Jay Leno and Will & Monifa Sims
Jay Leno and his team know they may be going off the air, but they are going with a bang and when they’ve discovered something noteworthy.
Former Chicago bartender and his fitness instructor wife – Will and Monifa Sims – blew up YouTube, with 5 million hits and counting, after getting their 15 seconds of fame on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
The couple did their thing when they nailed a skit called “Pumpcast News,” where Will killed his rendition of Jon Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.” The musical accompaniment was provided by the Tonight Show band. The bigger surprise about the couple was not that they’re avid karaoke singers, however, but they’re also trained thespians and are the founders of Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre company.
As the Chicago Sun-Times reports, the premise of “Pumpcast News” is this: actor Tim Stack, as faux newscaster Jack Rafferty, breaks from reading the day’s headlines to mess with unwitting customers via a small pump-mounted TV monitor.
Here’s how it unfolded: After Stack hears Will quietly crooning while preparing to fill up, and subsequently learns of his love for karaoke, Stack requests a sample. Readily obliging, Will belts out the aforementioned Bon Jovi’s anthem. An initially seemingly embarrassed Monifa ultimately emerges from their vehicle to do a fine version of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” by the Eurythmics. Will chimes in for the high parts.
When Jay bragged about the couple and invited them to the show for the skit, he omitted all this wonderful info to prevent any confusion on the part of the audience.
“[The producers] didn’t want [people] to think we were actors and it was a ‘plant’,” Will says. “They were like, ‘You’re a bartender and she’s a fitness [trainer].’”
Check out the original “Pumpcast News” skit and the couple’s appearance on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”: