A report by Suzy Exposito for Rolling Stone.
Also featuring Ozuna and José Feliciano, the new episode drums up awareness about the island and its recovery post-Hurricane María.
Described by host Jimmy Fallon as a “a love letter to Puerto Rico,” the upcoming telecast of The Tonight Show boasts an inside look at the unique culture and spirit of the island. Recorded in and outside the capital city of San Juan, Fallon dedicated the special episode to raising awareness about Puerto Rican recovery efforts following the devastating Hurricane María in 2017 — but also amplifying the strengths and talents of its residents. The episode airs Tuesday, January 15th at 11:35pm EST on NBC.
The new trailer previews an exclusive interview between Fallon and the Pultizer Prize-winning playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda — plus a number from Miranda’s hit Broadway show Hamilton, which kicked off a three-week run in Puerto Rico last Friday. “It means the world to me and my family — both on and off the island — that Jimmy is breaking with the traditional late-night mold to celebrate the beauty and culture of Puerto Rico,” said Miranda in a press release. “For NBC and The Tonight Show to invest in the island and its people will not only help promote tourism but also shine a spotlight on the island’s rich heritage. My family, along with Hamilton, is dedicated to continuing to aid in Puerto Rico’s strive for prosperity and we are thankful to be able to call Jimmy and The Tonight Show team friends and partners in this mission.”
The clip also teases a bombastic San Juan street party led by hometown hero and previous Tonight Show guest Bad Bunny, who will perform his 2018 Drake collab “Mia” with a brass band. (Spoiler alert: There will be funky glasses.) Reggaeton heartthrob and hitmaker Ozuna will perform an acoustic version of “En Mi Viejo San Juan” with José Feliciano, whose Caribbean rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” made the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.
Fallon will also sample local cuisine alongside award-winning chef and humanitarian José Andrés, whose work with the World Central Kitchen in Puerto Rico has kicked off a renaissance of sorts for the island’s food economy, by supplementing grants and training for local farmers. “Puerto Rico is thriving,” stresses Fallon in the trailer. “And it’s open for business!”