Legendary Funny Girl Barbra Streisand appeared on last’s night’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. While the show host rarely allows one guest to star with him for the full length of an episode, he made an exception for the singer/actress, who filled the performance with classic songs and some from her upcoming album, Partners. The project arrives today, September 16th.
The episode marked Streisand’s first appearance (minus cameos) on an American talk show in over 50 years. In one of her first jokes, she projected that she would probably not do another half-century wait. She also elaborated on her talk show history, beginning with Orson Bean when he guest-hosted for The Tonight Show in place of Jack Paar (“Paar didn’t like me,” she said). She guested numerous times with Johnny Carson as host, but she (possibly jokingly) mentioned he gave her stage fright, which kept her from doing live music for 27 years. But it didn’t stop her last night. In their opening routine, Jimmy donned mutton chops, aviators and a scarf, and did a frisky dance with Streisand as they performed “Love Me Tender.” They also belted out “It Had To Be You,” a track Streisand recorded with Michael Buble for the album.
For the interview portion of the show, Jimmy insisted that Barbra sit at his usual desk, calling her “One of the biggest stars in the history of show business.” With Barbra’s up-for-anything attitude, their duet medleys and general messing around made for a fun, relaxed addition to her TV repertoire.
As the musical guest, Streisand gave her solo performance of the jazzy “Come Rain or Come Shine,” a Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer track she covered for Partners. The number showcases her full vocal range and perfect pitch, and while John Mayer accompanies her on the album version, she carried the tune stylishly on her own. Many of her new tracks feature other renowned guests, such as Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Lionel Ritchie, and Blake Shelton. There’s also a song accompanied by the voice of Elvis Presley, thanks to some studio magic. Barbra Streisand will guest tonight on ABC’s GMA with Robin Roberts and tomorrow (September 17th) on The View.