“What the hell have you guys been doing for 30 years?” Marty McFly and Doc Brown visit 2015 and Jimmy Kimmel

Jeff Pfeiffer

In a nice coda to yesterday’s Back to the Future Day, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd showed up in character as Marty McFly and Doc Brown on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The duo burst onto stage during Kimmel’s monologue in their famed DeLorean time machine, arriving from the year 1985, and exited the car to a standing ovation from the crowd, Marty in his trademark vest and Doc in his hazmat suit.


When Kimmel greeted them, Marty asked, “Who are you?” When informed they were in a middle of a talk show, Doc asked in astonishment, “What happened to Johnny Carson?” Marty wondered if people were watching them on TV at the moment and Kimmel admitted that most people would probably be watching them on their phones the next morning, sitting on their toilets. “That’s gross,” Marty said, after a few seconds of befuddlement.

Marty and Doc of course had questions about the year 2015, touching on the obvious ones that were seen in Back to the Future Part II. They were disappointed there were not yet flying cars, and were bummed when Kimmel told them that what we currently call a “hoverboard” isn’t actually a hoverboard.

“What the hell have you guys been doing for 30 years?” Marty wondered, and all Kimmel could come up with was the concept of the cronut. “Doc, seems like 2015 kind of sucks,” Marty said.

Kimmel tried to defend our future by showing Doc his smartphone. Doc was understandably impressed at the “handheld supercomputer” and speculated that it must be used by astrophysicists to calculate complex equations. Kimmel admitted that while it could be used for that purpose, people usually used it to send smiley faces to each other. Doc looked at the phone again and asked Kimmel, “What’s a Grindr?” before Kimmel hurriedly took the phone back.

In the middle of all this, Huey Lewis stood up in the crowd, in his Back to the Future character as a nerdy school official, and repeated his famous line, using a megaphone to tell everyone on stage: “You’re just too darn loud.”

Marty wondered what has happened to Biff, and after a funny sight gag involving former David Letterman stage manager Biff Henderson, we found out what happened to the BTTF Biff, whom Marty described as a “rich, evil, maniacal casino owner who ruined the world.”

“Oh, that guy’s running for president right now,” Kimmel said, clearly referencing Donald Trump, whom BTTF writer Bob Gale has admitted was an inspiration for the sleazy casino-owning, alternate-1985 Biff seen in Part II. (To be honest, up to this point, I did think Thomas F. Wilson might actually make an appearance.)

Disappointed in how 2015 is, Doc theorized that perhaps this is an alternate reality where human evolution has been stopped by superfluous technology. He departed the stage, hoping to get back to 1985 to find out where things all went wrong (he left the DeLorean on stage and caught a flying Uber car outside).

Before heading to break, Kimmel told Marty that Michael J. Fox would be coming up on his show later. “Oh, Teen Wolf!” Marty exclaimed, referencing Fox’s other, less successful 1985 feature film.

Huey Lewis returned to send us off to commercial as he sang the opening lines from “Back in Time,” off the Back to the Future soundtrack.

It was all pretty heavy, a lot of fun, and a bit emotional seeing Fox and Lloyd together in character. Check out the video below: