Black Singing Couple Goes Viral

Will and Monifa Sims (YouTube)
Will and Monifa Sims (YouTube)

(The Root) — For the past week, a conversation has been had over everyday black people going viral in the media — like Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland man who helped saved three women from their kidnappers and became an Internet meme after his live interview with his city's news station. But there was another black couple whose popularity on the Internet was undoubtedly more entertaining.


Pumpcast News is a regular skit on Jay Leno's The Tonight Show. Actor Tim Stack plays a fake news anchor who appears on a television screen above a gas pump, where he tries to shock people filling up the tank. When he attempted to do the same to Will and Monifa Sims, Stack, Leno and The Tonight Show audience were the ones shocked instead. In the sketch, as Will is pumping his gas while singing to himself, Stack disrupts him. Will seems more pleased to see Stack than shook up by what is obviously not a normal trip to the gas station. Stack compliments Tim on his singing voice and asks him if he sings for a living. Will says, "No, just karaoke." Stacks asks Will if he would like to sing, and if you want to smile, watch what happens next.

The couple, who have been married for 12 years and have an 11-year-old daughter together, impressed Leno so much that he invited them onto the show the next night and gave them a chance to sing with The Tonight Show band. Though this second video is not as viral as their first (the gas station video is at 4 million hits; their appearance on Leno is inching toward a million), Will and Monifa Sims prove not all black people need auto-tune to go viral.

Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.