In its most unique U.S. guest appearance to date, BTS performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Monday night in an episode that focused on the band members’ sense of humor, which doesn’t need much interpretation. The South Korean septet played games with Fallon on the subway, made pastrami sandwiches at New York City’s famous Katz’s Deli and, for their piece de resistance, performed an intricately choreographed version of their new single “ON” at Grand Central Terminal that was stadium-ready.
They’re not done yet. To promote the release of their latest album, “Map of the Soul: 7,” the superstar group will appear tonight in a previously-taped segment of “Carpool Karaoke” on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” In the snippet that Corden shared on social media, RM, Jin,Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook cruise along with him as they sing bits of “ON.” Riding shotgun, RM tries out his British accent on the English host, who’s an unabashed BTS fanboy.
The other singalong songs are being held under wraps, but the group can be heard doing the familiar clap, clap, clap, clap that’s become synonymous to the “Friends” theme song. “Friends” plays an almost mythic role in BTS’ story. RM has often stated that he taught himself to speak fluent English as a child by watching the sitcom.
Corden has joked about being the eighth member of BTS. In a cheeky attempt to ingratiate himself to them, he refers to Jimin by his nickname, Mochi. When they shower him with laughs, Corden makes one last attempt to infiltrate the group: “Is this your way of asking me to join the band?” While most of the members politely evade the question, Jin laughs and cuts to the chase: “You’re the joke guy!”
BTS has done its share of guest spots that follow the standard routine: perform a song and then sit on the sofa chatting about what American food they like. But ever since their appearance last May on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” some American variety shows have gone out of their way to make things more interesting. For instance, Colbert’s staff recreated their set to mirror the Beatles’ historic appearance at the Ed Sullivan Theater (where Colbert’s show is also filmed), right down to the group’s natty matching suits.
And on their earlier appearance on Corden’s show in January, where they debuted their song “Black Swan,” they participated in a skit that could’ve been culled from a Korean variety show. Corden and guest Ashton Kutcher went all out in a game of hide and seek, which resulted in Jin being hauled away on Kutcher’s shoulders. The beauty of these games is that a working knowledge of Korean — or English — isn’t required to enjoy the antics.
On last night’s Fallon appearance, the band was asked which celebrity they’d like to meet. Rather than picking another musical artist or a beautiful starlet, they selected John Cena, who has been an outspoken supporter of the group for the past couple years. “I want to see him,” said RM. “He’s a big fan of us and we’re big fans mutually.”
Viewers got further insight into the group’s preferences when RM revealed that they’re all long-time fans of professional wrestling, proving that BTS has more in common with America than some would like to give them credit for.