Lester Holt Once Played The Bass On 'The Tonight Show' & It Was All Kinds Of Amazing — VIDEO
NBC News evening news anchor Lester Holt moderated Sunday night's fourth Democratic debate in South Carolina, grilling Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley on everything from gun control to immigration. The well-renowned journalist took over NBC Nightly News after Brian Williams was suspended and later moved over to MSNBC. What you might not know about the news anchor is that he is quite the musical talent — Holt even played the bass on The Tonight Show in 2014.
Joining the show's band, The Roots, for a night, Holt repped his own show and played a remixed version of the Nightly News jingle. Both shows fall under the NBC umbrella, so it wasn't totally random that he made an appearance, but it was still really unexpected. After the performance, Holt wrote a blog post about the experience, explaining that it had been a dream of his for a long time. "I can't tell you how many times I've walked down the sixth floor hallway of 30 Rock and heard The Roots rehearsing behind closed doors just outside The Tonight Show studio, wishing I could muster the nerve to walk in, hang out and watch," Holt wrote in 2014. "Or maybe (dare I dream) even jam with them."
Despite being on TV most nights, Holt actually got nervous before performing with the acclaimed band. "Confronted with my fantasy actually coming true, I suddenly worried about whether I'd be able to hold my own," Holt wrote. He's played in the Newport Jazz Festival, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and other famous venues, but this was different for him — it was The Roots. Not to mention, he had the difficult task of knowing what song to play when for the late-night show, which is very different than a planned concert.
He pulled it off without a hitch though, and wowed his NBC colleagues and viewers. It was slightly confusing to see the news anchor in a different TV setting, but once it sunk it, it was magical.
Although he loved the opportunity, Holt was happy to return to his day — er, night — job as a news anchor. "I am grateful to The Roots and Jimmy Fallon for helping to fulfill my dream, and will now happily return to my other dream job in the newsroom," Holt said in his blog post. However, the journalist said he always keeps a bass in the corner of his office, so America could be graced with is musical skills once again.