Jimmy Fallon was not on the same page of the songbook when he agreed to a special holiday duet with country legend Dolly Parton.

This morning on the Today Show, Fallon tells hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie about an epic miscommunication that led to major jitters in the recording studio.

“Dolly Parton’s people called me and they said, ‘Would you like to do a duet with Dolly Parton?’ I go, ‘Of course, what are you talking about?” explains the late-night host. When Fallon was told they would sing “All I Want For Christmas,” he waved it off as a simple task. “I got that,” he says, singing, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…”

But two weeks before the pair was scheduled to record, Fallon was informed that he had been mistaken. He wasn’t going to sing “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,” the classic 1940s holiday song that you hear at kids’ Christmas pageants. The tune they planned to cover was “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey.

“I go, ‘Oh, no. We have a big problem,” says Fallon. “I can’t sing that song! That’s Mariah Carey—no one can sing that song! It’s not even a duet! But they said, ‘Well let’s try it; we think we can make it work.'”

“I was sweating in the booth,” continues Fallon. “Veins were coming out of my neck trying to hit notes … It’s crazy. They have a great producer; it turned out awesome.”

Do you think the light-hearted, countrified version holds up to the original version? Take a listen:

Fallon also reveals on the show that he and Parton will be pairing up for an appearance during this year’s Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. Hopefully, he’ll be prepared to hit the right notes for the special occasion.



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