The long-awaited drum-off finally happened!
However, before Will Ferrell and Chad Smith battled on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Thursday, the Anchorman actor, 46, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers rocker, 52, talked trash in Rolling Stone.
"We're going to have a drum-off to see who the real Chad Smith is," Smith said, referring to Ferrell, who is often considered to be his celebrity look-alike. "I'm all for it. But unless Will's been practicing or is secretly a crazy, wild drummer, I think it'll be evident right off the bat who the real Chad Smith is."
"I'm ready to take him down," Smith added.
Ferrell did not rehearse. "There's no amount of practice that would help me become a good drummer," he said. "Chad apparently has a lot of anger and issues," the comedian continued. "I don't quite come from the same place. I don't get nearly as many references to being Chad Smith as he does Will Ferrell. I'm not looking at this as much as a competition so much as a public service to the world."
The drum-off raised money for Cancer for College and Little Kids Rock, and the winner also took home a golden cowbell; Smith also revealed that they forged a side bet. "If I win, he has to wash my car for a month and give me pedicures," the drummer said. "If I lose, I have to be his stand-in for his next film."
Ferrell first mentioned the idea of a drum battle during a Reddit AMA in February. "It has been acknowledged many times that myself and Chad Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, share a resemblance to each other. A lot of people think that it's me playing for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But that would be an insult to Chad Smith. The truth of the matter is there is no Will Ferrell. Only Chad Smith." The drummer replied, writing, "Stop impersonating me. In fact, I need you...drum battle." He added, "Me and you. I've seen your skills; you don't got 'em. Let's go. Golden cowbell. Winner. Boom!"
Last week, Fallon announced that the battle would take place May 22. Courtesy of The Tonight Show, he promised that Ferrell and Smith would finally "settle who's the better drummer once and for all."
Ferrell and Smith wore matching outfits and impersonated each other for Thursday's episode. "I can feel the heat coming off your bodies, the anger and the pent-up rage and confusion," Fallon joked. Before they performed, he said, "I think you can feel the crispiness in the air and the energy that's here. You know what the audience wants, you know what I want, and you know what America wants."
The competitors then played four solos each—and it's not hard to guess who emerged victorious. To celebrate, the rest of the Red Hot Chili Peppers joined them at the end for "Don't Fear the Reaper."
(E! and The Tonight Show are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)