The Roots: Best Band on Late Night TV?

Jimmy Fallon‘s show is without a doubt the worst thing happening in late-night television: His monologue last night again was stultifying, and his “interviews” are awful.

But veteran jazzy hip-hoppers¬† The Roots easily count as the funkiest and probably best house band in all of late night (although I still have a soft spot for Paul Shaffer‘s talented crew on David Letterman’s show).¬† And what other TV band has a tuba player in the bass position?

Ten months into the gig, drummer Questlove and Co. still sound great, and their eclectic flexibility gives Fallon’s dull program its sole bit of oomph. My entirely unsolicited recommendation for the show: Less Fallon, more Roots, backing an even more eclectic mix of musical guests, including more jazz artists.

Check out this audio clip, with still pics, of the Roots and Brooklyn’s Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra backing Paul Simon’s performance of “Late in the Evening” on Fallon’s show.