Without considering the lyrics, Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” might seem like the overly obvious choice for a spoof tribute to rising NBA star Jeremy Lin.
In fact, Grantland’s Bill Simmons proposed a cover version a few weeks ago. He mused to reader that a future Hollywood adaptation of the Knicks point guard’s story should “have Pearl Jam remake ‘Jeremy’ with lyrics that center around a Taiwanese-American Harvard grad saving the Knicks instead of, you know, a bullied kid destroying everyone in his class?”
Jimmy Fallon took up songwriting duties instead. On Thursday night, a straggly-haired version of the late-night host did his best Eddie Vedder growl for a rewritten “Jeremy.”
“The Knicks were eight and fifteen, and, oh, before that no one really ca-a-ared,” he sings, two hands on the microphone, sounding surprisingly like the Pearl Jam frontman.
Fallon’s only potential miscue might have been this line. “Seemed a little Harvard nerd/when he beat Kobe Bryant/set a screen and took it to the hole to show/that Asian men can drive,” he belted out. He was obviously joking, but also referencing one of the potentially offensive lines singled out in a widely-circulated media advisory by the Asian American Journalists Association.