Maya Rudolph seemed genuinely excited to sing Prince’s “Darling Nikki” with the Roots on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” last week. Though Rudolph is known for her comedic chops, she played the song (almost) completely straight. Rudolph’s diva moment got me thinking about some other comedy people who take their music seriously.
Donald Glover: As Childish Gambino, the “Community” star has managed to keep his acting and rapping personas separate.
Steve Martin: Many were surprised to learn that Martin could handle a banjo. He’s released two albums of bluegrass since 2009 and continues to tour with a full band, sometimes pleasing die-hard fans with a version of “King Tut.”
Woody Allen: Jazz is the sound track for most of Allen’s movies, and you can find the clarinet player and his band in Manhattan every Monday night, where they have a standing gig at Cafe Carlyle.
Jack Black: Though he would probably hit you over the head with his guitar if you called Tenacious D a joke band, most people didn’t know Black could sing until 2000’s “High Fidelity.” In it, Black’s Barry does a totally serious (and killer) version of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”