Sure, The Roots, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran and a 5-ton Wawa hoagie will be in attendance for the weeklong “Welcome America!” festivities leading up to the Fourth of July, but one special guest has yet to accept the City of Philadelphia’sinvitation.
Namely, Jimmy Fallon.
“We’re working on it,” said Mayor Michael Nutter, who was at Liberty Place in Center City on Monday for the official “Welcome America!” announcement.
Nutter said the city asked Fallon to broadcast “The Tonight with Jimmy Fallon” from the City of Brotherly Love during the Independence Day-themed festival this summer.
“It’s just something that I’ve thrown out there, but you know, obviously it takes a lot to move an entire production outfit to another city, and every city would want them,” Nutter said.
“On the other hand,” he added, “We would be the easiest place to go, certainly only an hour down the road, so we’ll see.”
Amir “Questlove” Thompson, a native Philadelphian and co-founder of The Roots, which perform nightly as Fallon’s house band on the New York-based talk show, said the idea is still up in the air.
“I see it as a possibility,” Thompson said. “We’re going to talk about travel and doing certain places soon.”
Nutter, who also announced that the festival will start on June 29 and end with an all-day free concert on July 4, said Philadelphia has hosted a popular talk show in the past.
“Back in 2008, some people don’t remember, but we had [Stephen] Colbert for a week during the campaign,” he said. “It was at the University of Pennsylvania, but so, with [The Roots] being here and from here, and people love Jimmy Fallon, and that combination, I’ve thrown it out there.”
Nutter added: “And [New York] Mayor [Bill de Blasio] said he would talk to them about it.”
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