicize his role in Duncan Jones’ upcoming Mute, a sci-fi “spiritual sequel” to Moon, where, among other things, Rudd sports a glorious Elliott Gould in M*A*S*H* mustache. Mute comes out on February 23 on Netflix.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.