Brian Williams on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Brian Williams: hard-hitting journalist and … slow-jamming rapper?  He’s the face of NBC’s Nightly News, but this week he popped up on TV screens much later than usual when he stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Fallon has been known to put together rap music videos using montages of Williams’s news clips. During Monday night’s show, he released the newest one (you can/should watch it below) and talked to Williams about the impact that these videos have had on his life.

Apparently, the impact is pretty significant. Williams said that people regularly bring up the videos in conversation with him. Cuba Gooding Jr. went so far as to call Williams “a big figure in the rap and hip hop community.”

In addition to Williams’s thoughts on the videos, viewers also learned that Brian Williams is actually pretty hilarious. He shocked us with his knowledge of Ludacris lyrics, and he cracked jokes about Jimmy and his show (“I’m doing the broadcast that pays for your hobby.”), eliciting laughter even from Jimmy himself.

Maybe it’s just the journalist in me who likes seeing “America’s favorite news anchor” (Jimmy’s words, though I tend to agree) becoming more recognizable beyond the profession, but I see Williams’s appearance as a great move for NBC. First, the appearance boosts Williams’s reputation by presenting him to a new audience and showing that audience that he’s more than the serious investigative journalist we’ve known him as. Second, the appearance reinforces NBC’s brand by showcasing one popular NBC personality on another popular NBC personality’s show. NBC has been known to do this in the past; since taking over The Tonight Show just a few short months ago, Jimmy Fallon has hosted a number of NBC personalities, including James Spader of The Blacklist, Carson Daly of The Voice and the Today Show, Shakira of The Voice, and Andy Cohen of NBC subsidiary network, Bravo. With each appearance, NBC gets to plug its other programs and show off its brand ambassadors.

The idea behind this system of continued branding is flawless, and with Jimmy Fallon and Brian Williams teaming up, how could the execution be anything but?

Missed last weeks PR wins? Check them out here!

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