At the height of its cultural impact, Jimmy Fallon did an elaborate, hilarious Breaking Bad spoof in which he cast himself as the iconic baddie Walter White. So it’s only fitting that, upon tonight’s return of the cultural juggernaut that is Empire, the Late Night host would step into the shoes of one Lucious Lyon. In “Jimpire,” Fallon is seeking his replacement as show host should his injured finger fell him for good. So he looks to Questlove (filling the role of middle son Jamal, and with a “huge” secret to boot), Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (standing in as the rambunctious youngest son Hakeem), and Dion Flynn (as oldest son Andre) to compete for his praise. Of course, “Higgy”—that would be Steve Higgins, Fallon’s announcer—has to interfere every step of the way, leopard print fur outfits and all.
It’s a smartly executed parody—callbacks to great moments from Season 1 abound, and Fallon does his best Terrence Howard “warble voice.” And speaking of Howard, the notoriously troubled actor makes an appearance, as does the real Cookie, Taraji P. Henson—who recreates her terrific splash-punch heard ’round the world. Stay tuned to the very end, for a timely, if very weird, surprise cameo.