The premise of Spike’s inherently silly Lip Sync Battle is as-advertised: Celebrities facing off in sometimes inspired, usually embarrassing lip sync battles. The show has seen some well-executed and even goddamn glorious battles in episodes past, but it has never seen anything like Jay Leno taking a wild stab at Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz”. More performance art than lip sync battle, the clip finds Leno huffing, puffing, and gradually turning the color of an heirloom tomato as he flails his arms about and (silently) screams into the mic. It’s been a long and winding road from The Tonight Show to … whatever this is, but kudos to Leno for leaving it all out there. He may have flirted with a heart attack, but that’s a small price to pay for the glory of pretend rock ‘n’ roll.
January 18, 2017 | 1:20pm ET