Tag Archives: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Ryder Chasin Bought An Unplanned, Legally Banned, Off-Brand Rapid Test. And Won $1,000.

When Jimmy Fallon’s team picks 2 “Tonight Show” audience members to write a song in less than an hour, the result is usually impressive.

Last night, it was Ryder Chasin turn. The result was brilliant.

The 2014 Staples High School graduate — sporting a Staples baseball cap, no less — was given his title: “I Bought an Off-Brand Rapid Test.”

You or I might be intimidated. Ryder was confident.

For one thing, he’s a writer at Sesame Workshop. For another, he majored in journalism, and minored in film, media studies and creative non-fiction at Northwestern University.

For a third, he’s used to performing (as a member of the Players drama troupe) and pressure (as a baseball player). He’s also multi-talented: In high school he worked on radio and TV production, and was a Top Hat tutor and National Honor Society student.

Oh, yeah: He’s done improv, too.

Ryder looked completely confident as he joked with Fallon. He sauntered over to the electric organ — not a piano, as he corrected the host — smiled, and belted out a very clever tune.

His hour’s work earned him $1,000. Plus a “Tonight Show” notebook to write more songs in.

And the applause of a grateful audience, which has had far too little to laugh about where COVID is concerned.

Click below for the entire clip:

(Hat tips: Dan Donovan, John McCarthy and Beth Cody)

Danny Pravder And Kid Cudi Rock Jimmy Fallon

If you watched the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” last night, you saw Kid Cudi perform a fantastic version of “Kitchen,” backed by a full string section.

If you watched really closely, you could see Danny Pravder on piano.

Danny Pravder (right), backing King Cudi on national TV.

Danny Pravder (right), backing Kid Cudi on national TV.

The 2012 Staples High School graduate earned a B.A. in math and computer science from Skidmore College. But music is his passion.

A few weeks after graduation, he drove cross country to try to make it in L.A.

Days later, Kid Cudi needed a pianist for “Does It,” a track on his new album “Passion, Pain and Demon Slayin’.” Music director Steve Velez — who Pravder had met 2 years earlier, on a classical music tour of Vienna, Salzburg and Prague — suggested the recent arrival.

Danny Pravder

Danny Pravder

Pravder nailed it — then improvised a coda for “Releaser,” another track. A few takes later, they had the version used on the album.

That January, Pravder joined a chamber collective called the Da Capo Players. Velez is the music director and cellist for that group too.

When Kid Cudi was booked for the Jimmy Fallon gig — with those strings — Pravder was invited too. He flew to New York on Tuesday. They rehearsed that night.

There is no piano on the original “Kitchen” track. Pravder improvised, on live TV.

Though the camera focuses almost entirely on Kid Cudi, there was a brief piano solo — with a spotlight.

Danny Pravder (left) with King Cudi and members of the Da Capo Players, backstage at "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."

Danny Pravder (left) with Kid Cudi and members of the Da Capo Players, backstage at “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Today’s snowstorm delayed Pravder’s return to California. But it won’t slow down his career.

Ahead are more studio projects. A future in dance accompaniment. World travels, performing piano.

And — no doubt — many more TV appearances, with the greatest performers in the land.

(Click here to see last night’s performance of “Kitchen” with Kid Cudi and Danny Pravder.)