This past March, Jimmy Fallon, host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, partnered with six-time Grammy Award winner Justin Timberlake to create a Michael McDonald sketch, singing the childhood classic Row, Row, Row Your Boat. The sketch features Fallon and Timberlake dressed as Michael McDonald, and most importantly, singing in his distinctive vocal style. No sketch would be complete without the man himself: McDonald joins the duo later in the sketch, and there is no holding back at that point as the trio “takes it to the streets” with their outrageously funny impersonations of the man himself!
Later in the week, Fallon spoke with Justin Timberlake about the skit, where Timberlake said, “we’ve been trying to do a Michael McDonald sketch forever.” From the success of the Doobie Brothers to McDonald’s solo classics, Timberlake was glad to share this skit with McDonald, saying, “Finally, we got the real legend to show up,” and later saying, “I want Michael McDonald to sing everything,” as he and Fallon went back and forth giving their own impersonations of the great singer once again.
You know your voice is unique when you have comedy gurus Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake create a comedic sketch about it. Michael McDonald’s voice, distinctive and soulful, is one of the most yearningly emotional instruments of our time. The five-time Grammy Award winner is that rare thing in contemporary pop, from ‘70s-era Doobie Brothers classics such as “What A Fool Believes” to solo hits like “I Keep Forgettin’.” On Saturday, December 21, as part of the Live at Wharton series, Michael McDonald performs for one night only in a special holiday-themed performance.
McDonald’s distinct vocal style also made him one of the world’s most sought-after session singers. He’s lent his voice to records by an A-Z of artists, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Joni Mitchell and Vince Gill. On the heels of 2008’s acclaimed crossover album Soul Speak and multiple appearances on PBS’ Soundstage, McDonald continues to tour the world. With a career that encompasses five Grammys, numerous chart successes, personal and professional accolades, as well as collaborations with some of the world’s most prominent artists, Michael McDonald remains an enduring force in popular music.