When Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Spacey combine their talents, the results are hilarious. But when one mocks the other, it’s even funnier. Never has that been more apparent than in Fallon’s brilliant, spot-on parody of House of Cards. The two-part sketch, titled House of Cue Cards, has Fallon send up Spacey’s Frank Underwood by exaggerating all of the character’s distinctive tics: frequent asides to the audience, awkward and forced metaphors, and that smooth, insidious Southern drawl.
Perhaps even more impressive than Fallon’s impersonation is the parody’s sheer attention to detail. The sketch borrows several of the show’s signature elements: the time-lapse title sequence, the throbbing bass line that underlies most of the show’s action, and Underwood’s nighttime smoking sessions with his wife, here played by Ellen Barkin. Most amusing, however, is the ending, which sends up a pivotal scene from the show’s second season and features a surprise appearance by an old friend of Fallon’s.