When Jay Leno left The Tonight Show, speculation abounded that it would be the end of Obama jokes on late night. One month later, I’ve been pleasantly disappointed.
While new Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon doesn’t delve far into the political realm, it seems he hasn’t lightened up on President Barack Obama as much as his counterparts on the other networks have.
Fallon’s political jokes seems remarkably balanced. Granted there was a really bad edit of Sarah Palin at CPAC that didn’t acknowledge she was joking, but the punch line of his bit wasn’t even that mean–the joke was actually on Dr. Seuss’ Sam I Am.
Meanwhile, over the past week, he hit President Obama solidly three or four times.
The President held a phone conference with European leaders over Ukraine … it was the first time they KNEW he was listening
The season finale of “True Detectives” crashed the HBO website, and President Obama apologized and promised to have it working shortly (Mr. President, that one isn’t ours…).
Thanks to the political apathy of the young people The Tonight Show is trying to court, Republicans will likely be off the hook for a while. These people have no idea who John Boehner is and may be too young to remember much about John McCain, Mitt Romney, or even George Bush. (Thanks to Tina Fey, his fans have some idea who Sarah Palin is). That leaves the White House as the target of choice.
Fallon even hit a topic that young people are very familiar with, because of the movie they have to watch every time there is a substitute teacher in science class:
30 Democratic Senators staged an all night talk-a-thon on the floor of the Senate about the impacts of Climate Change. Fourteen Hours of Climate Change talk, or as Al Gore calls it, “a first date.”
But that window may soon be closing as the 2016 campaign begins. Last night Fallon tagged Chris Christie in a fashion that reinforces my speculation that he’s going after the youth:
8% of Republicans want Chris Christie to jump into the race, and 0% want him to jump onto the other side of the see-saw.
As we move into the midterms, it will be interesting to see whether Fallon can keep own political see-saw balanced.