I am generally skeptical of late-night hosts who invite politicians in for softball interviews, thereby allowing said politicians to appear laid-back and self-deprecating while muddling the distinction between news and entertainment. So I was predisposed to dislike Jeb Bush’s recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon, in which Bush “slow-jammed the news” of his presidential campaign announcement.
But in spite of myself, I smiled during the segment, which was awkward but charming in its way. Bush was all canned soundbites and wooden demeanor (as the sketch more or less demands), but Fallon and the Roots’ Tariq did their best to make him crack a smile with a veritable river of double entendres. Fallon’s “hard-hitting interview” might not be good for political discourse, but it wasn’t bad for comedy.