The drum battle to end all drum battles between comedian and actor Will Ferrell and Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ drummer Chad Smith, is set to take place on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, 22nd May, the first time the lookalike pair has appeared in public together.
Fallon announced the event on the latest episode of the show, saying that the drum-off is “to settle who’s the better drummer once and for all”, while doppelgängers Smith and Ferrell have taken their trash-talking to the next level.
Smith told Rolling Stone. “We’re going to have a drum-off to see who the real Chad Smith is… But unless Will’s been practicing or is secretly a crazy, wild drummer, I think it’ll be evident right off the bat who the real Chad Smith is. I’m ready to take him down.”
“I have not been practicing,” Ferrell openly admitted. “There’s no amount of practice that would help me become a good drummer.”
For Ferrell, the battle seems to be more of a public service than a competition. “Chad apparently has a lot of anger and issues,” he said. “I don’t quite come from the same place. I don’t get nearly as many references to being Chad Smith as he does Will Ferrell. I’m not looking at this as much as a competition so much as a public service to the world.”
Smith has revealed that the winner of the battle will receive a giant golden cowbell, with the two celebrities raising money for Cancer for College and Little Kids Rock. The pair had previously raised more than USD$300,000 for the battle to occur.
T-shirts and custom cowbells will be offered to fans to raise money for the two charities, but Smith has revealed a more personal side to the bet. “If I win, [Ferrell] has to wash my car for a month and give me pedicures,” says the drummer. “If I lose, I have to be his stand-in for his next film.”
Ferrell admitted that due to the musical magnitude of the event, it may be a one-time show. “It may be something too powerful for the audience to even handle, so it may just be an one-time event,” he posited. “Man only went to the moon once, right? But it could become the beginning of a rivalry that will go on until the end of time.”
“It’s going to end in a way that will be extremely surprising to the audience,” Ferrell added.
Ferrell’s career as a percussionist began with the infamous Saturday Night Live “More Cowbell” skit (below), and has also included a scene in the 2008 film Step Brothers in which Ferrell’s character tampers with his stepbrother’s drum kit (below).
Smith believes that Ferrell might take advantage of his previous cowbell experience. “And that’s what worries me,” he said. “He might try to win everybody over with his whole cowbell thing. I might have to wrestle and tackle him.”
Watch: “More Cowbell” Saturday Night Live skit
Watch: Step Brothers drum set fight scene