Will Ferrell emerges victorious in Drum-Off with Chad Smith

In the end, it came down to talent, chops... and a cowbell. After months of trash talk, actor Will Ferrell and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith finally got down to brass tacks last night on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to decide once and for all who was the better drummer.

Wearing matching outfits (jeans, black leather jackets, Kiss T-shirts and backwards baseball caps), the two doppelgangers sat down with Fallon to discuss their rivalry. "He's an imposter," Smith said, pointing to Ferrell, to which the actor responded, "I'm tired of not getting enough respect as Chad Smith."

Back in February, Smith complained online that Ferrell was impersonating him. When asked where he was when he learned of the accusation, Ferrell snorted, "I was so pissed... I was jammin' with the Chili Peppers, with my guys, at our jamhouse. I'm like, 'Flea, this is bull.'"

Finally, the two men sat down side by side at drum kits to settle matters. "Take notes, Chadwith," Ferrell teased before dishing out a solid beat, to which Smith retorted with a flawless, fluid groove. Throughout the four-solo competition, Smith was clearly besting Ferrell, ratcheting up the sophistication and the level of difficulty of his runs with each pass. "That was cute," Ferrell said, trying to appear unrattled. "Do you play for the lukewarm Chili Peppers?"

Perhaps sensing victory was well out of his reach, Ferrell got up from his kit, picked up a cowbell and, joined by surprise guests, the rest of Smith's RHCP bandmates, performed Blue Oyster Cult's classic cowbell anthem Don't Fear The Reaper - with Smith playing right along. It was enough for Fallon to rush on stage to declare Ferrell the winner.

Both men took part in the drum battle for charity, with Ferrell raising money for Cancer For College and Smith performing to support Little Kids Rock.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.