Upstate Singer Gets The Surprise Of His Life On The Tonight Show
One Upstate musician got the experience of a lifetime thanks to one of the region's biggest celebrity friends - Jimmy Fallon. When the songwriter got tickets to The Tonight Show, he probably never figured he'd end up performing on the show that night.
Of course, Jimmy's no stranger to Upstate NY. He grew up in Saugerties and is an alumnus of Albany's College of St. Rose. Occasionally he'll pop up in an area bar, like he did in Hammonsport. Fallon doesn't shy away from Upstate references on The Tonight Show, either. Last year, he poked some fun at Crossgates Mall.
Darryl Rahn from Utica was selected from the audience for The Tonight Show's "Battle of the Instant Songwriters" segment. The game starts before the show when Jimmy will ask if there are any musicians in the audience. Two are selected to go backstage and are both assigned a random song title. They then have to write in an hour and perform in front of the audience for millions to see.
Darryl's competition, Zaniah from Louisville, KY, got the song title "Stuck On A Ski Lift With Jennifer Coolidge." Zaniah's song had some great 90s acoustic pop vibes, which she paired with a big White Lotus nod. It was a hard act to follow.
Rahn took the stage, ready to debut his assigned song "2023 (Go To The Gym For Me)". What followed was a hilarious, mournful ballad we all can connect to: deciding in January that maybe next year should be our year to get in shape, instead. Darryl won over the audience with some big laughs, including how, "Picking up my clothes technically counts as a squat."
At the end, Jimmy Fallon had the audience cheer for their favorite instant songwriter and Darryl's humor got him the win. For his efforts, he was awarded a sweatshirt emblazoned with "I Love Music" and a Tonight Show notebook (which happened to also have a thousand dollar check inside).
Way to go Darryl! You've made Upstate proud. And a little less guilty about skipping the gym.