Watch: Randy Newman blazes through ‘I Love L.A.’ on ‘Tonight Show’

Randy Newman performs his hit "I Love L.A." with the Roots on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

Don’t trust Randy Newman’s rumpled-grandfather look.

That’s a needless warning, of course, for fans of the great L.A.-based singer-songwriter who came to a strange brand of stardom in the 1970s with such barbed pop tunes as “Political Science” and “Short People.”

But those unfamiliar with Newman’s work probably weren’t expecting the jolt he provided Monday night on “The Tonight Show,” where he turned up for a chat with Jimmy Fallon wearing a jacket over an untucked shirt.

PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times


A self-professed superfan, Fallon had evidently invited Newman on the show to plug a one-night-only revival of his musical “Faust” at New York City Center.

Yet that performance doesn’t take place until July, and the album of Newman’s that Fallon held up for the camera (at the moment when a late-night host typically holds up a musical act’s new record) was “Live in London,” which came out in 2011.

In other words, Fallon appeared simply to be in the mood for a Randy Newman concert, a hankering he now has the wherewithal to satisfy with “The Tonight Show.”

So good for him -- and, it turns out, for us!

PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times

After a brief interview in which the two discussed Fallon’s controversial decision to move the program from Burbank to New York, Newman made his way over to sit in with the Roots for a crazy-fierce rendition of “I Love L.A.,” his indelible early ‘80s hit that begins, don’t forget, with a takedown of New York City (in the delicious form of a Rodgers & Hart paraphrase).

The thing rocks so hard that ?uestlove, the Roots’ deeply dependable time-keeper, is forced to adjust his signature comb at one point because apparently it was about to fall out.

Have a look below.


Album review: Rick Ross’ ‘Mastermind’ disappoints

Schoolboy Q, Beck albums debut high on Billboard 200 chart

Listen: Coldplay releases new single ‘Magic,’ from album due May 19

Twitter: @mikaelwood