Joe Biden: Jimmy Fallon announces Tonight Show appearance
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Mr Biden will make his first late-night TV appearance since taking office in January on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’, which airs in the US this evening. Mr Fallon announced the news during yesterday’s episode of the popular NBC programme. Though Mr Biden’s appearance will be virtual, it will be the first time a sitting President has appeared on a chat show since Barack Obama’s time in office.
Mr Obama’s in-studio guest appearance on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ 12 years ago was the first of its kind for a US president.
The 44th President would also go on to appear on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’, ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’, ‘Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’ and ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’.
Mr Obama’s successor Donald Trump opted out of the late night TV landscape during his four year term as President.
It is uncertain whether Mr Biden will be scrutinised for his time in office by Mr Fallon, who drew criticism in 2016 when Mr Trump appeared on the show before the presidential election.
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The talk show host was roundly criticised for conducting a light-hearted chat with Mr Trump where he even ruffled the candidate’s hair.
Mr Fallon has criticised Mr Biden in the past, mainly for a range of careless gaffes which plagued the Democratic candidate in the run up to the 2020 election.
In 2019, the Democrats accused Mr Trump of trying to influence the forthcoming election by requesting Ukraine investigate Mr Biden.
Mr Trump denied wrongdoing and maintained that his request was a legitimate exercise of his authority as President.
At the time, Mr Fallon joked that it would have been unnecessary for Mr Trump to request an investigation from Ukraine due to Biden’s blunders.
In the opening monologue of his show Mr Fallon pointed out how Mr Biden had insisted the US needed to address domestic violence by “punching at it”.
The talk show host said: “At that point, Trump was like ‘why did I even call Ukraine? He’s doing it to himself.”
Fallon was delivering his monologue on the fifth day of public hearings on the Democrats inquiry into Trump’s Ukraine request.
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When Mr Biden took to the stage at the inquiry, he also faced a backlash after some viewers thought he had claimed to have come out of the black community.
Mr Fallon joked: “Once he said that, Rachel Dolezal was like, ‘Well he has my vote.’”
Ms Dolezal was a white woman who controversially identified as black.
This evening will not be Mr Biden’s first appearance on a US talk show, having appeared on Stephen Colbert’s show at the beginning of his campaign trail in 2019.
Mr Colbert asked the aspiring president tough questions and got into the “meat and potatoes” of Mr Biden’s decision to run, after two previously unsuccessful attempts.
Mr Biden was asked whether he wanted to bring America back to a “pre-Trump normalcy”.
During the 22 minute interview, Mr Biden also mocked the frequency with which he committed gaffes, after Mr Colbert ran through the candidates’ verbal miscues.
The talk show host noted how Mr Biden said he was in Vermont when he was in New Hampshire, and had once placed Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination in the wrong decade.
Colbert then said: “You assured us, ‘I’m not going nuts. Follow up question: Are you going nuts?”
Mr Biden paused a beat, and then responded: “The reason I came on the Jimmy Kimmel show is…”
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