After touting his Teremana tequila line as “the biggest launch in the history of all spirits,” Johnson was asked by host Jimmy Fallon for the backstory on how the upcoming Young Rock series—which sees Johnson portraying a comedic 2032 version of himself—came together.
“There’s guys who I work very closely with who you have met in the past, as we’re all buddies,” Johnson said. “And I would travel with these guys all across the country and this was back when I was wrestling … Every time we would land, in every major city across the country, I’d be like, you know, ‘See that gas station over there? That’s where I bought my first car from a crackhead.’ And then the next town we would go to, like, ‘Yeah, you see that Motel 6? Well, here’s what happened there.”
Ultimately, Johnson wanted to put something together with a “sense of comedy” while also being able to “share the life lessons he’s learned” during different periods in his career. As for the multi-actor structure and the aforementioned 2032 facet, which sees Johnson playing himself as a presidential hopeful, Johnson credited that idea to series creator Nahnatchka Khan.
“We sat for a few weeks and it was her, she came up with the idea,” Johnson said. “She said, ‘Well, what if we set it in 2032 and you’re running for president?’ and I said ‘I don’t know, it feels a little political.’” Though initially reluctant, Johnson was ultimately convinced to embrace this idea after speaking with Lauren Hashian, his wife.
Toward the end of the one-on-one Johnson interview, he welcomed his mother Ata to the screen to join him in a ukulele-assisted performance for Fallon (hit the 7:40 mark in the video up top).
During a separate segment, Johnson was joined by fellow Young Rock star Bradley Constant for a round of roasting young photos of Fallon:
Young Rock premieres on Feb. 16 via NBC.