“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” is a cringe-fest most nights of the week. But things took a musical turn on the December 6 episode when Fallon premiered a holiday-themed song meant to promote masking and vaccine boosters.
“It Was a Masked Christmas” features a traditional pop song musical arrangement, but unlike other mainstream Christmas songs, this one has a clear agenda. Before debuting the song, Fallon admitted that the holidays last year were “terrible,” but that “things are going to get better soon.” The song urges listeners to “get in line for a booster” to avoid being lonely like they were last year.
The late-night host teamed up with pop stars Ariana Grande and Megan Thee Stallion, of “WAP” fame, to really drive the message home. The three celebrities appear in the accompanying music video set in a winter scene, dancing around on skis and literally standing in line for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. Besides the three performers, viewers get a glimpse of singing masks on a Christmas tree and a giant mask monster, whose purpose is mostly unclear.
The chorus drives home the intention of the song, remembering last year’s holiday season:
It was a masked Christmas, we stayed in the house
We covered our nose, and covered our mouth
But it’s Christmas time
We’ll be in line for a booster.
Grande mostly croons about being lonely during her solo parts, but Megan Thee Stallion professes how she’ll be smooching everyone now that she’s vaccinated and has the booster. She says:
This Christmas imma make it count
No more quarantine on the couch
This year hang that mistletoe
Imma kiss everybody that I know
This year’s different, you can tell
Deck those halls and jingle bells
Put Purell on everything
Turkey, egg nog, candy cane
The music video shows hand sanitizer squirting over everything, including a turkey at the dinner table. Interestingly, the trio of singers never interacts with anyone else during the song, even after supposedly changing their holiday plans thanks to getting boosters.
This song isn’t the first time performers used Christmas songs to promote woke messaging. In 2019, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson teamed up to remake the classic holiday favorite “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Their version destroyed the original playful nature of the song, with Legend promising he’d call his date a car with a driver named Murray. When Clarkson questioned what her friends would think of her having another drink, Legend slipped in the line, “it’s your body and your choice.”
Audiences reacted strongly against the new song, including the original composer’s daughter Susan Loesser. She said her father Frank would be “furious” over the modern lyrics, The Hill reported.
And “It Was a Masked Christmas” isn’t the first attempt to use musical entertainment to promote vaccines, either. Earlier this summer, Juvenile and Mannie Fresh transformed their 1999 classic “Back That Thang Up” into a vaccine promotion by changing the lyrics to “Vax That Thang Up.”
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