Jack Black knows how to make an entrance. Just watch him explode onto the David Letterman stage on his recent appearance – puffing his barrel-chest out, he worked the crowd, did a Kung Fu (Panda) inspired kick/turn and shed his black satin jacket, dropping it carelessly on the floor. He then proceeded to sit in the wrong chair…a nice, humorous cap to the wild antics. When Dave pointed out the mistake, Black shuffled like a reprimanded child, picking up his jacket (which, by the way, was now a gold satin jacket, having been turned inside out) and sitting in the proper spot. He went on to explain that his chest-puffing/gut-sucking-in was to test a new theory of his – that if you do something long enough, it will stay that way, like when you mother said “hey, don’t make that face all the time, it’s gonna stay like that.” When Dave asked how long he’d been trying it, Black said it was a brand new technique and then fondled his large pot belly until Dave asked him to stop “please quit playing with that!” Quite the opening salvo.
They went on to discuss his kids, his multi-colored hair (the result of a Ben Stiller film he just finished shooting) and a yak encounter he had, replete with photo.
I will say that I have never seen a talk show appearance where the object of the promotion (in this case Kung Fu Panda) was discussed as much as this. Dave kept going back to it and all aspects of it. They had clips of Black in the studio recording his voices, many of which he did live on the show, too. They even had a bit set up where he said a phrase live on the show and then had a clip of him saying the same phrase in the recording studio as if he had recorded it earlier. When they came back from the clip, he said “Yes! Nailed it.” Not sure it worked as well as they hoped, but they get an A for effort.
Jack Black is a force, full of unharnessed energy, crazy eyes, clever voices and delivery and sloppy, slangy speech, but he is prepared, funny, imminently watchable and, as Dave said in his introduction, “always entertaining.” That is true.